Fishing Report May 9, 2018

May brings consistent weather, fishing conditions

Fishing around Anna Maria Island remains consistently good for yet another week. With the mild air temperatures and water temps still hovering in the mid 70s which is a welcome sight.

Spotted seatrout and catch-and-release snook are responding positively to the conditions — a perfect recipe for spending a day in the water with a rod in your hand.

Offshore fishing is following suit as reports are coming in of numerous catches of blackfin tuna, kingfish, amberjack and permit. Aside from some breezy days here and there, waters have remained smooth to a light chop which is splendid for going offshore.

On my own Southernaire fishing charters, I’m finding it hard to return to the dock after the charter is done. At least on most days. The waters of Sarasota Bay are pristine this time of year. Calm emerald green waters so clear you can see the bottom can be quite hypnotizing when looking through my polarized sunglasses. Being able to see dolphins, manatees and sea turtles in the bay only adds to the experience for visiting and local anglers. And did I mention the fishing is good too? I’m seeing plenty of slot and over-slot trout being reeled to the boat during my morning charters. These trout are a welcome sight as they not only provide good action for the anglers, but they make good table fare, too. This is even more apparent now that snook season is closed.

Speaking of snook, catch-and-release action remains good as these fish are still on the feed in preparation for their trek to the beaches of Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island to begin their spawn. Lastly, I’m seeing greater numbers of Spanish mackerel making a showing, especially around the passes and on the deeper grass flats in the vicinity of the passes. Small live shiners on a longshank hook are a great way to catch these high-speed fish. And if you’re in a school of them, small white or pink jigs will work just as well. That way you can save your shiners for targeting snook and trout.