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AMI Charters Fishing Report: May 2023

It is May and that means just one thing on Anna Maria Island: it’s tarpon time. The migratory tarpon began to filter in at the beginning of the month and are now here in good numbers. An encounter with one of these beautiful fish is an experience not soon to be forgotten.

Large tarpon caught off the beaches of Anna Maria Island

The tarpon are following the recent arrival of our migratory bait fish and the more bait that is around, the longer the tarpon will stay. Along with the tarpon, the bait brings larger Spanish mackerel, bluefish and mature Jack Crevalle. Our dry weather pattern has continued into May leaving our water clear and beautiful and providing great sight fishing opportunities for all of our species.

On Captain Blake’s trips he is covering the spectrum of fishing opportunities from our outlying Keyes and the Gulf to his favorite spots in Sarasota Bay. Blake’s trips provide an opportunity to experience all that our area has to offer, from dolphins and manatees to schools of migrating cow nose rays an acre or more in size. Blake is putting his clients on speckled trout, jacks, redfish, cobia, and of course, tarpon.

May has our snook transitioning to their summer patterns and moving out of the back country and onto the beaches and passes. They prefer areas where food is abundant and also provide easy access to their spawning grounds. This is my favorite time to sight fish for these hard fighting and often moody fish. Live bait is always a solid strategy, but snook can also be caught on the beach with artificial lures and flies. The key is to read the fish and see what they want. The tide and time have to be just right, but when it all comes together, the opportunity is there to fool the snook of a lifetime.

Captain Rich


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