Anyone ever been to or fished Anna Maria Island, FL (just south of Tampa)?

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eyesandgillz
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2024/06/06 06:44:20 (permalink)

Anyone ever been to or fished Anna Maria Island, FL (just south of Tampa)?

Now that we have my daughter's graduation party out of the way, we'll be heading off on vacation to Anna Maria Island on the FL gulf coast in a bit.  Anyone ever been?  Looking fwd to it since we are less than a block off the beach on the north end and can walk to the bay side and gulf side beaches and the deep channel is within casting distance on the inside corner of point.  Supposed to be able to get snook and tarpon from the beach, plus all the regular suspects.  Def. going to be doing some night time fishing for toothy things as long as we can catch some bait.  Will def. post up some pics if we are successful.  Goal is to get my son on something pushing 6' this year.  My gear can't handle much more than that and I don't feel like getting my reels dumped but with the tarpon running and big hammers chasing them, always that slight chance...
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    Porktown
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    Re: Anyone ever been to or fished Anna Maria Island, FL (just south of Tampa)? 2024/06/06 16:26:42 (permalink)
    I fished just north of there at Fort Desoto as well as St Pete Beach. Also in the bay. Went three times. Never during the summer. Best was spring break time. Mostly Spanish mackerel, ladyfish and pompano, all on jigs/spoons. Saw a few nice snook, but didn’t catch any. A guy fishing near me was trying with a live ladyfish. That whole section of west coast of FL is supposed to be excellent fishing, unless red tide happens and then nasty. That gave me second thoughts of heading there and opted for Destin/Ft Walton Beach. We ended up dealing with June grass there. Not horrible, but made fishing hard, impossible directly in front of the condo we were at for most of the vacation.
    #2
    eyesandgillz
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    Re: Anyone ever been to or fished Anna Maria Island, FL (just south of Tampa)? 2024/06/25 07:31:32 (permalink)
    Wish I lived closer to FL to make that drive easier. Loved it there...weather was great.. fishing so so, water beautiful even though sandy for them with the previous weeks weather....all the rain and east wind from Sun to Thurs. Would blow the dirty water and grass out of the bay on the lows...made bottom fishing for bait tough at the point. Did get a small jack on a arti shrimp that we ended up catching a 5+ ft. Blacktip on the next night. That was the second shark my son caught. Earlier in the week he caught what I think was a 3.5' reef shark. No fin markings at all, light tan on top, can say I never caught one of them in TX. Goal was to get something over 5' and my son accomplished it. 6' or bigger will be next years goal so looks like I'll need a kayak to yak out a bait....manatees everywhere.. swim right up to you when wadefishing the surf...could pet them...but didn't need the $500 fine. Lots of dolphins too. Had to be careful where you chucked your lures. Last night there, winds had calmed and the family all did a 2 hr clear bottom, led lit night time kayak tour in the bay. That was pretty cool....one group from Chicago with us were great and also had a good time but a family of 5 from from Boston, what ****bags (other than the mom). Two bratty teenage whiny girls and 2 prick, early teen boys. When we went into a canal looking for manatees, they started yapping at homeowners/renters who were outside and I could tell the guides were getting angry and embarrassed. Thankfully they decided to leave and head back to the launch on their own after an hr. Saw lots of cool stuff in the grass flats in 2 to 3' of water.

    Son did lose a nice snook in the wash the one day and we hooked up with a ton of ladyfish but after 1 or 2 jumps, most got an early release from the spoon or gotcha.

    2 reels finally kicked the can. My 22 year old Shimano stradic 2500 I bought in TX finally kicked the bucket, wont turn at all, and my Sahara 4000, anti reverse stopped working. Big reels seem ok....but need to give them all a good cleaning..
    #3
    CTKsnowman
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    Re: Anyone ever been to or fished Anna Maria Island, FL (just south of Tampa)? 2024/06/25 10:11:13 (permalink)
    My grandmother had a place that I frequently visited at on Anna Maria Island growing up, it was right on Holmes Beach. During the day we would surf fish with sand fleas and frozen squid. Caught a bunch of whiting, stingrays, and shovelhead sharks. At night my parents would take me to the rod and reel pier or the city pier, both sell frozen and live bait, and have a bar and grill. I caught a bunch of fish off those piers at night using live shrimp. Make sure you run some decent braid and a wire leader, the big fish are smart and will run to the pylons to break you off when their hooked (I lost a nice size red snapper @ the rod and reel pier back when I was ten). 

    Stop in Island Discount Tackle, those guys will tell you what's biting. 

    Minnie's Beach Cafe is where you want to go for breakfast. 

    Hope that helps.      

