Things are definitely turning toward a wintertime trend in the waters around Anna Maria Island. With the past couple of fronts, the water temperatures in the Gulf have dipped just a bit. They’re in the high 60s for the most part. These changes bring an influx of new species into our area for the winter. Sheepshead, black drum, Florida pompano, tripletail, bluefish and kingfish are the most sought after game fish. We here at Anna Maria Charters are trying to prepare for this change and switch up tactics a bit. Shrimp will be a large part of our repertoire. Personally, I love the fight of a healthy black drum. And when they aren’t too big, I find the fillets to be quite tasty.
Pompano fishing is improving as well. These little gold nuggets are scrappy and excellent table fare. Catch and release is something we find important, and there is always a variety of species that are fun fighters and great if you just enjoy the tug of a tenacious animal. Jack crevalle and blacktips are seemingly everywhere right now. Always fun to tangle with these relentless fighters. – Capt. Dave White