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Fishing around Anna Maria Island

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I'll be heading to Anna Maria Island the last week of April/first week of May, and I'm thinking about doing some fishing. Anyone have a charter recommendation? Thanks!

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I can't remember what the charter name was but I drove up to Sarasota, I think it was called the Flying Fox??? For fifty bucks and half a day, a party boat bottom fishing is a riot.

We also hired a guide and met up with him by Punta Gorda. He's a family friend that's retired from guiding, so I can't help you there, but if you look around you'll find plenty. I have piles of business cards from guides near AMI, but I can't vouch for any of them.

I fished Tampa in 2010 around the same time you are going in April/May. I wanted a tarpon real bad, and we had an early spring. I thought the fish would be coming in like crazy. Instead, it was a continental flip flop. We had warm air in MN and it was a cold spring in FL with citrus crop failure and nearshore winterkill. I'm still hoping to get on a tarpon some day, but its going to have to wait a little longer. I'm hoping to get to the keys some time this decade.

On final bit of advice for AMI - hit the piers (Rod n Reel pier, City pier, Bradenton Beach pier). You'll have to look at the regulations, but I think city and county maintained piers don't require a FL fishing license. Every day I'd spend at least a couple hours at the pier. Bring along some live or frozen shrimp and you'll catch all kinds of fish. We caught puffers, spadefish, mackerel, jacks, flounder, grouper, and the big one was convicts (sheephead). Some guys come in at night for cobia and sharks but I wasn't geared for it. I can give you some gear recommendations for the pier if you are planning to bring tackle and rods.

Good luck. Anna Maria Island is one of the most beautiful places I've been to despite all the residential and commercial development. I've been there twice and hope to go again some day.

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Oh, if you are a baseball fan its worth going to Bradenton or Tampa to catch a minor league game.

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