Kayaking on Anna Maria Island
Kayaking is fantastic on Anna Maria Island all year!
Whether you prefer to fish from your kayak or just enjoy the local marine life and shorebirds while getting some great exercise kayaking around Anna Maria Island, Florida is a must-do activity! The waters surrounding Anna Maria are abundant with endangered animals like manatees, and if you look up you might see a bald eagle too.
This Insider Guide to Kayaking to the area surrounding Anna Maria Island, Florida is the ultimate guide whether you are a beginner or advanced kayaker. You can carve out your perfect visit for kid-friendly experiences wading in the water or enjoy lots of fishing action and bounty that the Gulf of Mexico waters are known for.
If you need to rent a kayak for the day, week or longer head over to our Things to Do page here to rent single or double kayaks, and life jackets needed for a safe day on the water.
If you are looking for a great kayak charter through the mangroves and nerby Preserves you can where you can book a tour. Happy Paddler is also a great local option for a great kayak tour on your own or with a knowledgable guide.
It's one of my favorite things to do and it's Anna Maria Island Beach Life at its best!
Anna Maria Island
Need a nautical chart to navigate the waters around Anna Maria Island? Click the button below to print out NOAA's Nautical Chart before deciding where you want to kayak.
When kayaking around Anna Maria Island always keep a sharp eye out for markers and stay well away from boaters. The best thing about the island is its shallow waters that allow kayakers to get up close and personal with marine life above and below the water's surface.
Always check the local weather and radar maps. The weather can change quickly in Florida especially in the summer months where thunderstorms are abundant.
Take safety precautions wear a life jacket, bring a whistle and waterproof flashlight as well as wear a hat, sunscreen and bring plenty of water it gets hot out there!
Do I need a license to fish in Florida?
Florida Fishing License Requirements:
"Florida Residents and Visitors need a Florida hunting, freshwater fishing or saltwater fishing license unless they are a member of one of the "exempted" groups of people listed below. Your license is required to be with you when you are engaged in the licensed activity. Replacement licenses cost $2.
A fishing license is required to attempt to take fish. If you cast your line, catch nothing, catch and release, or catch and keep and you are not a member of one of the groups listed below; you need a license. A saltwater fishing license is also required to attempt to take any native or non-native marine organisms, such as crabs, lobsters, and marine plants.
Licenses and permits are required to help or assist in the take. Someone who is passively participating (setting decoys, calling birds or baiting hooks), whether actively fishing or hunting or not, must have a license."
Children under the age of 16 and resident seniors who are 65 or older are not required to purchase *most recreational licenses. However, officers may ask exempt children and seniors for proof of age. Seniors should also be prepared to show proof of residency.
Nonresident seniors, need to have a Florida hunting license and permits and/or a recreational fishing license and permits, unless fishing with a charter captain, from a charter vessel or otherwise properly licensed vessel or from a licensed pier.
(Exerpts above are from the Florida Wildlife Commission website. For full updated details on licensing and exemptions please visit www.fwc.som)
Shore Fishing on Anna Maria Island
Shore Fishing Etiquette & Rules:
The beaches of Anna Maria Island are for everyone the swimmers, the snorkelers, the fishermen too. That said there are some rules to follow and proper etiquette to adhere to so that accidents are avoided and everyone enjoys themselves. Fishing along the coastline of Anna Maria Island is permitted in areas that aren't designated as Public Parks.
There are designated areas for parks and public beaches in each village of the island. Anna Maria has Bayfront Park and City Park designated as public swim areas. Holmes Beach has Manatee Beach Park designated as the public swim area and Coquina public beach is found in Bradenton Beach on the lower end of the island. All of these swim areas should be avoided by fishermen as they are high traffic areas where children and swimmers are active. All other areas outside of the pink ovals are areas where shore fishing is permitted.
Remove all fishing gear, hooks and fishing line from all fish caught as well as the beach area while you are fishing and when you depart the beach. This helps to keep the marine and shorebirds thriving and healthy.
Map of Shore Fishing Areas on Anna Maria island
Look for the Fishing Rods!
Shore fishing areas are indicated with fishing rods in the maps below.
