Fishing in August around Anna Maria Island is requiring patience and tolerance to the heat.
Fishing the inshore waters of Tampa Bay is slightly challenging as water temperatures hover in the mid- to upper 80s, which causes the bite to slow down.
Spotted seatrout are the most consistent bite and even they are requiring some work to get on the hook. Fishing swift moving tides early in the morning is working best. The same scenario applies for the snook. Getting a good tide during the first couple hours of daylight can provide you with the best chances of hooking up.
As a day progresses and the heat gets intense, try moving to deeper water in the bay to find a more consistent bite. Fishing reefs and wrecks is advantageous as you may find mangrove snapper and Spanish mackerel in these areas. If you fancy bigger fish, you can try targeting sharks along the Gulf beaches. These fish are plentiful and don’t seem to mind the warmer water temps, especially when a nice, fresh-cut piece of Spanish mackerel is dangled in front of their nose.
Moving offshore, snapper are the most consistent action. American red, mangrove and yellowtail are the stars of the show. The American reds are responding to live and frozen baits. As for the mangoes and yellowtails, small live shiners are working best. While offshore, you may encounter red and gag grouper as well as an occasional cobia.