Cooler temps brings targetable migratory species
Fall temperatures are settling in and Anna Maria Island anglers are enjoying some cooler weather, as well as some fantastic fall fishing for migratory species, including kingfish, mackerel, bonito, and sharks.
Fishing along the Gulf beaches is proving to be good as long as the winds stay out of the east. Anchoring and chumming over the artificial reefs is resulting in consistent action during early morning tides. Lucky anglers are encountering cobia mixed in with the bite, which is always a welcome site.
Moving to the flats, you can bet that species such as trout, snook, and redfish are on the move towards their wintertime spots. Try to catch them in between the fronts when the water temps have had a chance to rise slightly. Fishing shallower flats during afternoon tides should be good, as these fish will be out hunting during the warmest part of the day. Live shiners as bait are a good bet, although using artificial such as top water plugs or soft plastics will also be effective.
On cooler days, try fishing around docks and other deep areas in the backwater to find fish that are taking refuge from the cooler water.
Lastly, fishing in the Gulf in depths of 40-50 feet may be a good option if the seas are calm. Try carrying live shrimp for bait out there to target hogfish, Key West grunts, mangrove snapper, and porgies. If you fancy a fish fry, this is the bite to check out.
On my Just Reel charters, I’m patrolling the beaches for pelagics, such as kingfish, mackerel, and bonito. All three of the fish are great fighters on medium spinning gear.
In the backcountry, spotted seatrout are the most abundant catch with a few snook and reds mixed in.