Fishing around Anna Maria Island remains consistent — at least for now.
With red tide devastating the waters south of Sarasota down to Charlotte Harbor it’s as if a grey cloud looms over us.
Every day I wonder if it’s going to find its way up here. But, as for now, it hasn’t, and the fishing is good.
Most action being reported is occurring in the bays and Intracoastal Waterway. This is due to the rough seas and numerous rainstorms we are experiencing. In the calm backwaters of Tampa Bay spotted seatrout are in abundance.
While targeting these fish, you can expect to hook into Spanish mackerel, ladyfish and mangrove snapper. And, speaking of mangrove snapper, the bite is very strong right now. These fish have migrated into the inland waters in great numbers and are on the feed. Try fishing around structure — piers, docks, bridges and rock piles for good results. And don’t rule out the deeper grass flats, especially where schooling hatch bait is present. Mangrove snapper love to eat these small bite-size shiners and a lot of times, if the bait is present you can bet you’ll find some snapper.
On the shallower grass flats, catch-and-release snook fishing is providing some decent actions — especially during the higher tide stages. You might encounter a few redfish, as they seem to be slowly arriving back in our local waters. Look for mangrove edges and oyster bars to target the snook and reds.
Lastly, on calmer days with light breezes it’s worth taking a peek in the Gulf of Mexico for some reef action. The artificial reefs should be host to a variety of fish including snappers, grunts, mackerel, flounder and barracuda. Take some extra hatch bait out with you to these areas and chum heavily. You might be surprised by the results.