Fishing offshore, inshore hotter than June temps

Fishing offshore in the Gulf of Mexico is keeping Anna Maria anglers on plenty of fish. 

Offshore captains – David White and Jason Stock are boasting of some of the best offshore fishing occurring in June. Capt. Stock is limiting out daily on American red snapper — as is Capt. White. And, with the wind finally subsiding, both predict the bite to get better as the days in June proceed. Gag grouper are being caught frequently, as well as mangrove and yellowtail snappers. If you’re looking for a fish dinner, this is the bite to be on. But, you better act quickly, as getting a trip with these captains is in high demand. 

Other catches offshore include black grouper and wahoo. Both of these species are tougher to come by in our area of the Gulf, but we can never know what will happen out there, so don’t miss this bite.

Moving inshore, the bite is equally good, although you’ll need to find area is free of Lyngbya or “gumbo” if you plan on finding the action. Snook, spotted seatrout and redfish are reacting nicely to offerings of live shiners as bait. Slow moving tides and clean water are the recipe for success. Snook remain catch-and-release in our whole region, so when you’re catching them, handle them with care. It’s their spawning time. 

If you’re hungry for a fish dinner, mangrove snapper and Spanish mackerel are being found around structure in Tampa Bay as well as in the Gulf of Mexico. Small shiners — or “hatch bait” as we refer to them — are beginning to show on the flats. If you target snapper, you know that the hatch bait is like candy to them. In the weeks to come, we should even start seeing the snapper on the flats as they can’t resist feeding on these tender young baits.

On my own charters, I’m seeing plenty of catch-and-release snook being reeled out of the mangroves. Casting baits among the roots of the mangroves is luring hungry snook out of their hiding places to snack on unsuspecting shiners. I’m also seeing redfish mixed in with this bite, which is encouraging. 

Moving to deeper grass flats is resulting in plenty of keeper-size trout as well as numerous fish over 20 inches. Limits of slot-sized fish are being hooked and many more released after a limit is obtained. 

For anglers who wish to have a fish dinner, mangrove snapper are the popular choice. Fishing structure in Tampa Bay is proving to be good for these tasty fish. While targeting the snapper, I’m seeing my clients hooking into Spanish mackerel, big jack crevalle and juvenile gag grouper.

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