Dodge pop-up thunderstorms to hook up inshore, offshore

For anglers who don’t mind dodging a few thunderstorms, fishing around Anna Maria Island is producing some good action.

Fishing in and around Tampa Bay offers good inshore action on a number of species — the most predominant bite happening over structure. 

Anchoring and chumming is bringing Spanish mackerel and mangrove snapper to the boat. This bite is good for those who just have to bring something home to eat. 

For sport anglers who are just looking for action, catch-and-release spotted seatrout are a good bet. 

Fishing over deep grass flats in Tampa Bay, or any of its adjacent waters to the south and east is yielding a good trout bite. And what’s even better: There are plenty of ladyfish and macks mixed in with this bite for a little variety.

Catch-and-release snook fishing is producing action, especially along the beaches. Look for schools of snook cruising the shorelines during calm periods of the day — mornings and evenings are best.

Moving offshore, mangrove and yellowtail snapper are keeping the offshore fishers happy. Both provide good action on medium spinning tackle and are great on the plate. Permit fishing is good, especially over some of the offshore wrecks. Fish 10-20 pounds are being reported. 

Lastly, amberjack are again open to harvest, which creates a new target for offshore anglers.

On my Southernaire charters, I’m spending time fishing over structure in Tampa Bay where Spanish mackerel and mangrove snapper are taking the bait from my clients. Free-lining live shiners on an Eagle Claw Aberdeen hook is producing the best bite. 

Moving to the flats, I’m enjoying putting anglers on catch-and-release spotted seatrout. Mixed in with the trout are ladyfish, mackerel and a handful of mangrove snapper for the cooler, which keeps my clients happy. 

Getting on the shallow flats of 3 feet or less during the high tides is yielding some decent-sized catch-and-release snook and redfish.