Shockingly Great Fishing Right Now

This week’s best fishing destination.
Angler with giant permit
What a great permit! Courtesy Jason Stock

Hot Spot: Anna Maria Island
Species: Cobia, yellowtail, tuna, wahoo, permit

“Fishing has been really good,” says Captain Jason Stock from Anna Maria Island, Florida. Stock has been fishing offshore on Full Send, his 31-foot Yellowfin.

Every day is different for Stock. Weather plays a big part in his game plan. If the weather is rough, he stays inshore and targets cobia. When the weather is nice, the crew heads offshore in search of tuna, wahoo and bottom fish.

On a recent trip, Stock found a good bite of yellowtail snapper on an offshore spring. Using chum to raise the fish and small jigs with a chunk of albacore or sardine, Stock had steady action on three- to five-pound yellowtail.

Stock chooses tackle that will quickly land the fish before a shark or barracuda can steal his catch. He starts with an eight-and-a-half-foot, soft-action spinning rod. “The long rod allows the bait to fall naturally,” Stock says. He uses a 10000 Saragosa reel spooled with 30-pound braided line. “The large reel has strong, smooth drag to pull fish away from predators.”

Stock adds a leader of 25-pound fluorocarbon and a 3/16- to ¼-ounce Hogball jig.

Anglers holding up cobia
Red hot cobia bite! Courtesy Jason Stock

Another outing saw Stock catching cobia up to 60 pounds. He was fishing over an area of rocky bottom with live pinfish on a fish finder rig. “I don’t stop the boat until I see a good mark of fish and bait,” he says. Using a Rhodan trolling motor, Stock can position his boat over the fish mark. Then, he deploys a chum bag and adds chunks of bait to the slick.

“When I can get crabs, permit fishing is really good,” Stock adds. His last permit trip resulted in two 30–pound permit out of five hook ups.

Stock says the late summer water has been super hot. He’s seen offshore water temperatures in the 90s. “Some fish bite better in the hot water,” he says, listing goliath grouper, permit and sharks.

Yellowfin tuna and wahoo have been scattered. Stock expects the offshore trolling action to pick up in the next few weeks. “I look forward to better yellowfin tuna and wahoo fishing with the chance at a sailfish,” he says.

Tackle Box: Snapper Set Up

  • Rod: 8’6” soft action spinning
  • Reel: 10000 Saragosa
  • Line: 30 pound braid line
  • Leader: 25-pound fluorocarbon
  • Lure: 3/16 to 1/4 ounce Captain Chappy’s Hogball jig