Fill your cooler, grab your sunblock, and book your AMI fishing charter today: Spring fishing is firing up here on Anna Maria Island!
This is one of my favorite times of year to be fishing on AMI—and I know I say that a lot, but spring is when the phrase “Anna Maria Island fishing adventures” is no overstatement. Our excursions now are seriously exciting and energetic—for the people as well as the fish!
There’ll be a lot of exciting stuff to talk about in the next couple months, but let’s start with what we can expect in March 2024. We’re gonna look at what kinds of fish we’ll be catching, where, and with what bait.
AMI Snook Season 2024
State/federal snook season for Sarasota Bay and Tampa Bay—the two FWC areas that cover Anna Maria—opens this year at the beginning of March.
If you didn’t know, snook are one of the most popular inshore fish in Florida. They fight like the dickens and they’re frankly delicious, too.
The thing is, snook are so popular that they’re highly regulated. In fact, you can’t get snook in a restaurant. So if you want to try that sweet, white meat, you have to catch it yourself.
They’re also not the easiest fish to catch, even when they’re super-aggressive and hungry, like they are in spring. And since everyone and their mother will be out on the water looking for snook as soon as season opens, there’ll be competition for good spots. And worse still, clumsy, inexperienced fishing will spook the snook away.
Your best chance at hooking a snook, and keeping it on the line long enough to get it into the boat, is with a professional, knowledgeable, and experienced AMI charter captain like myself. I can take you to great spots away from the crowds and use the right gear at the right times to give us the best chances.
Other Fish to Catch in Spring 2024
But snook are just the start this season. Spring 2024 fishing trips on Anna Maria Island are going to be pulling in an incredible selection.
Inshore in the bays, inlets, and Intracoastal, we’re going to be reeling in redfish, giant speckled sea trout, and even juvenile tarpon. On the nearshore side of things out in the Gulf, there will be permit, kingfish, and cobia.
What Kinds of Bait/Lures to Use in Spring
Easy enough: Fishing with live bait will be the key for any of these species around Anna Maria Island this time of year! Shrimp are always a good call, as well as sardines and mullet.
But honestly, when you book an Anna Maria Island fishing boat charter, you won’t have to worry about shopping for bait. I’ll have all of that stocked when we shove off the dock. What we use can also depend on where we go, and even what the fish are in the mood for that day.
But not to worry, I’ll make sure we’ve got the bait we need.
Where and When to Find the Anna Maria Fish This Season
Snook tend to be at the top of a lot of people’s lists, so if they’re what you’re looking for, we have quite a few places to try. The trick is to find a place where the hunting is good—that is, for the snook. See, snook are actively looking for their own meals in flowing waters, on flats, around pilings and mangroves, and other places where they can ambush their prey.
Snook aren’t big about a lot of light, though, so we’d want to schedule your fishing charter in the early morning or evening if you’re intent on snook.
But if you’re just looking to land any of the other species out there this time of year, then we’re good to go when your schedule allows. Mud flats and oyster bars can lead to some great inshore fishing for sea trout and redfish.
Out in the Gulf, ledges, rockpiles and reefs are where we’re going to find our nearshore kingfish, cobia, and permit.
The moral of the story is that spring is when the Anna Maria Island fishing heats up! But it’s going to get crowded out there. So depending on what you want to catch and when you’re available to go, booking a fishing boat charter through AMI Excursions is your best, most efficient bet for a great day of fishing—and loads of fun and adventure, too!
And don’t forget, AMI sport fishing for mature tarpon is heating up soon! But that’s a topic for next month…