Fishing around Anna Maria Island remains steady, although dodging the frequent thunderstorms is making access to the water a toss-up.
Most morning are proving to be clear of rain, which is providing a window to get out and attempt to do some fishing.
Afternoon fishing is slightly different as large thunderstorms move west after building throughout the day. The storms have proven to be quite intense, so always keep a watchful eye on the horizon.
Inshore fishing during the morning hours is providing action on a variety of species. Catch-and-release snook fishing is still going strong. Areas where clean, clear water exists as well as good tidal flow seems to be producing the best action. Mangrove shorelines and oyster bars are a good environment to fish, too. Spotted Seatrout are cooperating nicely during moving tides. Deeper grass flats in 3-7 feet of water are holding the greatest concentrations of trout.
Mangrove snapper are beginning to show on the deeper grass, which is a welcome sight. It’s always a bonus to add some snapper to the cooler when you’re trout fishing. And, if you don’t find the snapper on the flats, try fishing any structure in Tampa Bay — wrecks and artificial reefs are great places to start. Bridges are also a hotspot for the snapper.
Moving offshore, reports of American red snapper are the most apparent. Limits of these aggressive snappers are being caught without too much effort. Of course, traveling out to depths of 100 feet or more requires some effort — also quite a bit of fuel. But. it’s worth it when you sit down for a nice dinner of red snapper fillets.
On my own charters, I’m seeing plenty of catch-and-release snook coming to the boat, with most catches 20-30 inches. I’m also seeing some redfish mixed in with the linesiders. Spotted seatrout are quite abundant on the flats. Limits are being caught daily with many more being released.
And, finally, the mangrove snapper are showing on the flats where the trout are. This adds some nice variety to the cooler.