With air temps in the high 80s to low 90s and water temps to match, fishing remains consistent around Anna Maria Island. You just need to time it right.
Try to find good flowing tides during around sunrise to maximize your chances of having a successful fishing trip. With water temps and air temps slightly cooler during the early morning, you may find the fish to be more active then at three in the afternoon in the hot sun. This is especially imperative if you’re fishing the flats.
If you can’t make it out that early, then you’ll want to try fishing deeper water. In the depths the water will remain consistently cooler, which in theory, means the inhabitants should be active throughout the day.
If you’re inshore try fishing the reefs and wrecks in Tampa Bay for snapper. If you’re traveling offshore, your opportunities are endless. Although, bear in mind that during the summer months, you may encounter large predators such a sharks and barracuda while offshore. These ambush-predators are well-versed in eating a fish at the end of your lure — why pass up an easy meal right?
If you’re inshore on the flats in the early morning hours you can expect to encounter some catch-and-release species — snook redfish and trout. There are also plenty of mangrove snapper inhabiting the inshore waters right now — they’re actually everywhere. Whether it be around structure or on the flats you’ll probably hook a few. In deeper areas of the inshore waters, you can expect to see some jack crevalle, Spanish mackerel and ladyfish.
Moving offshore, yellowtail snapper seem to be the main attraction for those wanting to catch fish to eat. Mangrove snapper are available too, as well as red grouper, blackfin tuna and amberjack.
On my own Southernaire charters, I am seeing limits of mangrove snapper being caught. Most of which are occurring while we are targeting catch-and-release snook. The snapper are 10-14 inches — with most right in the middle. As for the snook early morning fishing is yielding good numbers, but as the day wears on and the heat intensifies, the snook are becoming slightly lazy and less apt to bite. When this occurs, I’m moving to deeper flats to target catch-and-release spotted seatrout, which are cooperating nicely.
In between trout bites we are catching ladyfish, mackerel and jack crevalle.