Just Reel Fishing Charters: Anna Maria Island Fishing Report November 9, 2022

Fish on fall feed despite summer-like temps

Fishing the waters surrounding Anna Maria Island with Just Reel Fishing Charters is on an upward swing as we move through fall. 

Although recent temperatures in the mid to upper 80s doesn’t feel like fall, the fish sure are on their fall feed.

I’m sure they sense something — like winter is just around the corner — and that sense is triggering them to feed more frequently to pack on the extra pounds to prepare for a comfortable winter when food becomes scarce.

Inshore Action

Throughout the inland waters — the bays, rivers and estuaries — snook, redfish and spotted seatrout are being caught frequently. Live shiners as bait is working wonderfully, although when these fish are feeding heavily, it’s always fun to try artificials such as topwater plugs or soft plastics on a jig head. And for those who appreciate some punishment, fly fishing is an option. 

Along with the inshore trio of snook, redfish and trout, flats fishers can count on encountering a variety of species in depths slightly deeper than the flats.

Working Structure in Tampa Bay

Around structure in Tampa Bay, Spanish mackerel are proving to be a worthy adversary on medium spinning gear. Add some jack crevalle and ladyfish to the mix and you can get your arms worn out in a hurry.

While you’re over the structure, don’t forget to pull out the heavy tackle and try dropping a hand-sized live pinfish down to the bottom. Gag grouper are lurking in these areas and have a hard time resisting such an offering.

Moving offshore, migratory species — kingfish, amberjack, blackfin tuna and sailfish are being caught. Trolling or free-lining baits on the surface is resulting in strikes from any or all of these species. 

Bottom Fishing

Bottom fishing is proving to put “meat in the box.” Gag grouper are the most prevalent, although some red grouper are also being caught. Mangrove snapper and yellowtail snapper are also a good bet.

On my Just Reel fishing charters, I’m seeing good action on the flats during swift moving tides. Fishing around oyster bars —where a lot of mullet are present — is yielding some snook and redfish. Free-lining live shiners on the edges of the oyster bars among the mullet is working best. 

On the deeper flats, spotted seatrout are being cooperative. A mix of slot-fish and fish slightly under-slot have been the norm on my charters. There’s also some big jacks patrolling the flats which are quite entertaining.


Visit https://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/ for salt water regulations.