With frequent windy days the fish that inhabit the waters surrounding Anna Maria Island are getting a brief hiatus from the masses of anglers that flock to the area in the springtime.
Numerous days with gusty winds exceeding 20 mph or more, are keeping all but the diehard anglers off the water in anticipation of the calmer, more comfortable days of April to arrive. During the small gaps during the week when the wind isn’t blowing, fishing inshore throughout our local waters is proving to be exceptional. Snook fishing is quite easy at the moment, which indicates we have a healthy population of fish. Many snook measuring 18-25 inches are being caught, which instills that there will be many fish in our waters in the future. Of course, this is reliant on avoiding severe red tide invading our waters, but it’s always good to be optimistic.
Spotted seatrout are quite abundant throughout Tampa Bay and its small bays to the southeast. Deep grass flats during swift incoming tides are providing great action on these popular backcountry fish. As for the redfish, they seems to be frequenting mangrove shorelines where oyster bars are present. Many are large, over-slot fish, although some smaller ones are present, too. Spanish mackerel are making a showing throughout Tampa Bay, especially over structure where bait schools are present. Look for shorebirds diving into the bait schools and you should find the mackerel.
Lastly, we are waiting to see the arrival of kingfish, although with numerous windy and rough seas, getting out into the Gulf to look for them is proving to be challenging at best.
On my Just Reel charters, fishing the flats of Tampa Bay is keeping me busy. Snook fishing is proving to be as good as it gets in a lot of areas with catches of 20-30 snook in a morning being common.
The same applies for spotted seatrout. Many trout being caught are in the slot of 15-19 inches, with quite a few exceeding this. While targeting trout we’re also encountering ladyfish, jack crevalle and some large-sized Spanish mackerel. The mackerel seem to be rogue fish, as I’m only seeing a random one being caught among the trout. What’s exciting is these solitary macks are big, with some reaching 28 inches in length. Lastly, I’m seeing some redfish being caught while targeting snook close to the mangroves.