Anna Maria Island March 2023 Fishing Report
Spring may not have officially arrived, but spring conditions are here on Anna Maria Island. March came in like a lamb and the fishing responded quickly. Snook have ventured out of their winter refuges and are showing up on our flats, often in large numbers. Stealth is the name of the game. These guys learn quickly to avoid boats that approach too close, but they are there to feed and a well placed bait has a good chance of getting eaten.
The speckled trout bite has changed as well. Larger trout have showed up on the deeper flats and with them the chance of landing a slot sized fish to bring home for dinner. Once the trout are located, there is a good chance that Spanish mackerel and ladyfish are nearby. Our redfish are scattered right now, but seem to favor certain flats and residential docks. Captain Jake has a knack for finding these fish and getting his skiff into even the skinniest of spots.
We are fortunate in that our near shore bite has remained strong all winter. When Gulf conditions permit, Captain Blake has been busy putting his clients on hogfish and our other reef residents, and on windy days he is having great success inshore.
As the waters warm, I find myself spending more time exploring our inshore flats by kayak. The trout bite has been exceptional on artificials and with a little extra care, I can often pull a snook or two off of the big schools before they realize I am there.
Finally, I would be remiss not to address our recent bouts with red tide.
As you can see, right now conditions are good. It is literally a day to day proposition, dependent on wind direction and tides. There are areas that have remained largely unaffected and some that have not. We currently have beautiful clear water and lots of fish. We all hope it remains that way.