Avoid Circled Areas
Avoid areas that are circled in pink as those are designated public swimming areas.
Shore Fishing Area
Shore Fishing Area
Shore Fishing Area
Anyone can learn to fish...
Enjoy Kellan Hunt's YouTube Fishing Adventures on Anna Maria Island
What Fishing Piers are found on Anna Maria Island?
Anna Maria Island City Pier
Anna Maria City Pier - 100 S Bay Blvd, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Latitude: 27.529948 - Longitude -82.726317
Currently, the pier is under reconstruction and should be finished by February 2020.
The AMI City Pier is over 100+ years old and is a great spot for fishing. They sell licenses to fish off their pier as well as a spot to grab a cold beer and a bite to eat if you can't catch your dinner. It's a great come as you are, everyone welcome attitude at this spot.
Rod n Reel Pier
N Shore Dr, Anna Maria, FL 34216
Latitude: 27.538218 - Longitude -82.741042
Established in 1947 Rod and Reel Pier is located at the northern tip of the island and is a great place to catch fish, watch for manatees, dolphins and more. The building houses the main level bar and upstairs casual dining option. Note: sometimes service can be a bit salty so take it in stride and enjoy the views, breezes and laid back Old Florida vibe.
Bradenton Bridge Steet Pier
200 Bridge St, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
Latitude: 27.465314 - Longitude -82.697204
Established in 1921 The Bridge Street Pier is located towards the south-eastern side of the island on the inter-coastal waterway. This pier is one of the prettiest and is the longest on the island for plenty of room to spread out and fish to your heart's content. Historically, it used to be the only bridge to the island before the new Cortez bridge was built. It's a great spot for Bay fishing.
Coquina Beach Piers
6th, 10, 13th Streets, Bradenton Beach, FL 34217
Latitude: 27.465314 - Longitude -82.697204
Although not officially piers, these 3 cement groins serve as barriers to the prevailing ocean waves to keep the beaches intact. They are a good option if you are on the south end of the island and want to drop your line in the Gulf of Mexico. Note: there are no serves on these groins meaning there is no shade, no bait shops and no places to purchase licenses to fish.
What kind of Fish Species are found near Anna Maria Island?
Not sure what you're fishing for? We've got you covered. You can find an abundance of saltwater fish in and around the waters of Anna Maria Island, Florida. The list below is just a sampling of types of fish and sharks found in the area but if not mentioned below may be are a prohibited species to fish and retain. For the full guide including size limits on the Gulf side, seasons and bag limits download the FWC QuickChart for Florida Recreational Saltwater Fishing Regulations
Reef Fish found near Anna Maria Island
Amberjack (Greater, Lesser, & Banded Rudderfish)
Black Sea Bass
Grouper (Black, Gag, Goliath, Nassau, & Red)
Red Porgy (Jolthead)
Snapper (Red & Vermillion, Mutton, Gray/Mangrove, Schoolmaster, Blackfin & Wenchman)
Pelagic Fish found near Anna Maria Island
False Albacore (Little Tunny)
Mackerel (King, Cero & Spanish)
Saltwater Fish Regulations
Coastal Fish Species found near Anna Maria Island
Flounder (Southern, Summer & Winter)
Pompano Dolphin (fish)
Red Drum (Redfish)
Shark Species found near Anna Maria Island
There are size limits and restrictions on which type of shark species you may fish and keep. Check with the list of prohibited species on the FWC Regulation Chart above to avoid fines.
What are the Fishing Seasons on Anna Maria Island?
There are some recreational fish species that have a year-round open season like Mackerel, Sheepshead, Bluefish, Cobia. Then there is a selection of certain fish that have some closed or restricted seasons like Snappers, Groupers, non-prohibited sharks, etc... Find out what the seasons are for Gulf of Mexico fish on the Florida Wildlife Commission's Seasonal Chart below.
Recreational Fish Seasons
Fishing Artificial Reefs - Anna Maria Island
Use the Manatee County Artificial Reefs Map further below to chart your course to epic reef fishing around Anna Maria Island. Also, use our chart below to take note of the longitude and latitude of the artificial reefs around Anna Maria Island for some great fishing action.!