It Feels Like August Out There // Anna Maria Island Fishing Report // August 2017
Fishing around Anna Maria Island and Tampa bay has almost kept pace with the August heat and humidity, but not entirely--the main difference now being the time of day when you're fishing. Early mornings and evenings have been the most productive on fishing charters, when it's not quite as hot out, have been the best times to be out on the water given that mid afternoon is miserable on both the angler and inshore fishing.
On our charters, we have been finding snook piled up around mangrove islands and near the beach passes--the key being either small pinfish or hatch bait on 20lb. flourocarbon leader with size 6 hooks. If it's high tide, get as far into and under the mangroves as possible as those fish are hunkered down in there--especially if high tide is in the afternoon. If you're fly fishing, use a small clouser minnow (size 2-6) or a glass minnow like pattern for the best results.
There are also a decent amount of lingering tarpon (size close to the one pictured below) in the river right now as well. Use 5/0 circle hooks, 40lb flouro (you can even get away with 30lb) and a medium to small sized pinfish when using live bait. I prefer a pinfish sized fly with natural colors when targeting them on a fly rod.
For redfish and trout we have been hitting the flats pretty hard (early in the morning) and having success--especially with the trout. Throw a small spoon or soft plastic if using artificial lures, hatch bait if you're using live bait, and a small crab or minnow fly if fly fishing for these species.
During the afternoon lull and early evening, shark fishing has been the ticket...and I love it. The heat can get intense, but the adrenaline of sight fishing for small sharpnose and blacktip sharks can help to take your mind off of the heat. Ladyfish and mackerel are my preferred baits for this, as well as a large pinfish with some weight on it to keep it near the bottom. Use light wire leader and circle hooks no smaller than 5/0.
Get out there and wet a line or book an Anna Maria Island fishing charter! Share your success with us for a chance to be featured on our instagram page.