Pick your days to fish to find success

 Inshore fishing around Anna Maria Island is following its typical summertime pattern. 

Early morning fishing on the flats is proving to be worthwhile for catch-and-release species such as snook and redfish. 

I think picking your days to fish key in finding success. Try to pick days when there are swift moving tides, corresponding with low light conditions during the early morning hours. During these times, water temps are slightly cooler which seems to trigger the inshore species to feed. Combining this fish good tidal flow can result in some great summertime action on the flats. As the day progresses, and the heat settles in, you’ll probably notice the shallow areas where snook and redfish forage will not be as productive as the cooler hours of the morning. 

The reason? It’s just too darn hot. In this scenario if you’re still out and willing to brave the heat, then I suggest moving to deeper water to target species such as mangrove snapper and grouper as well as migratory fish such as mackerel and jacks. Down deeper, the water temps remain cooler, which in turn allows these bottom dwellers like the snapper and grouper to remain motivated to eat. If you can venture offshore — to depths of 80-100 feet — you’ll find the fish much more accommodating than the inshore fish. 

Lastly, keep in mind that with the hottest days of the year there’s potential for some pop-up thunderstorms. Always keep an eye on the sky to prevent being trapped by one of the storms. Calm conditions can switch to rough waters in a second when you’re out there especially offshore. And the storms usually contain lightning which is quite startling when you’re out on a boat. That being said, consider your safety and the safety of your passengers and do the best you can do to avoid these thunderstorms.