Winds and rough seas require change in tactics to find shelter, fish

With another week of strong winds and rough seas, determined anglers fishing the waters around Anna Maria Island are having to use their know-how in finding sheltered areas to fish.

Finding the shelters areas that are out of the wind is easy. The hard part is finding the areas which are also holding fish. 

Targeting snook and redfish on shallow flats adjacent to mangrove shorelines is working well. Deeper flats, in areas where the waters are clear and not stirred up by the wind are holding good numbers of spotted seatrout. You may also encounter species such as Spanish mackerel, jack crevalle and ladyfish which add a nice balance to the bite. 

On days when the winds are from the east, venturing into the Gulf of Mexico is feasible. Fishing within a mile of shore is resulting in catches of Spanish mackerel and ladyfish as well as cobia.

On days when the winds are light and seas are calm, offshore fishers are venturing to depths of 100 feet where they are finding some red grouper as well as mangrove and yellowtail snapper. 

Migratory species — blackfin tuna and kingfish — are being caught in areas where structure such as reefs or wrecks are present.

On my Just Reel charter, I’m hiding from the wind along mangrove shorelines in Tampa Bay and its adjacent waters. Spotted seatrout action remains quite good. Limits and then some are attainable during my morning fishing trips. Mixed in are large Spanish mackerel as well as jack crevalle and ladyfish. Snook fishing is also going well. Many snook being caught are measuring 20-26 inches, as well as a few slot-size snook here and there.

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