Winter Fishing in Full Swing!
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 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. A ton of Grouper, Snapper, Triggerfish, Sheepshead, Cobia and Hogfish are being caught. When I say ton, 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 your bait hits the bottom there's a fish biting in seconds. Some of the small ledges offshore have just been on fire. 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.
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Inshore we are fishing fall like conditions with water temps still getting in the 70s. They are cooling down a little bit this weeks 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 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 so let me know ASAP if you have dates in mind.
Good luck fishing everyone, catch you on the water! Capt. Matt (941) 447-9888
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About The Author: Captain Matt Ercoli
Company: Florida Sport Fishing Outfitters
Area Reporting: Tampa Bay to Sarasota Florida
Bio: Capt. Matt Ercoli is a premier Florida Gulf coast fishing guide and 1999 Saltwater Flats National Champion. He has assisted clients to five IGFA world records. Capt. Matt's experience and knowledge of local waters assures a successful day of fishing. Whether you prefer light tackle fishing or you're a fly-fishing purist, Capt. Matt can accommodate you. Fishing possibilities include the clear saltwater flats and mangrove backcountry from Tampa Bay & St. Petersburg to Sarasota; fishing for tarpon, snook, redfish and trout. If your preference is offshore fishing, there is permit, kingfish, grouper, little tunny, shark and more.