Fishing Report May 8, 2024

Tarpon Fever infects Anna Maria Island Anglers

As we settle into the first week of May, you can bet Anna Maria Island anglers have one thing on their mind. 

They are suffering from a fever. It can only be cured by long hours in the scorching sun scanning the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico. In hopes of seeing a fish roll or at the very least, a flash. 

They are suffering from is tarpon fever.

This ailment has many side effects including lack of focus at work, fatigue and sunburn from numerous hours of catching bait, severe dehydration and in severe cases, experienced of spending vast amounts of money on tackle while in some kind of uncontrollable delirium for that one profound moment between the angler and the fish.

To look into that big eye, studying the fish as it studies you back. At this moment the angler is at peace. 

Aside from sore arms the angler is displaying normalcy once again.

But for the true tarpon junkie this moment can be short lived. As the relief begins to fade they find themselves baiting another rod to be ready to cast again.

So, during the next 5 or 6 weeks if you see any odd characters showing sign of this tarpon fever, stay back as its quiet easy to fall under the spell after only a few fish stories. 

And once you’re hooked, it’s all over. 

Kiss the family goodbye during the weeks prior to that moon in June. You know the urge to be out there in search of a silver king will be uncontrollable.

On my Just Reel charters targeting spotted seatrout are proving to be the most consistent bite.

I’m seeing many fish just under the slot but I’m managing to catch limits of keeper fish. 

Big Spanish mackerel are mixed in with the trout which are exceptional action on medium-spinning gear. I’m seeing ladyfish and jack crevalle when the bite is really active.

Fishing deeper areas in the Gulf of Mexico is proving to entertain. We’re reeling up all sorts of reef fish including mangrove snapper, flounder, lane snapper, Key West grunts and plenty of juvenile grouper.

Lastly, black tip shares are frequently being seen along beaches. Black Tips are great targets for anglers who want to pull on a big fish.