No break in heat, fishing action
Although fishing in July around Anna Maria Island can be productive, high air and water temperatures can deter even the most motivated anglers.
Those willing to brave the heat are scheduling their fishing sessions during the cooler parts of the day. Fishing early morning at first light until 10 or 11 a.m. is advantageous. You may find the fish following suit as they will be slightly more active during the cooler periods of the day.
Don’t forget, tides can play a major role in how the fish bite so try to time your morning excursions in correlation with a swift moving tides. The same applies in the evenings, although water temps will be slightly higher than desired, a swift tide might be enough to get the fish motivated to feed before sunset.
And, don’t forget about night fishing. Targeting catch-and-release snook around the green underwater lights or around the bridges and passes can be quite productive in the dark. Again, you want to time your fishing during the best tides.
Finally, if you’re planning on being out in the heat of the day, make sure to carry an ample amount of water and other rehydrating drinks. Shade is always a good option, too. If no shade is available, which it often isn’t when you’re out on the water, be sure to cover up by wearing a lightweight long-sleeved shirt, hat and sunglasses. The less exposure you have to the sun’s rays the better you’ll feel.
On my own Just Reel charters, I’m trying to get on the waters as early as possible to beat the heat. Flats fishing for catch-and-release snook is quite good during the first couple of hours after sunrise, but as the shallows heat up I’m finding the bite to diminish slightly. That’s when it’s time to fish the deeper grass flats for trout and mackerel. These fish seem to be more comfortable in the heat as they are able to retreat to slightly deeper water which is cooler.
Lastly, mangrove snapper are being caught when fishing structure in depths of 15-20 feet of water.