Just Reel Fishing Charters: Anna Maria Island Fishing Report February 22, 2023

Windy days causes anglers to switch tactics for hookups

With moderately strong winds prevailing for numerous days in a row, Anna Maria anglers find themselves migrating to calmer waters in the back bays and Intracoastal Waterway. 

And with water temperature is warming up between the fronts, targeting catch-and-release snook is possible in the shallows, especially around mangrove islands during afternoon tides. The use of live shiners as bait is becoming working as we near spring. Many anglers claim the shiners are working best during the afternoon and evening tides when the water on the flats has had its fullest potential to warm up.

Taking shelter from the winds can be attained by fishing canals and docks. In these areas, redfish, black drum and sheepshead can be caught. When targeting these species you’ll need to switch over to live shrimp as bait as all of these fish find crustaceans delectable.

Drifting and digging in the deeper grass flats in calm areas of the bays is producing action. Casting soft plastics on a jig head or small jig heads tipped with shrimp works well for spotted sea trout. This method of fishing is productive for a number of other species including pompano, jack crevalle and ladyfish. 

Lastly, no matter how hard the wind is blowing, you can always meander out on the Rod & Reel Pier and try your luck at sheepshead fishing. These tasty fish are beginning to show at the pier and can’t wait for you to dangle a plump shrimp or fiddler crab in front of their nose. 

On my Just Reel charters I’m targeting a variety of species depending on where the wind places me throughout our local waters. 

On calmer days, getting into Tampa Bay is proving to be good for sheepshead. On the windier days, trout fishing with DOA Cal jigs is proving to put a bend in the rod for my client. Mixed in with the bite are ladyfish and a few pompano. 

On those super windy days, I’m finding redfish, sheepshead and black drum around the docks.