Just Reel Fishing Charters: Anna Maria Island Fishing Report September 13, 2023

Snook, redfish abundant and taking the hook

As we move into September, Anna Maria Island anglers are still licking their wounds caused by Hurricane Idalia.

This being said it should be noted — as a reminder of course — that snook are back in season from Sept. 1 through November 31. So, if you’re lucky enough to catch one in the slot of 28-33 inches, you could enjoy a snook dinner if you wish.

I’ve never really considered September to be a great month to snook fish, but that doesn’t mean they’re not around. With temperatures still in the 90s and water temps following suit, you’re going to want to try to fish during times when the water is slightly cooler to increase your chances of motivating a monster linesider to take a bait.

Night fishing for snook is a great option, especially when looking for big fish. Dock fishing around lights or fishing the passes around the bridges is a good bet. When fishing the bridges, try using larger baits such as jumbo shrimp or pinfish or even a large shiner. If you’re dock fishing, normal size bait should get the job done.

If you can stay off the snook for a while longer, you may want to try getting out there during the day to look for schooling redfish. 

As September ushers in the peak of our rainy season, we should start seeing an influx of redfish in Tampa Bay and to the south, as the Manatee River drains copious amounts of freshwater from its source, Lake Manatee. 

These large amounts of freshwater push the reds that inhabit the river out into the bay, which causes concentrations to gather in different staging areas throughout the flats. This, combined with the breeder schools of reds that come out of the Gulf of Mexico can trigger quite a response in many flats anglers. 

The point being, get out early and locate the fish because I can guarantee the crowds will be coming.

Nowadays with Facebook and Instagram combined with this new “look at me” mentality, you can bet somebody will post pictures and videos all over the Internet that evening. So, if you find the fish, enjoy it while you can and keep it a secret because most likely the next time you go to fish the school every Tom, Dick and Harry will be there.