Lower temps doesn’t cool off hot fall fishing action

Anglers fishing around Anna Maria Island are enjoying a variety of inshore and offshore fishing as well as some cooler weather. 

While fishing inshore, the lush grass flats that are present in our waters offer up some great action on catch-and-release species — snook, redfish and spotted seatrout. Live shiners are in abundance, which is triggering these species to inhabit the flats, gorging themselves in preparation for the approaching winter. 

Migratory species — Spanish mackerel, jack crevalle and ladyfish are following suit. These predators can be found on the flats, but more consistently will be found in slightly deeper water in Tampa Bay.

Targeting structure is especially smart when looking for the Spanish mackerel. And speaking of structure, don’t hesitate to try some bottom fishing for mangrove snapper. They are still some in Tampa Bay waiting to be caught before the water temps really begin to drop. 

Moving offshore, yellowtail and mangrove snapper are being caught with regularity. You can also expect to find some red grouper. Migratory fish — kingfish and cobia — are being encountered while fishing offshore wrecks and reefs.

On my Southernaire fishing charters, I’ve been concentrating on catch-and-release action on the flats for snook, redfish and spotted seatrout. Numerous windy days has kept me from open waters due to choppy conditions less favorable for fishing. Luckily the backwater bite is still going strong. 

Numerous catch-and-release are being caught on free-lined live shiners. I’m seeing catch-and-release redfish mixed in with the snook bite, especially along mangrove shorelines. The catch-and-release spotted seatrout are also producing good action over the deeper grass areas of Tampa Bay. Trout up to 20 inches are being caught.

On the calmer days, I’m managing to get out in the Gulf of Mexico over the artificial reefs to target Spanish mackerel and blacktip sharks. Both are proving to be quite accommodating for my clients.