If you’re hoping to cast a few lines while you’re on the island, we’ve got the fishing report for you! From fly fishing for bonefish to deep sea pursuits, there’s a charter for every type of fisherman on Anna Maria Island. Our vacation rentals are located nearby, making an early departure from the local marinas simple and pain-free. Check out our fishing report for more details!
Fishing Anna Maria Island is extremely popular. Recreational, sport and commercial fishing all take place in surrounding waters. Fishing also has a positive economic impact to the area. Visitors come to Anna Maria Island, and want to try their hand at catching a big one. Anna Maria Island is also a fabulous destination to plan a trip because of beautiful weather year round. There are also plenty of charter boats for hire, and access to several different types of waterways.
Fishing Anna Maria Island
Provided below is a bevy of resources to make your Anna Maria Island excursion on the water one to remember! Provided are suggested charters, places to fish, information about seasons, fishing reports from local captains, and everything you need to know about fishing Anna Maria Island.
Anna Maria Island has no shortage of boats for hire. Additionally, there are dozens of locals providing licensed Captains and boats outfitted for a day of fishing on briny waters. Here is a list of 7 Anna Maria Island Fishing Charters to choose from.
Places to Fish
There are several places for fishing on Anna Maria Island with the piers being the most popular for onshore catches. There is also several bodies of water located around the island. Additionally, The Gulf of Mexico, Tampa Bay and Sarasota Bay are some great options.
Check out what locals are saying week to week with up to date fishing reports!
Click through the links provided above. Learn about local fishing and enjoy your time on Anna Maria Island!
Plan your Anna Maria Island vacation today with a beautiful accommodation! Island Real Estate has almost 300 properties including condo’s, villas, and single family homes ranging from 1-5+ bedrooms!
There is no better place to celebrate National Crab Meat Day than on Anna Maria Island! While Stone Crab Season runs October 15 to May 15 on the Florida Gulf Coast, this is the perfect time of year to enjoy this tasty seafood!
National Crab Meat Day on Anna Maria Island
When looking for local crab meat, we highly recommend Starfish Market in the old Cortez Fishing Village. This is the best spot to find fresh off the boat seafood! You can literally see the fishing boats right from the docks of this restaurant. It really doesn’t get fresher. Just be sure to bring cash only.
Many local seafood restaurants offer crab selections. While on Anna Maria Island also check out The Waterfront Restaurant, The Sandbar and the Rod & Reel Pier for tasty crab options. If you are on Longboat Key we suggest The Lazy Lobster!
The Regina Wreck is a great spot for those looking to snorkel or scuba dive around Anna Maria Island. While close to shore, this sunken ship is easy to access and great for any skill level.
Regina Wreck State Underwater Archaeological Preserve
The Regina Wreck became part of the national register of historical places in 2005. Also know as the sugar barge or molasses barge, the Regina is a great Anna Maria Island attraction. You’ll find the wreck about 75 yards off shore in no more than 20 feet of water. This site is great for snorkeling, scuba diving and free diving. You can charter a dive with Sea Kat Divers in Bradenton Beach.
Once in the water you’ll find a variety of tropical fish, conchs, sea urchins, sand dollars and native marine life. Because this is a State Preserve; collection, excavation or disturbance of the site is illegal. Those diving with a Florida Fishing license may collect up to two species of live shells. However, restrictions apply to some native species all together. Manatee County has more rigid shell collection regulations than other parts of Florida. Please read the link here for additional information.
The Regina sunk in 1940. The wreck has been beaten with tides, sand and storms over the years. Therefore, you may not see it until right over top depending on visibility. Today, a great deal of sand covers the Regina. You will only see parts of the over 200 foot long ship remains.
How the Regina Sunk
The Regina was built in 1904 for the Cuban Molasses Transportation Company based out of Havana. On March 5th in 1940 She left Havana bound for New Orleans under the tow from the tugboat Minima. The Regina carried 350,000 gallons of molasses. Two days into it’s trip, a cold front swept through the Gulf of Mexico bringing 8-12 foot waves. The boats were pushed closer and closer to shore despite effort to correct course. Looking for shelter, the Minima headed for Tampa Bay.
Near Egmont Key, north of Anna Maria Island, the Minima’s tow lines broke. This left the Molasses caring ship to drift helplessly down the gulf coast toward Anna Maria Island. Eventually the Regina hit a sandbar off Bradenton Beach where it became stranded in the storm. The ship began to break apart as rough winds and waves smashed into it.
