Fishing Report April 11, 2018

Inconsistent weather remains consistent on the water

Fishing around Anna Maria Island this week remains consistently inconsistent.

On warm, calm days, fishing is exceptional, especially in the bays and Intracoastal Waterway.

On the windier days during the cold fronts, fishing is sporadic due. There are just too few places to fish out of the wind and the stirred up waters. Needless to say, the warm calm days are where it’s at for anglers.

Fishing Tampa and Sarasota bays for spotted seatrout and snook is really keeping anglers busy. Live bait fishing with shiners is producing the best action on either species. Redfish are taking the hook, but not with the volume of the snook and trout. Jack crevalle have moved into the shallows, terrorizing everything in their path. Most jacks being caught are 4-6 pounds, which anyone who fishes light tackle knows, they put up quite a battle when hooked. Pompano are being caught by anglers jigging around the passes and the deeper grass flats adjacent to the passes. Don’t forget to tip those jigs with shrimp for a little added advantage.

Moving offshore, reports of permit, cobia, kingfish and tuna are on the rise. Live baits and artificials are working for these fish. Remember to pick your days wisely as we are experiencing windy conditions on a fairly regular basis. Mangrove snapper and grouper are being reported while fishing nearshore structure, such as the artificial reefs in the Gulf of Mexico.

On my own Just Reel fishing charters I’m patrolling the flats of Tampa and Sarasota bays and Anna Maria Sound. Snook and spotted seatrout are on the menu this week. Snook fishing around mangrove edges is producing impressive numbers of fish — on some days as many as 30 snook are being reeled to the boat. The same applies for the spotted seatrout, although I am finding them on deeper grass away from the shorelines. Many slot-size trout — fish 15-20 inches — are being caught by my clients. Over-slot fish — up to 25 inches — are in the mix, but not as apparent as the slot fish.