Although red tide still lingers in Tampa Bay to the north and Sarasota Bay to the south, the waters in the immediate area of Anna Maria Island remain fishable.
The waters around Bean Point, Passage and Egmont keys are mostly clear, which is providing sanctuary for numerous fish fleeing red tide. The waters of Terra Ceia Bay and the mouth of the Manatee River seem to be tolerable to most species of fish, too.
As far as fishing goes, many anglers are opting to venture into the Gulf of Mexico in search of clean water and good fishing. Reports from offshore include catches of red grouper as well as numerous red, mangrove and yellowtail snappers.
Migratory species such as Spanish mackerel and bonito are also being found frequently in the Gulf.
Fishing inshore waters is proving to be challenging, although there are still fish to be caught. Catch-and-release snook fishing is proving to be the best bite, especially during early morning tides when the water is slightly cooler than during the heat of the day. Spotted seatrout are being caught, as well as mangrove snapper and Spanish mackerel.
On my charters I’m following that same pattern. Catch-and-release snook fishing is producing the most action for me and my clients. I’m also seeing many mangrove snapper being caught while snook fishing. This adds a little variety to the bite, as well as gives folks the option to take a couple fish home for dinner.
Catch-and-release spotted seatrout are being caught, although most catches this week or falling just below 15 inches.
Lastly, fishing over wrecks and reefs in southern Tampa Bay is providing action on Spanish mackerel and jack crevalle.