Fishing Report May 2, 2018

Endless fishing possibilities await us in May

As we begin the month of May, fishing around Anna Maria Island can have endless possibilities.

With water temps still hovering in the mid 70s, inshore fishing is proving to be excellent. Spotted seatrout seem to be dominating the bite. Fishing the lush grass flats of Sarasota Bay is proving to be most productive for these ever-famous flats species. Limits of slot-size trout are attainable on most days with numerous fish 18-20 inches. Larger trout of 20-inches and up are also in abundance.

Snook fishing —although catch-and-release as of May 1 — is providing great backwater action. Many slot-size snook are being caught as they stage up on the grass flats to heavily feed before they being to migrate to the beaches to spawn.

Redfish are also in the mix, although the real numbers of fish are still a month or two away.

Fishing offshore is also offering up some on the best fishing of the year. Fishing wrecks and reefs is resulting in a plethora of species including permit, grouper, snappers, blackfin tuna, kingfish, cobia and African pompano. Venturing out into the depths of the Gulf of Mexico is proving to be rewarding with both good table fare and some exceptional fish stories.

Lastly, don’t forget that May is typically the month that marks the arrival of tarpon. That’s right – it’s that time of year again. A few catches are already being reported which mean it’s time to dust off the tarpon gear and start cruising the beaches and bays in search of the elusive “silver king.”

On my own Southernaire Fishing Charters, I’m concentrating on the back country. Targeting snook and spotted seatrout is proving to keep bent rods — and fish in the cooler for my clients, depending on the species I’m targeting.

Although snook are catch-and-release again, it is still fun to target these back-country bruisers. Their explosive strikes and drag-screaming runs have anglers coming back for more, time and time again. As for the trout fishing, slot-size trout are in abundance which is convenient for those anglers who wish to have a fish dinner.

On a final note, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has posted their new regulations for tripletail and sheepshead which will go into effect July 1. For the tripletail, bag limits will remain the same, although the minimum size is increasing from 15 inches to 18 inches total length. As for the sheepies, the bag limit of 15 per person is decreasing to 8 fish per person.

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