Anna Maria Fishing Report October 28, 2020

Migratory fish invade nearshore waters

Fall fishing in the nearshore waters of the Gulf of Mexico — within a mile of the beach — is yielding some thrilling action for visiting and local anglers.

Spanish mackerel have invaded our waters in large schools ravaging every piece of bait that crosses their path. While targeting macks, you’ll encounter bonito and kingfish. And with all of this commotion occurring, you can guarantee the sharks are not far behind.

Many varieties of shark are being seen and caught. Blacktip, hammerhead, bull and spinner sharks are included in the bite.

Fresh-cut pieces of legal-sized mackerel or chunks or bonito are being eaten within seconds of being cast into the water on a stout shark rig consisting of hard wire and a 6/0 or 8/0 circle hook. This action is some of the most exciting fishing our area has to offer, so don’t miss out.

On my Just Reel fishing charters, I’m enjoying fishing along the beaches on the fall migratory fish bite — Spanish and king mackerel, kingfish bonito and sharks.

Shortly after anchoring, we are witnessing large explosions on the surface of the water, as large sharks are attempting to hunt down and devour the bonito and macks that are feeding on the vast amounts of baits. Casting free-lined shiners into these schools is resulting in immediate hookups. Sometimes there isn’t even enough time to close the bail before receiving a bite. As we are reeling in the macks and bonito they are being attacked by hungry sharks.  Those macks that aren’t getting eaten by the sharks are quickly being released into the ice chest destined to be brined and smoked in preparation for smoked fish dip.

Moving to the flats, catch-and-release action on spotted seatrout is as good as it gets. Free-lining live shiners over the right deep grass flats is resulting in a bite on just about every bait for my clients.