Afternoon storms flush the catch-and-release trio out of the river and to the hook

With numerous days of afternoon thunderstorms, fishing around Anna Maria Island remains consistent for yet another week despite the fresh water draining out of the Manatee River.

The fresh water is pushing catch-and-release species —trout redfish and snook — into Anna Maria Sound. Patrolling these areas around the mouth of the river is advantageous in September when we experience a lot of rainfall, because its possible to find good concentrations of fish during these periods.

Schooling redfish are being found in this manner as well as some large schools of snook. The reds are on the feed, but for the snook you may have to experiment a little. Some groups of fish I’ve located won’t eat, while others are more than happy to take a bait. When you run across the stubborn ones, you’ll know it. Give them a few casts and if they don’t take a shiner with a hook in it, move on.

Spotted seatrout are being found throughout Anna Maria sound especially over deep grass flats. Rallies of 20-30 trout without even pulling the anchor are attainable.

Moving offshore, amberjack are being caught in good numbers, which is well-suited for anglers who wish to go head-to-head with strong fighting fish.

For the dinner table, there are plenty of yellowtail and mangrove snapper being caught.

On my own Southernaire charters, the inshore action on deep grass areas is proving to be quite good. Ladyfish, jack crevalle and bluefish are filling the gaps between hooking into catch-and-release spotted seatrout. This action results in practically every cast resulting in a fish. The catch-and-release snook action is remaining consistent, depending on what schools of snook you’re fishing. Some are cooperative, while others are being extremely stubborn. Lastly, I’m still seeing mangrove snapper around structure in Tampa Bay.

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