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Date of Issue: June 30, 2010

Anglers should fill ice boxes before sun peaks

Devon Moran of Holmes Beach caught this mantis shrimp off Bean Point while fishing with Capt. Bill Rand aboard Tricks of the Trade. Islander Photo: Courtesy Jessica Land

Alicia Refer with a smoker kingfish caught on a flat-lined sardine in about 50 feet offshore of Anna Maria Island. Refer and her family were fishing with Capt. Larry McGuire while vacationing on Anna Maria Island.

The early bird has been getting the fish.

Whether anglers are chasing tarpon or inshore species such as trout and redfish, it seems the best bite has been before about 10 a.m. Scalding water temperatures, which have reached 90-plus degrees on some flats and in the nearshore Gulf, have left fish somewhat lock-jawed around midday.

The full moon could have chased many tarpon away for their spawn, but expect the silver kings to be hungry after they journey back later this week.

Capt. Warren Girle said he’s been heading off the beaches before 8:30 a.m. and usually hooks up immediately with 2-3 inch crabs for tarpon bait. And, he said, the tarpon-angling has been getting tougher later in the days. He reported several double-hookups last week.

Annamae Lahay from Corky’s Live Bait/Tackle Thrift Shop is receiving reports that redfish and trout are plentiful in the grass flats of Sarasota and Palma Sola bays. Also in the bays are quite a few mangrove snapper, flounder, ladyfish and bluefish.

She reported around the area of Longboat Pass there are numerous catches of sharks, bonito, cobia, some grouper, snapper and flounder along with quite a few Spanish mackerel.

The best bait, she said, seems to be live shrimp, especially the larger select shrimp for the redfish. But the regular-size shrimp are working quite well for all the other fish. “I guess the fish tend to like something different from the usual bait that is always there,” she said.

Finally, she said tarpon are being caught in the pass and at the north tip of Anna Maria Island and are quite plentiful this year. She said live blue crabs have been a great bait.

Capt. Danny Stasny from Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina said the inshore trout bite has been “weird,” but he’s been chumming up some of the deeper flats for them. The redfish bite has been best early in the morning or evenings because of the hot water temperatures. He said the evening bite has been good on low, outgoing tides. “You find the reds staged up,” Stasny said.

He said the tarpon bite is solid. “They’re pretty much all over the beaches, in the passes on outgoing tides, and the Skyway bite is still happening,” he said. “It’s one of the best tarpon bites I’ve seen in awhile. I was running up to Bean Point where that big sand bar runs way out, and they were just stacked on that bar.”

Stasny said he’s starting to see snook on the beaches, mostly in the evenings. He suggests targeting them with white bait. “A lot of people think they need to wade in to get them,” Stasny said. “You basically don’t want to wade. Just stay back on the beach 10-15 feet from the water’s edge and sit there with a bucket and be ready to grab a bait for when you see twins or triplets coming down the beach.”

He also said to have a flat line ready because many anglers have been spotting whale sharks, which have cobia gathering around them. The whale sharks act as structure for the cobia.

Offshore, he said he’s been getting a bunch of triggerfgish and porgies, along with gag and red grouper.

Capt. Steven Salgado said tarpon are still on beaches and passes and he’s been targeting them later in the evenings. Also, he’s been hitting an early trout and redfish bite because he’s noticed that after 10 a.m. the bite shuts off.

Jim Malfese at the Rod & Reel Pier said anglers have been catching mangrove snapper, a few Spanish mackerel, black drum and a few large snook. “We have the largest shrimp in town and we actually have a good fishery here,” he said.

Rocky Corby from Anna Maria City Pier said anglers are still catching Spanish mackerel, and tarpon have been around in the mornings.

Jeff Medley from Sunshine Skyway south fishing pier said mangrove snapper have been biting at night around the pilings. “That’s about all I’ve noticed,” he said. He said anglers have been using cut greenbacks and pieces of shrimp.

 

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