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Date of Issue: January 10, 2007

Fishing

Fishing pic
Awesome amberjack
Cameron Frame, 13, of Sarasota, caught this 37-pound amberjack while fishing with his dad Gordon aboard the Stray Dog Charters out of Cortez. They caught the fish about 35 miles off Anna Maria Island in the Gulf of Mexico.
Fishing pic
Good day on the water
Cameron and Gordon Frame brought back a good catch of amberjack while fishing in the Gulf.

Grouper, snapper good offshore; reds, sheepies in bays

It would appear that even the fish took some time off during the holidays, as fishing action slowed a bit last week.

Offshore action for grouper and snapper is still good in the Gulf of Mexico in about 100 feet of water, though, and there are some good amberjack catches coming to the docks.

Backwater fishing for sheepshead is good, too, as well as some small redfish and catch-and-release snook.

Trout season reopened Jan. 1, by the way.

Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said sheepshead remain the mainstay for inshore fishers right now, although there are some big redfish around the docks in the bay and whiting off the beaches. Grouper and snapper fishing in the Gulf remains strong, though, in less than 100 feet of water.

Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said fishing action was slow at the dock, but there were a few catches of sheepshead, black drum and small flounder.

Jesus Rosario at the Anna Maria City Pier said pier fishers there have been catching flounder, mackerel and sheepshead, plus a few snook at night.

At Annie's Bait & Tackle in Cortez, Capt. Sam Kimball said he's been putting his charters onto snapper to 8 pounds and grouper to 10 pounds, plus banded rudderfish and amberjack. In the backwater, Capt. Mark Johnson has been doing good with redfish, sheepshead and catch-and-release trout.

Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said there are good reports of black drum coming out of the Manatee River, snook at night in the cut, and sheepshead near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

Capt. Rick Gross on Fishy Business out of Catchers Marina said redfish and sheepshead were his top catches.

At Skyway Bait and Tackle, reports include sheepshead by the Skyway in Tampa Bay, snapper from the ship channels and a few redfish coming out of Terra Ceia Bay.

Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Parrot Cove Marina saidhe took Chris, Steve and Rob Boyer from Indiana to a catch of redfish to 22 inches and sheepshead to 4 pounds. "That catch was pretty representative of the fishing results this last week, with the addition of big ladyfish, some catch-and-release trout, snook and black drum," he said.

On my boat Magic, we've been catching lots of small reds and some big sheepshead.

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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