With numerous days being quite windy, most fishing occurring around Anna Maria Island is taking place inshore.
Fishing the flats of Anna Maria Sound with live shiners as bait is producing a good variety of catch-and-release species such as snook, redfish and trout. For the snook and reds, fishers are casting free-lined shiners along mangrove shorelines and oyster bars during higher stages of the tide. For the spotted seatrout, moving out to slightly deeper areas, where lush grass and good tidal flow occur, is proving to be good.
This springtime action can be as good as it gets as these species are readily feeding. On cooler days, it’s probably best to wait until the afternoon when the sun has had a chance to slightly warm up the shallow waters of the grass flats that these fish inhabit. Also, you’ll see the snook and reds strike more aggressively as the water temps rise.
For those looking for a meal, the sheepshead bite is where it’s at. Fishing structure, whether that be on piers, bridges or reefs and wrecks is producing good numbers of these tasty fish. Using live shrimp as bait is producing the most numbers of sheepies. While targeting sheepshead, you may also find some snapper and grunts mixed in, especially when fishing reefs and wrecks.