Anna Maria Island is known for its huge range of exciting fishing charter options. Anglers enjoy fishing from the island’s many docks, piers, rock formations and jetties.
As you plan your next fishing excursion to our beautiful island, these are the top 10 game fish species that you can find in the waters around the island, whether you choose to go out on your own, on a fishing charter, or fish right from the shore or a pier.
- Tarpon – Tarpon is considered to be one of Florida’s premier gamefish. They can mainly be found inshore and many catches are within the 50-pound range. There are catch limits of 2 tarpon per day.
- Snook – There are also limit requirements on Snook as well as a short season on these fish. They are found in the waters near the docks and mangroves and are a great tasting fish.
- Flounder – Flounder is a flat fish that can be found on the sandy bottoms around bridges and piers. Flounder is also one of the best tasting fish species in the area and are highly sought after.
- Redfish – These pinkish to bronze fish are found during the cooler months on the grass beds around Anna Maria Island and offers an excellent challenge for experienced fishermen.
- Grouper – One of the most delicious and highly sought-after gamefish at local restaurants, many types of grouper inhabit reefs and rocky bottoms and in deeper water over 60 feet. Gag grouper can be found both inshore and offshore, while 200 to 400-pound Goliath grouper can be found in deeper water.
- Mangrove Snapper – Mangrove snapper are a smart and challenging catch that thrive in the waters around Anna Maria Island throughout the year. Adult mangrove snappers are found offshore in rocky reefs while juveniles are found inshore.
- Cobia – Cobia are another exciting catch that almost look like sharks from above. They feed on many types food throughout the bottom and top of the ocean. They’re found on the edges of bars close to Anna Maria Island.
- Permit – Permit can be found offshore and inshore and are similar to Pompano in their shape, except they are much larger. They are found near reefs and sand flats and feed on crabs and clams.
- Shark – Blacktip sharks and several other species are commonly found in the waters around Anna Maria Island and are one of the more fun and exciting catches. Shark fishing is more successful during the warmer months of the year. Blacktips are very scrappy and range in size from 5 to 40 pounds.
- King Mackerel – King Mackerel can be found both offshore and inshore and are typically fished for near piers as well as deeper water. They are another fun and challenging catch and are known for their blistering speed and for being one of the more popular sport fish species in the world.
Remember that if you choose to venture out and fish on your own, that you’ll need to obtain a Florida saltwater fishing license, even if you plan on releasing anything you catch. Get more information about licenses and catch restrictions.