The Rescue begins
On March 8th a Bradenton Beach local spotted the stranded ship, and notified the St. Petersburg Coast Guard. The ship was about 200 yards off shore, but the eight crew members couldn’t abandon ship due to the high waves. The crew huddled in the flooded broken ship. Locals built fires on the beach in an effort to let the crew know help was on the way. Coast Guard rescue craft, the Nemesis, tried unsuccessfully to rescue the crew. Next, a line throwing gun was transferred to the Nemesis. Several attempts were made, but the line fell short. At day break a sea plane dropped life jackets to the crew, but they only washed ashore.
Spectators gathered on the beach. One of the crew members and his dog jumped off the boat while a man from the mainland swam toward him with a lifeline. Unfortunately this crew mate never made it to shore.
A yachting dingy made it to the ship with life preservers, and was able to take one member from the ship. The dingy capsized close to shore, and locals made a human chain to assist the two back to safety. Locals increased efforts with the dingy to finish the rescue.
Read more about the rescue of the Regina Crew here.
With an interesting history, the Sugar Barge is a unique Anna Maria Island experience. If you are looking for a great place to see fish and history, this underwater preserve is a must.
The license free fishing days are a great opportunity for Floridians and visitors to experience a day on the water. These free days apply to onshore, pier and boat fishing. These fishing holidays only apply to recreational fishing, and do not cover commercial fishing.
Additionally, seasons, size limits and bag limits do still apply. When fishing during these times be sure you know what you may and may not keep! The saltwater dates do also cover any type of recreational harvest, in season, including scalloping, lobstering and many other angling activities.
Enjoy license free fishing days on Anna Maria Island on your next visit!
Fishing from Anna Maria Island vacation rentals
Honeywood House is a great Anna Maria Island vacation rental for a little dock fishing! This canal front home has a dock for relaxing while doing a little fishing. If you bring a boat on vacation you can dock it here too! This canal takes you out to Bimini Bay and Tampa Bay for great fishing trips! Book your stay at Honeywood House today!
Anna Maria Island – Loggerhead Turtles are the most common found nesting on our shores from May through October every year. There are five different species of Sea Turtles that can be found swimming in the waters around Anna Maria Island.
Loggerhead Turtles and More
Among Loggerheads the Gulf of Mexico is also home to Hawksbill, Leatherback, Kemp Ridley and Green Sea Turtles. Occasionally on Anna Maria Island we have had Green Sea Turtles nest, but most nests are from Loggerheads.
Loggerhead turtles have a large head and powerful jaw suited for eating the hard shelled organisms that make up most of their diet. In addition to eating mollusks, whelks and conchs, and sea urchins Loggerheads feast on Jellyfish and are predominantly carnivores. After hatching, baby turtles make their way to the safety of sargassum, or large patches of floating sea grass, to feed on tiny floating organisms and invertebrates.
Loggerheads aren’t just found in Florida waters, but have a very large range including the sub-tropic and tropic regions of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Occasionally Loggerheads have even been seen off the coast of Oregon, but do not nest on those coasts. These turtles can be found hundreds of miles off shore in open water, around coral reefs, as well as inshore lagoons, bays, salt marshes and large rivers.
Loggerhead turtles, also know by the scientific term as Caretta caretta, have almost heart shaped shells with a red tinged top and yellow underside. Males have a longer tail with their carpace, or top shell, narrowing towards their back end. Baby Caretta caretta have a dark grey or brownish carpace with a pale yellow underside, and their flippers are dark brown with white edges. This species of turtle is typically in the 200 pound range as adults, but can grow to 400 or more pounds in weight. The adult Caretta caretta has an average length of 36-38 inches with babies hatching at just a couple of inches.
Turtles and Ecosystem
Sea Turtles play an important role in their ecosystem, with their biggest threat coming from development of habitat. It is important to be mindful when visiting the beach during nesting season. Turtles need to navigate the coastline uninterrupted. Female Loggerheads usually come up on to the shore after nightfall to nest. Often they visit the same beaches where they were hatched. Caretta caretta nests can hold around 100 eggs, but are susceptible to predation from animals foraging on the coast.
When visiting gulf beaches between May and October it is important to flatten sandcastles, fill in sand holes and remove beach equipment and garbage. This is to ensure turtles and hatchlings don’t become entangled or trapped. For tips on sharing the beach during turtle season read our “Rules to Live by during Turtle Season“. If you see a turtle or hatchlings stay back, give the animal space so they don’t become stressed.
If you see an injured sea turtle or unmarked nest please contact the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch at 941-778-5638. Also contact Florida Fish and Wildlife at 888-404-3922. If you find any type of injured wildlife contact Wildlife Inc. at 941-778-6324.
Anna Maria Island Beach Front Accommodations
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