Just Reel Fishing Charters: Anna Maria Island Fishing Report August 16, 2023

Another week of heat but targetable species are out there


For yet another week record breaking temperatures are causing Anna Maria Anglers to brace themselves for the heat.

With little to no breeze on the water, fishing in the heat requires some stamina as well as a little shade and plenty of fluids to stay hydrated while out on the water. Wearing proper attire such as a long sleeve shirt, wide brimmed hat and polarized sunglasses also is a must when fishing in air temps of 95 degrees or higher. And there’s not much relieve by jumping in the water to cool off, as water temps are hovering between 86-90 degrees. 

But, don’t be discouraged. Fishing is quite good as long as you target species that aren’t as affected by the warm water temps. 

Snapper comes to mind. Many varieties of snapper are being caught inshore and offshore. Inshore varieties such as mangrove and lane snapper are available both in Tampa Bay and in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Offshore species such as yellowtail, vermillions and American red snapper are being caught while fishing offshore in the deeper waters of the Gulf.

Spotted seatrout are another species which seem to stay active during the warmer months. Deeper grass flats in Tampa Bay are holding good numbers of the fish. The best action seems to occur during early morning hours in correlation with swift moving tides.

Lastly, schools of redfish are beginning to appear in the inland waters of Tampa Bay south to Sarasota Bay. Again, early morning tides when the waters are slightly cooler are best. And, if you find the reds, try casting gold spoons to schools that are slightly spooky. If you find yourself close to cast baits to these schools, live shiners will work. And, don’t rule out a fresh-cut piece of chunk bait such as ladyfish or mullet, as hungry redfish will devour such an offering.

On my Just Reel charters, I’m targeting mangrove snapper. By bottom fishing or free-lining baits to school fish on the surface, I’m seeing limits of these fish being caught. Most are in the 12-inch range, although snapper up to 17 inches are being caught by lucky anglers. 

Spotted seatrout also are cooperating nicely. Deeper grass flats are yielding great quantities of trout with some mornings yielding 30-40 fish or more. Keeper-size trout are a little harder to come by, but the consistency of hooking a fish every cast is quite entertaining. Mixed in are ladyfish, mackerel and silver trout.