Anna Maria Island fishing
Anna Maria Island fishing has been Solid inshore and offshore; the weather has been amazing. This may have been the nicest winter I can remember since I have been a fishing guide in the last 23 years. Except for a hard blow the last couple of days the winds have been mild and the temperatures between 70 and 80 in the afternoon.
Offshore fishing has been the best lately. Tons of grouper, snapper, triggerfish, sheepshead, cobia and hogfish. When I say tons if your bait is on the bottom for more than a minute and you don’t have a fish on, reel up because one stole your bait. Pretty much when you bait hits the bottom there’s a fish biting in seconds, some of my small ledges offshore have just been on fire. The mangrove snapper and hogfish are real favorites and have been my primary target offshore. The two species are the highest quality eating fish we have to offer around here. Hogfish in my opinion is the best fish in the world to eat, at least I have never had better. Catching a cooler full of fish has been the norm lately offshore.
Inshore we are fishing fall like conditions with water temps still getting in the 70s. They are cooling down a little bit this week which should actually be a good thing. Although I have been spending more time offshore we have had some great days of snook fishing this past January, along with some good eating trout and a few nice reds. If water temps cool this week we should have more redfish, black drum and sheepshead action. There are also a few permit and pompano around and again if water cools some I may spend more time fishing for them over the next few weeks.
We had a really good 2016 year of fishing, but truth be told I probably say that every year because in general Anna Maria Island fishing is always good so I am sure as I write this 2017 will be much the same. I hope everyone enjoyed my report. My summer tarpon trips are filling quickly let me know asap if you have dates in mind. Good luck fishing everyone, catch you on the water! Capt. Matt