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Date of Issue: October 27, 2005

Fishing
Fishing pic
Grins for good-sized red
Orlando Casiano of Plant City caught and released this 32-inch-long redfish while fishing with Capt. Tom Chaya aboard Dolphin Dreams last week.

Snook, reds, flounder good inshore bets, sheepies showing, too


Snook action has really picked up in the past week, with lots of hookups reported by lots of fishers in lots of backwater locations from Terra Ceia Bay to Sarasota Bay. Redfishing is also good, and flounder are starting to bite as the water starts to cool.

Offshore fishing for grouper, snapper and even a few amberjack is also a good bet right now.

Of course, things will be chewed up in the Gulf and bays what with Hurricane Wilma's passage and then the arrival of the season's first cold front, but expect things to really turn on as things quiet down later in the week.

Capt. Thom Smith at Angler's Repair on Cortez Road said he was able to put his charters onto snook to 27 inches, plus redfish and some trout.

Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said best bets right now are snook, redfish, mangrove snapper and flounder. Fishing should really pick up after the cold front passes through this week, he said, and the water finally cools down a bit. Offshore fishing for grouper, snapper and amberjack is also good now as long as the winds were down - something the upcoming week probably won't see much of.

At the Rod & Reel Pier, reports include good catches of snook, a few redfish, snapper and some sheepshead. Live shrimp is producing the best results. There was also a 30-inch linesider caught last week, giving the lucky angler the pier's "fish of the week" honor.

Jesus Rosario at the Anna Maria City Pier said that some snook were caught last week from the dock, mostly at night or early in the morning. There are also good reports of sheepshead, whiting, flounder and some mangrove snapper - "just a little bit of everything," he said.

Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said snook are still coming to the docks from boaters fishing in Terra Ceia Bay. Several boaters also caught redfish from that area last week while fishing near the mangrove shorelines, and he's seeing lots of snapper hanging out under his dock.

Capt. Rick Gross on Fishy Business out of Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said he's still putting his charters onto good snook catches, some redfish, and a few trout.

At Perico Island Bait and Tackle, reports include snook being caught around Perico Island, mangrove snapper near the Intracoastal Waterway and sheepshead starting to show up near any bridge pier or dock piling. There were also a few redfish caught just outside of the marina.

On my boat Magic, we had one trip last week and did a good job of catching redfish and a few snook.

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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