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Date of Issue: January 25, 2007

Fishing

Fishing pic
Pretty fish
Kristan Vinyard, 15, from Prairie Grove, Ark., caught this hog snapper while fishing with Capt. Larry McGuire. It was her first saltwater fishing excursion.
Fishing pic
Here's looking at you
Kristan Vinyard caught a mess of kingfish while fishing off shore in the Gulf.

Good fishing descends on local waters

That wacky "winter" weather of late seems to be turning on the fish as well as fishers. Air temperatures have topped 80 degrees by day of late, water temps are hovering around 70, and the fishing is about as hot as it can get.

Backwater action is great for sheepshead, trout, redfish and bluefish. Pass fishing is good for pompano and whiting, which are also near the beaches.

Offshore fishing is great for amberjack, gag and red grouper, snapper and triggerfish.

At Corky’s Live Bait, Tackle & Snack Shop on Cortez Road, most fishermen have reported good fishing this week, especially in the waters by Longboat Pass Bridge and Bradenton Beach. Catches include whiting, lots of redfish, although only a few of keeper size, some trout, bluefish and ladyfish, all caught using live shrimp. Sheepshead and pompano are reacting well with Mr. Sheepshead cooked sand fleas, with the best action coming from near pilings or docks. Some fishers were using live pinfish and Atlantic menhaden to catch sharks to 7 feet in length. The Manatee River is producing lots of redfish, but only a few of legal length to keep, as well as some trout of legal size, small flounder, ladyfish, bluefish, a few snook and a pompano. Fishing around some of the docks have produced quite a few sheepshead of 19 inches, fishers report.

Capt. Tom Chaya on the Dolphin Dreams in Holmes Beach out of Catchers Marina said he’s seeing good action on all the winter species, including lots of silver trout and bluefish working the reefs. There has also been a good showing of big speckled trout in the bays, and more and more sheepshead are continuing to show around structures. He’s also been catching some decent-sized reds around the docks in New Pass

Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters said reports that "fishing was fantastic this week before the wind came up. Grouper were hot, with gags to 20 pounds, reds to 18 pounds, lots of snapper, triggerfish, kingfish, amberjack and little tunas. We were fishing out to 35 miles using live baits and Spanish sardines."

Good luck and good Fishing.

Capt. Mike Heistand is a 20-year-plus fishing guide. Call him at 723-1107 to provide a fishing report. Prints and digital images of your catch are also welcome and may be dropped off at The Islander, 5404 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, or e-mailed to news@islander.org. Please include identification for persons in the picture along with information on the catch and a name and phone number for more information. Snapshots may be retrieved once they appear in the paper.

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