Fishing Report July 8, 2020

Fishing around Anna Maria Island remains consistent and is improving as we are on the tail end of the full moon. With strong tides and clean water, all varieties of fish are finding their way to a baited hook. 

Fishing inshore is producing some sizzling action on catch-and-release snook and trout. Both species are readily feeding and taking the hook in great numbers. 

Spanish mackerel are another species being caught frequently, especially now the large schools of hatch bait have arrived. The highlight of the week is the arrival of mangrove snapper. Again, triggered by the hatch bait these popular fish have infested every bit of structure in Tampa Bay and are flooding over onto the grass flats. 

Moving offshore, American red snapper are the dominant bite. Limits of these fish are being caught daily. Mixed in with the ARs are yellowtail and mangrove snapper as well as red and gag grouper. Some large permit are being caught while offshore, too

On my Southernaire charters, I’m enjoying seeing many mangrove snapper being reeled up. Using small shiners as bait, the snapper just can’t resist to bite the hook. Fishing structure is working well, although I’m seeing plenty being caught on the deeper grass areas, too. 

In the deeper grass areas I’m seeing plenty of catch-and-release spotted seatrout being caught in addition to jack crevalle, ladyfish and Spanish mackerel. Catch-and-release snook fishing is going strong with many catches occurring during morning incoming tides. Outgoing tides are producing good action in areas where deep water is present close to shorelines where oyster bars or mangroves exist. 

Despite all of the good fishing occurring, I would steer clear or Sarasota Bay for a while. Evidently, another sewage leak has occurred, which according to the DEP has released 26-28 million gallons of raw sewage into the mangroves and into the bay. Although the pipe is now repaired it managed to leak raw sewage from June 17 to June 30. What a disappointment. These mistakes that keep occurring are unacceptable and hopefully whoever is responsible for them will be held accountable to the fullest extent. When is this going to end? People come to our area for the environment — the bays, beaches, wildlife and habitat. When the flora and fauna are finally ruined from misuse and lack of management where will we be? What an unfortunate occurrence. Utterly disgraceful.