In the week following the storm, the water clarity was off as one would expect it to be after Tampa Bay was nearly emptied and refilled by the storm. The fishing is still lights out right now.
There are still a fair amount of snook stacked up off of the beaches right now, as well as back in some of the bigger inlet mangroves. There are quite a few reports of good redfish days out there as well right now so look to the mangroves at high tide and the flats at low tide. And don’t forget about docks. When using conventional tackle, use 20 lb. fluorocarbon leaders with size 4 hooks. Use large shiners for bait (plenty can still be found off the beaches right now).
If targeting these snook on the fly, your best bet is to hit one of the dock lights at night as there are a lot of them piled up there once the sun goes down. Use 20# leader and the smallest flies you have.
Also, if you can find the right spots (think tucked away), the sunset bite for juvenile tarpon right now is really kicking–and there’s no better way to hook them than on light tackle or on the fly! I keep my rigs the same as above using clean 20# leaders and haven’t had a problem keeping them on.
When fishing for these tarpon on the fly you’ll want to wait until you see a roll or a boil on the surface and cast immediately in front of it. Sight-casting has been far more effective than blind casting for these tarpon. Use a small or medium sized bait fish pattern and make every cast count.
This week we have transitioned to a little deeper water with the Mangrove Snapper bite being the most constant around structure in water depths of the 10ft – 20ft range. Most days we are limiting out on Snapper. When we are fishing for Snapper we have been catching Gag Grouper in the 20″-25″ range (the season opens July 1st for Gag Grouper) along with Bonita, Kingfish, and some smaller sharks. The Tarpon bite has slowed down with most of the fish heading offshore to spawn, but we are still managing to hook and Jump Tarpon on the trips we are targeting them (Tarpon Video from this Week). The Inshore bite has been challenging at times and is remaining inconstant. This week we were in-between moon phases and the tide not really moving all that much, which did not help for the inshore bite. We are still managing to catch a lot of 25″ range Snook along grass edges in depths of 2ft-3ft (Snook Video from this Week) and keeper Trout on grass patches in 3ft to 4ft. The Redfish bite has been the most challenging. I’m seeing quite a few Redfish but they don’t seem to want to eat. I have tried all kinds of different methods/ presentations and the Redfish just have not been reacting or responding to much. Next week we will see the New Moon which will bring us better tides and the Inshore bite should get better. If you are looking to book at fishing charter or fishing trip and are near Anna Maria Island, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, Longboat Key, Bradenton, Sarasota, St. Pete, or Tampa areas book with Anna Maria Inshore Fishing, LCC call Fishing Guide Capt. Kyle (941) 345-7182 www.annamariainshorefishing.com