Patience and endurance needed to brave the heat, get hookups
By Capt. Danny Stasny – Just Reel Fishing Charters
Fishing around Anna Maria Island is rewarding for anglers with enough patience and endurance brave the heat.
For anglers wishing to stock up on some fillets, the offshore bite is where it’s at.
The American red snapper bite is going strong with limits of fish being reported daily on offshore fishing charters. This bite is occurring well offshore in depths of 150-feet or more, which requires some dedication on the part of the angler.
Those willing to spend eight or ten hours on the boat are being rewarded with many fish dinners.
While offshore, a variety of other species are being caught including red grouper, mangrove and yellowtail snapper, mahi and blackfin tuna.
And if you’re lucky enough to come back to the dock with all of the species mentioned, then spending numerous hours on the boat in the heat is worth it.
The inshore bite — although slightly more challenging — is producing action for anglers who wish to stay a little closer inshore and only a few hours on the water.
Catch-and-release snook fishing is fairly consistent as long as you can be the first one to a spot. You may encounter a redfish or two while targeting snook along the shallow flats adjacent to the mangroves.
On the deeper flats, spotted seatrout are available to be caught. And, mixed in with the trout are numerous mangrove snapper, which are always a welcome addition to the cooler. Spanish mackerel, ladyfish and jacks are also a possibility in these areas, which add a nice variety to the bite.
On my Just Reel fishing charters, we are catching a fair amount of catch-and-release snook — measuring 20-30 inches — while working the shallow grass flats of Tampa Bay. Some chumming of live shiners is helping to get these fish motivated to take a bait.
On the deeper grass flats, I am finding mangrove snapper and spotted seatrout, which can be kept for dinner if my clients desire to do so.