AMI Charters: February 2023 Fishing Report
Managing the wind has been the key to fishing Anna Maria Island in February. The northern cold fronts have become less frequent and when the southern winds come our way, the island feels almost like spring.
When the winds permit, Captain Blake has been putting his clients on a consistent Hogfish bite on our near shore reefs. These colorful and tasty fish are a welcome reward for any day of fishing. The Sheepshead bite remains strong both near and inshore with a strong chance that Mangrove Snappers and Key West grunts will show up as well.
On warmer days the inshore bite shows signs that spring is right around the corner. As the weather warms our Speckled Trout are leaving their winter haunts and spreading out on shallower grass flats. Once they are located with the right bait, be ready for a strike on nearly every cast. On warm afternoons with good tides, our snook are even venturing onto the darker flats for a quick meal. Working baits slowly over their hiding spots can yield arm jarring strikes.
In Robinson Preserve the snook bite has been very consistent, although the fish are not everywhere. Finding where they are congregated is the key to a good day of fishing. The right bait for each day is dependent on tides and water clarity. Redfish move in and out of the preserve regularly, so I always make sure to throw a redfish bait near these zones when the tides are changing.
One exciting aspect to fishing the preserve is that it is full of surprises. On a recent snook outing to an isolated back creek on an incoming tide, a ten pound Jack Crevalle destroyed a suspending bait in a foot of water and took us on the kayak version of a Nantucket sleigh ride down the creek. Why he was back there is still a mystery. More interesting still was a fellow angler who pulled a twenty pound juvenile Goliath Grouper from underneath the mangroves in the preserve. When the fish was landed, it was unclear who was more surprised, the angler or the grouper.
Kayak (Robinson) Rich