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Date of Issue: November 02, 2006

Fishing

Fishing pic
Big yahoo for this wahoo
Kirk Davis of Bradenton caught this big wahoo off Anna Maria Island while fishing with Capt. Keith Offenhauer aboard the "Lucky Dog." Also along on the trip were Fred Miller and Joey Gratton.

Red, snook action still good in bays; grouper offshore

Fishing seems to be perched to explode, with the finny critters just waiting for that first real cold front to move through the area, dropping water temperatures and driving the fish into a feeding frenzy.

Not that things are all that bad right now. There are good reports of big redfish and snook coming out of the bays. Offshore fishing for grouper and snapper is also good, and big dolphin catches are coming from about 35 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico.

Don't forget the second annual fishing tournament sponsored by the Home Builders Association of Manatee County is scheduled for Oct. 27-28. Prizes include a week-long vacation at the RonJon resort of Cape Caribe, as well as cash prizes for inshore and offshore divisions. Cost is $400 per boat.

The captain's meeting/party will begin at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at Hooters. Weigh-in will take place at the Bradenton Yacht Club from 2 to 5 p.m. Oct. 28, with the award banquet to follow.

Proceeds from the tournament will go to help the Habitat for Humanity, Future Builders of America and the Manatee County Home Builders Association. For more information, call Beverly Smock at the HBA of Manatee County at 749-7035, ext. 1.

Wayne at Angler's Repair on Cortez Road said that Capt. Thom Smith has been catching a lot of undersize redfish - "just under the limit, but a lot of them" as well as some flounder and snook from Terra Ceia Bay.

Matt Bowers at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said there are a lot of redfish and snook catches coming out of the bays. Oyster bars and near the mangroves on the higher tides are producing the best action, he said, and oversize reds are also starting to move closer to the hook. Offshore fishing for grouper is picking up, and snapper fishing is getting better every day. Dolphin catches are also common about 35 miles out in the Gulf.

Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Parrot Cove Marina had "a good day with reds and snook midweek with Capt. George Munden of the Sea Hunter out of Elizabeth City, N.C. Numerous redfish were boated, ranging in size from 16 inches to 20 inches, and a half-dozen or so snook running up to 30 inches. Whitebait accounted for the success on the flood tide in the morning, with a change just before noon. The reds and snook cooperated an hour or so either side of the top of the tide. Other catches for the week included juvenile Goliath grouper, mackerel, snapper and jacks. There is a substantial front forecast for later this week, hyped to drop temperatures to the 50s. If the forecast holds, it should drop water temperatures into the 70s and bring on the fall migration of mackerel, kings, cobia and a few tarpon."

Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said there is plenty of bait working around the pier right now, and fishing is fair for snapper, jacks and ladyfish. He's seeing a few mackerel, too, plus sheepshead.

Dave Sork at the Anna Maria City Pier said fishers there are "knocking mackerel dead" right now. Pompano are also a good bet, both keeper-size and a few too large to hang onto. School jacks are moving past, and snook are a good bet, especially at night, although daytime linesider action has also been good with pinfish as bait. "As always, about 10 percent of the people seem to catch 90 percent of the fish," he said with a laugh.

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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