Fishing around Anna Maria Island is still managing to be good despite red tide
Take notice that at its September meeting in Tallahassee the FWC directed staff to expand the recent catch-and-release only law for snook and redfish to include all of Tampa Bay — including all of Manatee and Hillsborough counties as well as Pinellas and Pasco counties starting Friday September 28. FWC has also extended this laws through May 10, 2019.
Now that you’re aware of the closure, we can talk about what’s biting. Of course, snook and redfish are being caught quite regularly in southern Tampa Bay. Schooling redfish are being fond frequently with some schools exceeding a couple hundred or more. As for the snook shallow flats around mangrove points and oyster bars are proving to be quite good.
Spotted seatrout are being caught on many of the deeper grass areas on the eastern portion of southern Tampa Bay. The same applies for mangrove snapper and Spanish mackerel. Numerous jack crevalle have moved into the area, which can add some excitement to the bite as they are quite powerful for their size.
On my Southernaire charters, as sporadic as they may be this month, I’m finding plenty of catch-and-release action on snook and redfish. Casting live shiners around docks or mangrove edges is producing action on both species. Most redfish being caught are slot-size, which are being measured and release. As for the snook, most are falling 20-30 inches, again measured and released.
When I’m looking for fish for dinner, I’m hunting mangrove snapper and Spanish mackerel. Fishing structure such as reefs and wrecks in Tampa Bay is producing decent numbers of both species for my clients.