Anna Maria Island June Fishing Report: Summer is Here
Anna Maria Island fishing charters during the summer months can be brutally hot; both in terms of temperature and the bite. And it seems that, with the first tropical storm having come and gone, we have entered the summer months.
Tarpon are rolling just about everywhere along the beaches and in the passes. The bite can be finicky and requires patience to capitalize on. We recommend a 6 hour trip minimum when targeting the megalops as you need to maximize the time spent with baits in front of the fish. If you are targeting them from the beach using artificial lures, I recommend throwing a DOA Bait Buster in front of the school with either a cross current retrieve or retrieving it away from the fish (avoid having your lure swim into the school as this acts as an unnatural presentation). If you hook one, hold on for the ride of your life!
Snook are now cruising the beaches along Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key in the surf where you can site cast them and they are also starting to stack up in the passes, especially around any structure there may be there. They are out of season as they begin to spawn but still make for great sporting fun with some slabs out there to be landed.
Out near the skyway, there has been a strong Spanish mackerel bite as of late with many 20"+ fish being landed as of late. They are not picky, but make sure to use long shank hook to avoid losing countless amounts of tackle throughout the day. Also, the trout bite on the grass flats has been pretty steady as of late with some nice keepers being caught. Often we combine mackerel and trout trips for lots of fish and tasty eats: the perfect combo for kids.
Shark fishing is really heating up as we have been getting hook-ups on about every trip when targeting them. Just throw a chunk of bonito out and let it soak while you chum and you are almost guaranteed to get a hook-up if you give it enough time. Aim for sandy bottom near channels and passes.
With June comes offshore fun around Anna Maria Island as gag grouper season is open. Using a knocker rig fished on the bottom with heavy tackle and good bait is sure to produce as well as freelining large pinfish (they will dive if hooked correctly). When you get a bite, it is crucial to get them off of the bottom as quickly as possible to avoid having them wrap you around any bottom structure as their tendency is to dive as soon as they are hooked--so be prepared to hammer down on that rod!
Also, permit have been showing up as well, which are always a blast to hook into and also make excellent table fair. Work crabs or pompano jigs over wrecks and reefs, and don't be afraid to work some of the color changes over sandy bottom along passes. They, along with cobia, are quite the treat to hook up to!
Again, the fishing around Anna Maria Island during the summer can be great, but the most important part is enjoying your vacation and your time on the water--so get out there and wet a line!