||Late-season silver king
Francois Van Mechelen from Belgium caught this 180-pound tarpon in late October while fishing with Capt. Larry Huffman aboard the charter boat "Tuna Breath." Tarpon usually are caught during the spring and early summer, but some "resident" silver kings hang around the area year-round.
Kingfish run - finally - offshore; reds peak now
Kingfish season is here at last, with good reports of big kings up to 30 pounds being caught off Coquina Beach last week.
Redfish action is at its peak right now, with some reports of better than 50 caught last week by some guides. Snook action continues to be good.
Just offshore, mackerel action remains good, too, although waning somewhat from its peak a few weeks ago. Grouper and snapper fishing farther out in the Gulf of Mexico has also moved closer to shore, with lots of good catches reported about 15 to 20 miles out.
Remember that trout season ended Nov. 1 - of course, just as the fish turned hungry and were getting big.
Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said fishers there are reeling in lots of redfish, black drum, some snapper, and a few snook, but the reds on outgoing tides are the best bet.
Cliff Alcorn at the Anna Maria City Pier said snook fishing there has been good in the mornings, but mackerel action is slowing. Sheepshead are starting to show up around the pilings, plus there have been some mangrove snapper catches, flounder, bluefish and yellowtail jacks.
Lee Gause at Perico Harbor Bait & Tackle said redfish are along the beaches, mackerel are a little farther out from shore in the Gulf near the rocks, kingfish are being caught off Coquina Beach, and sheepshead are starting to appear for the winter as the water temperature finally cools.
Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle said kingfish are finally starting to make their run along the beaches as the water starts to hit the mid- to low-70s. Inshore action for redfish remains about as good as it will ever get, although the past week's extreme tides have made it a little tougher to get to the best spots. Offshore grouper action continues to be good, with lots of hookups less than 20 miles out in the Gulf.
Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said he's hearing good reports of redfish in Terra Ceia Bay, mackerel off the Sunshine Skyway Bridge pier systems, snook in the cut and black drum in the Manatee River near any of the docks. He's also seen a few big flounder come to the dock.
Capt. Rick Gross on Fishy Business out of Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said kingfish are off the beaches, and he's been able to put his charters onto a few 30-pounders in the last few days. He's also still catching lots of keeper-size snook and redfish.
Capt. Tom Chaya on the Dolphin Dreams in Holmes Beach out of Catchers said trout fishing was excellent up to the season's close Nov. 1. He's also catching mackerel, redfish and lots of big snook.
Capt. Matt Denham on the Rip-Tide out of Catchers said high winds have made it a little rough to get offshore a lot, but he's still finding excellent catches of red and gag grouper to 20 pounds and snapper to 5 pounds when he can get out.
Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Annie's Bait & Tackle in Cortez said he took John Lodge and his son and a friend out last week and did well with kingfish, mackerel, snook, redfish and flounder. Quite a mixed bag!
On my boat Magic, we have been catching redfish like crazy, hooking up with better than 50 last week.
Good luck and good fishing.
Good luck and good fishing.
Capt. Mike Heistand is a 20-year fishing guide. Call him at 779-9607 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 firstname.lastname@example.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.