Fishing Report May 4, 2022

Cool breezes, clear waters perfect recipe for fishing success

With light winds and calm waters fishers are swarming to the water to cast a line. 

Whether it be from shore, from piers or from a boat, anglers getting out on the water surrounding Anna Maria are being rewarded with crystal clear waters, cool light breezes and some pretty doggone good fishing. 

Along the beaches, anglers casting small jigs into the surf are encountering a variety of species including pompano, jack crevalle, ladyfish and whiting. Tipping the jigs with a small piece of fresh-cut shrimp is always advantageous. The scent of shrimp combined with the jig is usually a good bet when hoping to hook into a pompano. 

Those fishing off piers and docks are finding action on snook and redfish. Both are being caught using live shrimp or shiners as bait. 

And those fishing from a boat are finding as many fish as their knowledge allows them. Fishing the inshore waters east of Anna Maria Island is proving to be good for a variety of species. Snook and redfish are being found around the shallows in areas where mangroves and oyster bars exist. 

Fishing slightly deeper over lusg green flats of Tampa Bay is a sure-fire way to find some spotted seatrout action. And, in the same areas, don’t be surprised encounter Spanish mackerel jack crevalle and ladyfish. You’ll know the mackerel are there the first time you get a hit and reel in a hookless leader. The razor-sharp teeth of the macks can slice through a 30-pound fluorocarbon leader like butter. In fact, their teeth are so sharp that sometimes the unsuspecting angler will be unaware that they even had a bite. 

Moving out of the bay and into the Gulf of Mexico, anglers working offshore are being rewarded with migratory species including kingfish, Spanish mackerel, bonito, blackfin tuna and cobia. Most of this action is occurring over wrecks and reefs. Bottom fishing over hard bottom areas is proving to be good for mangrove and yellowtail snapper as well as a variety of groupers.

On my Just Reel fishing charters, I am finding plenty of action for my clients in Tampa Bay. Targeting snook on the flats is proving to be a crowd-pleaser. Rallies of snook 20-26 inches are common. I’m also seeing a few slot-sized fish in the mix. Redfish are also being caught, although not like the snook. I’m finding random reds while snook fishing along the mangrove edges and around docks. 

Targeting spotted seatrout is proving to be quite fun. These fish are abundant on many flats in the bay and are ideal for anglers who wish to take home a fish or two for dinner. 

Mixed in with the trout are Spanish mackerel as well as jack crevalle and ladyfish.