Avoid thunderstorm storms, red tide for fishing success

With a combination of numerous thunderstorms and toxic levels of red tide present in our local waters, finding a window of opportunity to go fishing around Anna Maria Island is proving to be challenging at best. 

But, don’t be discouraged. 

The rains will subside, and, as for the red tide you’ll just need to search for areas where clean water exists. If you can find these areas, there’s a good bet you’ll find some action. 

Fishing inshore is producing catches of a variety of species including mangrove snapper and Spanish mackerel. You should also encounter the catch-and-release trio — snook, redfish and spotted seatrout. All of these fish mentioned are susceptible to live bait offerings of live shiners. Shrimp could probably work too, although with the abundance of pinfish throughout the flats of Tampa Bay, you might find yourself going through vast amounts of these small crustaceans. 

If you don’t want to deal with having to fish inshore in these conditions, there’s always the offshore alternative. Fishing offshore in the Gulf of Mexico is providing great action on a variety of both migratory and bottom species. Amberjack and blackfin tuna are being reported. And, for the bottom fishing, red grouper, mangrove snapper and yellowtail snapper are keeping anglers busy. The offshore waters are free of red tide which is causing these fish to flourish. And hopefully they will flourish right on your hook. 

On my own charters, I’m finding catch-and-release action on snook, redfish and spotted seatrout fairly consistent. It’s August, so the water temps are high, which is triggering an early bite. It seems after 10:30 or 11:00 the bite is fading. Most mornings, the first couple of hours my trips are quite active, as I’m seeing many mangrove snapper being caught on the flats while we’re targeting snook and reds. This is nice for anglers who wish to bring home some fish for dinner. 

On a final note, Capt. Aaron Lowman is making progress in his recovery from a brain aneurysm he suffered on May 13. Through physical therapy Aaron is improving on his motor skills. He can stand and walk and is able to converse with his family. It’s expected that he will be returning home soon, although he still has many hurdles to overcome. Godspeed my friend. 

Be sure to attend the benefit for Aaron at the Island Community Center on August 21 at 6 PM.

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