Despite the dark cloud of Coronavirus looming over our heads, those willing to get out and go fishing are reaping the rewards of the springtime bite around Anna Maria Island.
Fishing inshore is heating up, especially for catch-and-release species such as snook, redfish and spotted seatrout.
While fishing the flats and casting live shiners where mangroves and oyster bars exist, the snook and redfish action is quite good. Specifically targeting the catch-and-release reds is also good when fishing canals and docks. In this scenario, live shrimp is the best bait. And in these areas, there’s also a chance of catching some late season sheepshead as well as black drum — which gives the angler the option of taking a fish home for dinner if they so desire.
Moving offshore, the springtime bite is following suit. Migratory species — kingfish, amberjack and cobia — are being caught with regularity. Blackfin tuna are in the mix, as well as some bonito, sharks and permit.
Bottom fishing offshore is good right now with numerous red grouper and mangrove snapper being reeled up from the depths.
On my own Southernaire charters, I am concentrating on fishing the flats. On the deeper grass flats, catch-and-release spotted seatrout are attainable. Catching 20 or 30 trout in a morning charter is occurring — not to mention the other species mixed in. Jack crevalle, ladyfish and Spanish mackerel are prowling the flats in search of a tasty morsel. These species add a welcome variety to the trout bite.
Fishing shallow flats along the mangrove shorelines is providing great action for my clients. Catch-and-release snook are being accommodating with some catch-and-release redfish mixed in.