Inshore, offshore action as hot as July temps
Capt. Danny Stasny
Just Reel Fishing Charters
With the heat index exceeding 100 degrees, you would think it would deter people from participating in outdoor activities, but this does not apply to Anna Maria anglers.
Reports from inshore and offshore captains are assuring that despite the heat there are plenty of fish to be caught.
The crystal clear inshore waters of Tampa Bay south to Sarasota Bay are host to a vast variety of species. On the shallower flats, during early morning hours, anglers are enjoying action on catch-and-release snook as well as a handful of redfish.
Moving to the deeper flats is producing action, especially on spotted seatrout, mackerel, ladyfish, jack crevalle and mangrove snapper.
The mangrove snapper are finally moving into the inshore waters and in good numbers as they follow the schools of hatch bait. Reefs, wrecks and piers are safe havens for these tasty fish and are a good bet to try if you fancy a snapper dinner.
Moving offshore, American red snapper are the crowd-pleaser for yet another week. Limits of these fish being caught when venturing out into the gulf in depths of 150-feet or more. Red and gag grouper are present while offshore and are accepting live or frozen bait offerings. Pelagics finish out the bite with species such as wahoo, kingfish and amberjack are being caught.
Lastly, as we reach the hottest days of the year, remember to stay hydrated while you’re out fishing. Shade is also a plus when it’s available as well as a hat and some polarized sunglasses. Lathering on some 100 SPF sunscreen isn’t a bad idea, either.
On my Just Reel charters I am happy to see numerous mangrove snapper being reeled to the boat while fishing the deep grass flats of Tampa Bay. Using a No. 4 hook and light fluorocarbon leader combined with a small live shiner, my clients are enjoying catching limits of these feisty fish. When fishing the flats most catches are 12-14 inches but the ferocity of these fish combined with light spinning gear is proving to be quite entertaining.
Spotted seatrout are present on the deeper flats as well as some Spanish, mackerel, ladyfish and jack crevalle. After getting our fill of these species, we’re heading to the mangroves to target catch-and-release snook. This bite is consistent during swift moving tides with most catches measuring 20-30 inches.
Lastly, there are plenty of sharks patrolling the beaches and passes which are exciting for visiting anglers wanting to hook into something big.