Check out this great video of people fishing at Rod and Reel Pier
Fishing is a favorite pastime on Anna Maria Island. A variety of fish species may be caught off any of the Island's three fishing piers and from a variety of other good fishing spots found on the island.
In Anna Maria City, the Rod and Reel Pier is a great location to cast a line for jack, mackerel, snappers, drum, snook, cobia, barracuda, king fish, ladyfish, tarpon, sand perch, sheepshead, trout, red fish, grouper and even small sharks. In 1979 a 17 foot hammerhead shark was caught off the Pier earning a world record for the largest shark ever caught off a pier. The famous Rod and Reel restaurant is located on the Pier. You can check lineups on this terrific HD webcam. The Pier is privately owned and charges older kids and adult anglers a few dollars to drop a line, but it's well worth the cost.
Just down the road from the Rod and Reel is the Anna Maria City pier. This pier was heavily damaged by Hurricane Irma in 2017 and is in the process of being re-built with a finish date of sometime in 2020 .
At the end of historic Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach is the Bridge Street Pier. This historic pier which once connected the island to the mainland was heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and was reopened in 2015 after a multi-million dollar renovation. This is a convenient spot to catch grouper, mullet, flounder, bluefish and ladyfish. Anna Maria Oyster Bar is conveniently located on the pier and is a great spot to watch dolphins
You do not need a license to fish from land or to fish from a structure attached to land. You do need one if you're fishing from a boat. If you charter one of the boats mentioned above, then the owner will likely have a blanket license. A good rule of thumb is, if you paid to go fishing, you likely won't need a license.
All three piers offer bait for sale. While you wait for the fish to bite, you may be treated to the sight of a manatee swimming lazily under the pier or a school of dolphins frolicking just offshore, not to mention the plentiful water birds watching you fish – cormorants, herons, egrets and pelicans. .
For the more adventurous, a number of deep sea fishing charters are available on the Island and in Cortez.