Fishing Report August 17, 2022

Good tidal flow important as water temps rise

By Capt. Danny Stasny

Just Reel Fishing Charters

Fishing success around Anna Maria Island is becoming greatly dependent on tidal flow, as our surrounding waters are reaching temperatures of 88 degrees. 

This is especially apparent on days when the weaker tides exist, as you’ll notice the fish not quite as motivated as they could be. 

It’s best to pick your days by watching your tide chart to determine which times and days have strong tidal flow, which can greatly influence the bite in turn, determining whether you have a good day or bad day at fishing. 

You can also go as far as trying to time the best tides in correspondence with low light hours in the early morning. This tends to be conducive when targeting snook in the shallow grass flats. When fishing shallow flats of 2-3 feet, you’ll notice the water temp can be very similar to the air temp. That being said, the cooler hours just before and after sunrise can be peak feeding times for these shallow water fish. 

As a day progresses, the shallow waters will heat up to the point where snook are forced to retreat into the shade among the mangrove roots which makes them harder to target. And by this point, you may find them not motivated to eat as they are simply on siesta in the shade taking refuge from the heat. 

Now that we’ve established that fishing the shallows is best in low light during a good tide, the question is what to do after it gets hot out. 

The answer is try fishing deeper water where temperatures remain slightly cooler. Spotted seatrout on the deeper grass flats of 6-8 feet of water is a good bet. Or try targeting mangrove snapper around some of your favorite reefs or wrecks. There is a good chance you’ll find the deeper fish slightly more motivated in the heat of the day as they comfortably roam around their deep water hideouts. And again, bear in mind the movement of the tide. It may not be as apparent as it is in the shallows but it will play a factor on the bite.

On my Just Reel fishing charters, I’m finding good action during the early morning hours just after sunrise and around the full moon. Spotted seatrout and snook are feeding on shallow grass flats with some ferocity. Free-lined live shiners are quickly being inhaled by both species. 

Mangrove snapper are in on the action and are being caught in between snook and trout bites. 

As the shallow water bite decreases as the temperature increases, I am moving to deeper grass flats where a good tidal flow exists. In these areas, I’m finding more spotted seatrout as well as Spanish mackerel, ladyfish and jack crevalle. 

Lastly, for entertainment purposes I’m finding 5-6 foot blacktip sharks along the beaches for my clients to enjoy.

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