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Fishing Cheat Sheet: Anna Maria Island

The fishing around Anna Maria Island is pretty great year round, but learning the ropes yourself can be a little daunting when first starting out. I get quite a few inquiries about how to catch 'x' species so I've decided to compile a list below of various species and my preferred set ups and baits/lures for each. Each set up made need to be tweaked depending on water clarity and depth, but this is a good starting point for each.

Hope this list helps and tight lines!

Snook (size 1 circle hook w/ 5.5 ft 20lb. leader with a 6 inch 40lb. tippet or a size 2 hook with 6ft of 20lb leader if fishing in really clear water or spooky fish)

1. Live shiners

2. Cut ladyfish (for the big boys)

3. Live Pinfish/pigfish

Redfish (size 2 circle hook with 6 ft 20 lb leader)

1. Live/cut shiners

2. Live/cut Pinfish

3. Jumbo/select size shrimp

Trout (size 2 circle hook with 15-20lb. leader with or without a popping cork depending on depth)

1. Shiners

2. Shrimp

3. Silver spoon

Spanish Mackerel (same as snook rig with 40 lb. tippet, but can use long shank hooks instead)

1. Live/cut Shiners

2. Live/cut Sardines

3. Silver spoon

Mangrove Snapper (size 4 circle hook, 15 lb. leader)

1. Live/cut sardines

2. Shrimp

3. Live/cut shrimp

Cobia (size 1/0-2 circle hook 20-40 lb. leader)

1. Live/cut anything

2. 1 oz large colorful bucktail jig

3. Tube lure

Large Barracuda (80lb. + flourocarbon leader or thin wire leader, with size 4/0 circle hooks)

1. Lively fish (10"-15") hooked through the middle of the back

2. Tube lures

Sharks (wire leader with 12/0-6/0 circle hooks. Make sure wire leader is as long as the sharks you are targeting are or else that will tail whip through the braided line)

1. Fresh Cut mackerel

2. Fresh Cut ladyfish

3. Fresh Cut mullet

4. Live Jack Crevalle

Bonita (size 2 circle hook with 20 lb. leader)

1. Live/cut Shiners

2. Spoons or anything shiny

Permit (size 15-20 lb leader, size 1/0-2 circle hook

1. Live crabs

2. Pompano jigs (doc’s goofy jig)

3. Live shrimp

Goliath Grouper (steel leader, size 12/0 circle hook)

1. Live jack crevalle

2. Live/cut Spanish mackerel

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