Weather, fish falling into normal summertime pattern
Falling into our typical summertime pattern of calm east breezes in the morning followed by thunderstorms in the evening is proving to provide excellent fishing around Anna Maria Island.
Inshore fishing is providing good action on spotted seatrout and catch-and-release snook. Deep grass flats are holding many trout of all sizes. For the snook, try fishing around the passes and beaches to find good action. And speaking of the beaches, tarpon fishing is getting good — especially with the calm clear water we have now. Look for migratory fish cruising the beaches and the passes.
Moving offshore are a variety of species — mangrove snapper, American red snapper, gag grouper, cobia and permit. For the mangoes and gags, reefs and wrecks are proving to be good. Wrecks are also holding the cobia and permit. If its red snapper you fancy, try fishing hard bottom and ledges in depths of 100 feet or more.
On my Southernaire charters, I’m putting clients on many catch-and-release snook. Most catches are falling between 20-30 inches. Live shiners are proving to be the best bait on the flats and in the passes. Spotted seatrout are also keeping my clients busy. Free-lined shiners — with the addition of a small split shot — cast over deep grass areas are quickly being eaten by hungry trout. A lot of small, under-slot trout are present in these areas but so are the 18- to 20-inch fish. You just have to catch a lot of trout to yield a limit. Spanish mackerel, small blacktip sharks and ladyfish are present in these areas which provides a nice variety for my anglers.