Just Reel Fishing Charters: Anna Maria Island Fishing Report August 23, 2023

Keep an eye on the radar, frequent storms popping up

Anna Maria Island anglers are seeking shelter now that we are finally starting to see the frequent thunderstorms and rain showers that are typical this time of year. 

With these storms are opportunities for strong gusts of wind, torrential rain, and most importantly lightning. 

The last thing you want to do is be out in open water during a lightning storm. Being out on the water, you’re the highest point in an area which greatly improves the potential to get struck. Even running on the outskirts of a thunderstorm can be dangerous as lightning may strike at any moment. This being said, keeping an eye on the horizon — as well as on the radar —is not a bad idea during the month of August and September. At times these storms can pop up suddenly catching you off guard so a watchful eye is always helpful. 

Many of these storms can be brief so escaping them can be as easy as finding the closest boat ramp or pier or somewhere you can take shelter outside of the boat. 

Now, if you’re offshore fishing, your best bet is to evade the storm by either going in a different direction, heading in or simply not going out at all if the forecast calls for stormy weather and rough seas. 

Whether fishing offshore or inshore, it’s always good to have a plan on where to go to take shelter as you never know when a pop-up storm will rear its ugly head. 

As much as we love being on the water and out fishing, we always have to put safety first as we don’t want to learn this lesson the hard way.

On my Just Reel charters I’m seeing limits of mangrove snapper being caught. On some days I’m using knocker rigs to catch the snapper near the bottom. On other days, the snapper are rising toward the surface in the chum, which is making them catchable on a free-line. 

After catching snapper, I’m fishing over deep grass flats for spotted seatrout. The bite is also yielding Spanish mackerel, ladyfish and silver trout.