Springtime fishing patterns are settling in nicely throughout the waters surrounding Anna Maria Island.
Inshore fishing is becoming quite satisfying when targeting the inshore trio of snook, redfish and spotted seatrout. Other species — jack crevalle, Spanish mackerel and ladyfish — are thriving throughout the Intracoastal waters creating a variety of species to be caught.
Don’t forget, March is a great month for pompano, which are yet another species to target. Most of these species —excluding the pompano — are being caught using live shiners as bait. As for the pompano, you’ll want to have a couple dozen shrimp handy in case you can run across them. And, if you have some live shrimp don’t hesitate to anchor over some structure in either Tampa Bay or the Gulf of Mexico and try your luck for some late season sheepshead.
Moving offshore, permit are demanding the most attention. Anglers casting live crabs over wrecks and reefs are finding success with these elusive fish. Bottom fishing in depths less than 120 feet of water is yielding some red grouper as well as mangrove and vermilion snappers.
Lastly, if you’re looking to get your arms worn out you can target amberjack around the offshore springs.
On my own Just Reel charters, spotted seatrout and snook are dominating the bite for my clients. For the trout, fishing over deep grass flats in 4-6 feet of water is working well. Mixed in are jack crevalle, ladyfish and Spanish mackerel which adds a nice variety to the bite.
As for the snook, shallow flats around mangroves are a good bet. I’m also seeing a mixed bag of redfish and flounder when targeting the snook.