Anna Maria Island Fishing Report: July 2018
Fishing on Anna Maria Island here in July has been about as hot as the weather. The beginning of the month brought with it incredibly calm mornings with afternoon showers and as the month has progressed we have been experiencing morning storms and afternoon heat.
This time of year, whenever it's a calm morning, we are usually charging offshore where Spanish mackerel, grouper, snapper, barracuda, cobia, snook, goliath grouper, and sharks have been quite abundant. We've also been finding some good size triggerfish, but unfortunately they are out of season right now.
Most of our success has come on cut bait of all varieties from greenback pilchards and pinfish to mackerel and bonito. Depending on the species, your tackle size will vary, but for the most part I have been using 40 lb. fluorocarbon with size 2-4/0 circle hooks when fishing the bottom for grouper, snook, and cobia. I have gone through a lot of steel leader as well with the abundance of toothy critters around as well. Shrimp on a rig with a size 2 hook and 20lb. line is great at keeping kids busy offshore as well--and you'll be surprised what you'll pull up on that rig.
Inshore fishing on Anna Maria Island is pretty good right now, given the tides, with snook, trout, redfish, and mangrove snapper ready to eat. I use 20-40lb fluorocarbon and size 2 circle hooks when fishing inshore. Snook are cruising the beaches, but they've been hard to access lately with this stiff west wind we've been having. That should lay down this weekend and the fishing should be great.
On the fly, we have been chasing primarily snook, Spanish mackerel, jacks, and juvenile tarpon which are an absolute blast. Our favorite way to target the snook is by cruising the dock lights at night using 20lb. leader with small glass-minnow type flies in chartreuse and white/silver.
Once this wind dies down, I'm expecting the fishing to pick up but the only way to tell is by getting out there and wetting a line, so what are you waiting for? Hit the water and come have some fun!