Things to do on Anna Maria Island – Boating & Fishing

boat city pierYou haven’t experienced the real Anna Maria Island unless you do what the locals do. So…what do Anna Maria Island locals do? They get on a boat and go fishing! In fact, many locals try to make fishing and boating a part of their everyday life. After you give it a go, you’ll see why. Here are the nuts and boats, er, bolts, on how you can go boating and fishing around Anna Maria Island.

Get a Florida Fishing License:

Yes, you’ve gotta be legal, even if it’s a one-time-only deal. But no worries, getting a license is quick and easy (and online!), so don’t let this step prevent you from experiencing the thrill of fishing. All you have to do is go to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation web site and purchase your permit. If you are not a Florida resident, you can purchase a 3-day non-resident saltwater fishing permit for $17 or a 7-day non-resident saltwater fishing permit for $30. Once this is done, you’re good to go! There are a few exceptions to the rule: children under 16 are exempt from needing a license. Also, if you are fishing from a pier or going on a fishing charter (generally, if you are paying to fish), you will not need a fishing license; the pier or boat captain usually pays for the license fee. But always ask just to make sure!

Fishing by Pier

Casting from a pier is the easiest (and cheapest) way to go about experiencing the simple pleasures of fishing. Usually you can rent your pole and buy your bait there, and often, you won’t need a fishing license because the pier will have already paid the license fee. Here are the prime piers to fish from while you’re on Anna Maria Island

Rod & Reel Pier: 875 North shore Drive, Anna Maria, 941-778-1885

  • Fishing Cost: $2 per person, kids 8-12 are $1 and kids under 8 are free
  • Need a Fishing License? No, it’s included in your fishing cost
  • Pole Rental: Yes, $2 an hour
  • Bait? They offer live shrimp and frozen bait
  • Hours: You can fish from this pier 24 hours a day!

City Pier: 100 South bay Blvd.,
Anna Maria

, 941-779-1667

  •  Fishing Cost/Pole Rental: $25 deposit, $3/hour includes fishing cost and pole rental. $25 deposit will be given back to you when you return the fishing pole.
  • Need a Fishing License? No, fishing license is included in the cost
  • Bait? They offer frozen squid.
  • Hours: Pier is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Fishing by Boat – Rent a Boat

There’s something satisfying about being your own captain; choosing your own itinerary and basking in your own fishing glory (or unglory). If you know the waters well enough, renting a boat is an awesome way to spend a day.

Cannons Marina: 6040 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key, 941-383-1311 Boat Rental 

Fishing by Boat – Hire a Fishing Charter

When you hire a licensed captain, you can be sure he or she will take you to some hot fishing spots. Here’s a tip, fishermen do not share their longitude/latitude “numbers” of their good fishing spots, so sometimes it’s worth paying the dollars to have a pro actually put you on the hot spots. When you are in the middle of the action, you’ll know what we mean! Not only do captains know where the fish are, they also know good spots to see wildlife like Manatee, Sea Turtles and Dolphin.

These Captains are licensed and insured, so leave the worries to them and just relax and enjoy your day out on the water!

Moore Fishing – “If it swims in Florida waters, we catch it”

This father and son team are famous fishing captains for a reason! With all the fish you’ll bring on board, you’ll see why. They focus on offshore fishing so you are likely to focus on catching snapper and grouper.
Capt. Scott Moore: 941-713-1921
Capt. Justin Moore: 941-720-6408

Captain Ray Markham – “Tampa Bay’s Premier Fishing Guide”, 941-228-3474

Capt. Markham focuses on inshore fishing, so you will likely catch redfish, snook and trout – all very good for dinner!