Hello From Anna Maria,
It's typical April here on the Island of Anna Maria, the weather is great and fishing is even better. Tampa and Sarasota Bay fishing on the flats, near shore and offshore is spectacular. It's like I always tell people, April is so good inshore and offshore it's hard to decide which direction to go. I guess that's why I spend some part of the day inshore and part of the day offshore because I hate to feel like I'm missing out on any of the action. You name it and it's biting, well maybe I shouldn't say that because we are a couple of weeks away from tarpon season, but I have already been seeing a few around and there are some at the bridges as well.
Inshore the trout have been on fire, possibly the best trout fishing I have ever done. They are everywhere, they are big and they are biting. Almost all the trout we are catching are keepers, 17 to 20 inches has been the average size. Pretty much every day we fish for them we have been catching trout up to 23 inches. We have been getting a lot in the 24 to 27 inch class, true trophy size fish. The trout are looking great and I couldn't be happier, it's great to see the species flourish.
Sarasota Bay Redfish have been biting really well on the shallow flats. We have been catching 30 plus inchers everyday in 2ft of gin clear water. Some days it has been spot and stalk. See the fish, cast to the fish, watch him eat the bait, then hook the fish. It's an awesome battle on 10 pound spinning tackle.
I have been catching a few Snook while fishing for redfish in Sarasota bay. Though I have not been targeting them we have been seeing more and more around which is great news after a tough winter on the tropical species.
Pompano are everywhere by the thousands off the beaches of Anna Maria Island.
Cobia are on the flats, the beaches and wrecks offshore. My largest was a solid 50 pounder this past week.
Kingfish have hit our beaches and are now in full force, all the 10 to 30 pounders you want. Some fish have been up to 40 pounds as usual when they first get here.
Grouper fishing has been real good; the bite for me has been as fast as you can reel them in at around 40 ft of water. We have to catch a lot to get our keepers but we have been getting nice gags and reds for the ice box. I have been bringing in a lot of meat on some of my offshore grouper charters and so I have been getting the extra fillets and they sure are good. Grouper has to be some of the best eating fish that swims.
Mackerel are inshore and offshore you're liable to catch one anywhere that water is over 5 ft deep right now. Blue fish and lady fish are mixed in with them and so are trout on the deep grass.
Oh Yes, I almost forgot there are a few Permit around, yesterday we lost a solid 40 pounder and landed a 25 pounder.
Well I hope you have enjoyed my report. I still have a few Tarpon charters available, May through July is peak season. I think they will be on time this year and I have been seeing quite a few around. I can't wait; tarpon season is my favorite time of year. See you on the water.
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