Just Reel Fishing Charters: Anna Maria Island Fishing Report January 17, 2024

Another string of windy, rainy days puts damper on winter fishing

With many windy days combined with rain and colder than usual air temperatures, Anna Maria Island anglers are finding themselves having to dig deep to find the motivation to get on the water and try their luck. 

The calmer, sunny days that are randomly occurring are producing action for anglers in need of a fix. 

Casting live shrimp around rocks and docks is leading to action on sheepshead, black drum and redfish. All three species enjoy the sanctuary areas such as docks and seawalls as numerous types of food exist in these areas. 

Small crabs, shrimp, barnacles and oysters are on the menu for sheepies, redfish and black drum, making these areas sufficient for them to forge for food.

Casting live shrimp around the beaches and passes is also effective. Pompano, whiting, jack crevalle and ladyfish can be found in these areas, and if your timing is right, can develop into quite a bite. 

Ladyfish and jacks are great action on light spinning gear, and the pompano and whiting are favorites to bring home for dinner. The pompano are also fierce adversaries on light spinning gear, making them quite a favorite among most inshore anglers. 

Lastly, fishing large, sandy potholes can be pitstops for schools of both bonnethead and small blacktip sharks. On medium gear, both species are worthy of some thrills while on the end of the line. Live shrimp on a long shank hook with some lead added to the rig will get the job done.

On my Just Reel charters I’m finding redfish and black drum around residential docks and sea walls. Some sheepshead are also in the mix. 

On calmer days, fishing along the beaches is leading to pompano, black drum and better quantities of sheepies than around the docks. 

Lastly, fishing around the passes is producing action on jacks and ladyfish, which are always a good option when you just want to bend a rod.