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    eyesandgillz
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    Re: Anyone ever been to or fished Anna Maria Island, FL (just south of Tampa)? 2024/06/25 11:14:51 (permalink)
    lol, I needed all that info. before I went!!!!!!  haha....we did most of our eating at home, at least breakfast, when we had it, to save a $.  Did go to the Rod n Reel on Sunday, our first day.  Winds were heavy and not much biting for us.  Manatees were swimming back and forth under the pier so go some cool pics.  No cast netting allowed from their pier so we paid the $2 and casted a few lines out but nothing of fresh dead shrimp.  Could see a school of a dozen 20"+ snook hanging out under the end amongst the piles but they weren't biting.  I heard night time bonnet head fishing off the end is good but we wanted something a little bigger so fished Bean point at night and during the day.  We were staying right there less than a block from the North Bay Blvd. entrance and the one right down the beach.  
    We ate at the Waterfront one night, got pizza at Pizza Social one night and took a drive and ate at The Cottage down on Siesta key one night.  North end on Anna Maria was definitely our fav. from what we saw/explored.  Rented a golf cart for the week so it was nice tooling around on that everywhere and much easier to find parking for it.  All my phone pics are too big so I need to take some time to try and resize them and post them up.  
    post edited by eyesandgillz - 2024/06/25 11:17:09
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    CTKsnowman
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    Re: Anyone ever been to or fished Anna Maria Island, FL (just south of Tampa)? 2024/06/25 16:25:48 (permalink)


    Our society stigmatizes the mentally ill... and rightfully so, these people are nuts!
    - Dale Gribble
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    eyesandgillz
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    Re: Anyone ever been to or fished Anna Maria Island, FL (just south of Tampa)? 2024/07/02 12:29:20 (permalink)
    Some pics...
    Manatee from Rod N Reel Pier...
    Bait for the week...12" to 15" mullet..
    First shark of the week....3.5' approx.
    Only other shark, 5'+ blacktip...
     
    post edited by eyesandgillz - 2024/07/02 12:31:58

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    #7
    eyesandgillz
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    Re: Anyone ever been to or fished Anna Maria Island, FL (just south of Tampa)? 2024/07/02 12:30:47 (permalink)
    more pics..
     
    Son being a son...he could do that all day...
    Dad being a dad...I did that most of each day!  lol
    Full moon rising on the summer solstice, clear, LED lit kayak backwater tour in the bay...pretty great evening for our last night there...
    post edited by eyesandgillz - 2024/07/02 12:33:24

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    Porktown
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    Re: Anyone ever been to or fished Anna Maria Island, FL (just south of Tampa)? 2024/07/02 13:12:54 (permalink)
    Those are some of the biggest mullet that I have ever seen. I hear they are actually good eating…. If I caught some that big, I’d have to give it a try.
    #9
    eyesandgillz
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    Re: Anyone ever been to or fished Anna Maria Island, FL (just south of Tampa)? 2024/07/05 09:08:33 (permalink)
    Yeah, they were some bigguns, for sure.  Texas had a max. size limit on them in the winter of 12" so they could spawn.  I had to do a quick review of FL regs. to make sure we were ok keeping them that big and no limits there other than quantity.  One cast net throw was enough for us for the week.  The sharks wanted the other stuff anyways, that we were having trouble catching.
     
    I did hear rumors that they eat mullet in FL but we didn't give it a whirl.  Maybe next time.  
     
    One problem there I never encountered elsewhere, the **** herons and egrets wouldn't leave you alone.  I mean, they would come close enough to almost pet asking for handouts.  I had to be careful leaving baited hooks on rods in the holders.  A heron almost got a hold of a tail section of mullet with a 16/0 circle in it.   That would not have been pretty.  We were constantly chasing them away from our spread and our tackle/set-up area.
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    Porktown
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    Re: Anyone ever been to or fished Anna Maria Island, FL (just south of Tampa)? 2024/07/05 10:12:24 (permalink)
    Those birds do that on the Space Coast beaches as well. We did really well one day at Patrick SFB and had one of those things trying to pull fish out of a bucket that we were bleeding out. Kept us from really putting a smack down on fish, having to watch that bucket and shoe it away.
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    eyesandgillz
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    Re: Anyone ever been to or fished Anna Maria Island, FL (just south of Tampa)? 2024/07/05 10:27:48 (permalink)
    Can you fellas see that?  From South Padre Island, TX yesterday 5 to 7 people bit, and they are thinking from the same shark...  
    Hopefully she recovers as best she can.  Life changing injury right there...

    post edited by eyesandgillz - 2024/07/05 10:29:01
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    fishin coyote
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    Re: Anyone ever been to or fished Anna Maria Island, FL (just south of Tampa)? 2024/07/06 16:45:49 (permalink)
    That’s not a pretty picture 

    Nothing is Free!!
    Reward equals Effort


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