Anna Maria Island February Fishing Report: Things are beginning to heat up!
Our fishing charters on Anna Maria Island are beginning to heat up, right along with the temperatures. The water temps are approaching 75 degrees, which makes a world of difference from the 55 degree water temps we had experienced in late January. During those cold temps, we were pretty much limited to targeting sheepshead and black drum along Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key docks, but now the activity is up across the board and I'm pretty excited!
There are still some sheepies around structure which you can target using live shrimp--I prefer to set my rigs up with size 4 circle hooks and some split shot to keep the bait lower in the water column--especially when fishing along structure that has a heavy current.
The Spanish mackerel bit is starting to pick up, and with that we have landed a few 'monster macks' in the 28" range. To target these guys I have been having my clients throw live white bait along with a decent amount of chum to bring them in and get them fired up. We have also been getting quite a few hookups with bluefish, mackerel, and ladyfish throwing silver spoons while dead drifting. For the toothier critters, I like to use 50lb. leader or long shank hooks to prevent them sawing you off.
The shark bite around Anna Maria Island is also starting to heat up closer inshore with dead-cut bait (preferably ladyfish) being the ticket, although we have had a few hook-ups with using live threadfins. Make sure to use wire leader and heavy tackle for these guys.
Inshore the trout bite has been consistent, and the snook bite is beginning to fire around Anna Maria Island in along the mangroves. I like to fish with 20lb fluorocarbon leader and live white bait for these guys. Remember, use the smallest tackle you can get away with to maximize hook ups.
Anna Maria Island fishing is some of my favorite come spring-time and we are almost there! Any day now the kingfish and bonito will be moving in and I can't wait for that! Book your trip today to take advantage of the great fishing in store.