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Date of Issue: January 25, 2007

Fishing

Fishing pic
Fine day on the water
Bringing back a good catch of red and gag grouper are, from left, Alex Caldevane, Landone Gauge and Evan Gauge while on a fishing trip out in the Gulf of Mexico with Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters.

Fishing as hot/cold as the weather

As soon as the weather makes up its mind, fishing should, too.

Sheepshead, trout and redfish are a good bet for backwater fishing. Trout are coming in big and numerous, with some wade fishers catching a half-dozen in short order. There are also flounder and catch-and-release snook in the backwaters.

Offshore fishing is still good for grouper and snapper. Rudderfish are also a good bet. There are also still some kingfish coming in from offshore, an odd occurrence for this time of year, but lots of fun for the fishers.

At Corky's Live Bait & Tack Shop on Cortez Road, reports indicate that fishing has remained on the positive side despite the fact that temperatures have ranged from warm to cool with lots of fog. Bradenton Beach and Holmes Beach appear to have been some of the "hot" spots this week with fishers catching lots of whiting, redfish, trout and bluefish when using live shrimp. Anglers using Mr. Sheepshead's cooked sand fleas and "Magic Potion" have been catching lots of sheepies ranging from to 21 inches in length, plus some pompano. Manatee River fishers have been catching redfish, trout, flounder, bluefish, ladyfish, sheepshead and catch-and-release snook, with live shrimp working the best as bait. Offshore fishermen have been using Atlantic menhaden and live pinfish for bait to catch kingfish, amberjack, snapper and grouper, with some of the grouper getting up to 20 pounds in size.

Grady Smith at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said backwater fishing was very good for redfish, trout and "short snook," plus some pompano, Spanish mackerel and sheepshead.

Tom Cassetty at the Rod & Reel Pier said things have been a little slow, but there are still sheepshead, whiting and lots of crabs and stingrays being caught.

Jesus Rosario at the Anna Maria City Pier said bonita, sheepshead and mackerel are coming in, with the macks hitting best in the morning. Whiting are a good bet as well - Jesus said one lucky angler caught nine in one morning. There are also some keeper-size flounder landing on the dock.

At Annie's Bait and Tackle in Cortez, Capt. Mark Johnson said his inshore charters are catching Spanish mackerel, bluefish and little tuna by the beaches, and lots of redfish in the bays. Capt. Sam Kimball said his offshore trips are coming back with lots of mangrove snapper, triggerfish, "rudderfish by the bucketload," porgies and Key West grunts.

Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Parrot Cove Marina saidhe took Betsey Graf and Jim and Nancy Brill, all from Tafton, Pa., out last week and they scored well with a mixed bag of redfish, sheepies, speckled and gray trout, as well as bluefish on a half-day charter. "Live shrimp and an incoming tide proved productive along the beaches and in north Sarasota Bay and Palma Sola Bay," he said.

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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