Anna Maria Island Fishing Report-Pompano-Permit-Sheepshead
Captain Aaron Lowman – Fishing Report – February 16, 2014
Island Discount Tackle Charter Desk: (941) 779-2838
—–Although the weather in February dictates where you can go and what you can find to catch, there are usually some spots we can get to that hold fish. Over the last week or so, we have been fishing mainly for pompano, permit and sheepshead.
—–This is the time of year when you can catch the really big sheepshead. If they have to be measured, then we throw them back. The big ones, 15″+, will have some very nice fillets. There are many artificial reefs in Manatee County where you can catch a mess of sheepshead this month. Once you are lucky enough to locate them, you have a good chance of getting more than one. If you want to use shrimp for bait, I suggest attaching the shrimp to a 1/4 or 3/8 ounce jig head instead of hooking the shrimp and using a weight 12-18 inches up the line. The light bite/nibble of the fish is much more detectable if the weight is right at the bait.
—–February is the time of year when we are able to specifically fish for pompano and small permit. We can catch them other times of the year but those hook-ups are usually incidental catches. They can be found along the sandy beaches of Anna Maria Island and Egmont Key. I like to use a small, colorful lead-headed jig tipped with a piece of shrimp or sand flea. Generally, the idea is to toss the offering near the shoreline and bounce or drag your bait back towards you in such a way that there is a puff of sand, much like the disturbance a little crustacean might make in the sand as it skitters along the bottom. Pompano and permit are generally found in schools and will roam up and down a stretch of beach… so be patient. Pick an area and work it for a while. You may get lucky!