The fishing report is in and excellent along the shores of Anna Maria Island. I went out in search of some proof last week, and started at the Anna Maria City Pier. There were about a dozen people standing at the end of both the Rod & Reel Pier and the Anna Maria City Pier with poles in hand waiting to catch the next big fish. I spoke with a couple of local fisherman and people in the bait shops to get the scoop.
The fishing off of the piers, bridges, and along the shoreline on Anna Maria Island has been very promising catching Redfish, Snapper, Jacks, and the fishermen are saying that we have an excellent Snook season to come.
Tarpon, Mackerel, and Grouper have been biting in deeper water and are always worth going out on a fishing charter to catch these larger game fish. If you hook into a Tarpon be ready for a fight!
Anna Maria City Pier
Don Kuhn was cast netting for Jacks, and Silver Mullet off of the City Pier today, and told me that I could find him there most days in the spring. Don told me about the schools of Silver Mullet and Jacks that were running through the area all day long. The schools of fish had numbers in the thousands and Don was grabbing about 12-16 per toss.
While chatting with Don at the City Pier he told me about the dolphin with the white tip on his dorsal fin. The dolphin was after the same fish in that area and “he chased down a huge redfish earlier this morning” said Don.
Don told me about this dolphin that got wrapped up in a cast net and did not fight or resist, instead when the fisherman pulled him in the dolphin remained calm until the fisherman could set him free. This very dolphin was swimming alongside the pier as we spoke; Don was able to identify him by the white markings on his dorsal fin.
At the Anna Maria City Pier you can throw your cast net on most of the pier before the entrance to the restaurant. There is a yellow line painted the width of the pier indicating that you cannot throw a cast net past that point. As far as fishing off the pier with a pole you can go anywhere.
The bait shop opens at 7am and closes with the restaurant in the evenings, feel free to call the restaurant for bait shop hours. The bait shop consists of a small selection of hooks, bait, basic tackle, and draft beer! If you get hungry while you are fishing grab a bit to eat in the restaurant, they have a great selection for both fisherman and land lovers.
Rod & Reel Pier
Just down the beach from the City Pier is the Rod & Reel Pier, stop in and talk to my friend Derek Olson, he knows everything about the Rod & Reel Pier and is chock full of Island history.
The Rod & Reel Pier is a great place for fishing, and has a bait shop that is open from 7am-closings (around 9pm) feel free to call the restaurant for bait shop hours.
Cast netting is not permitted at the Rod & Reel Pier but they do offer fishing pole rentals, a small selection of hooks, bait, basic tackle, and of course cold draft beer right in the bait shop! The bait shop has both live and frozen bait for your complete Anna Maria Island fishing experience.