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Date of Issue: May 18, 2006

Fishing
Fishing pic
Good catch
Toni Lyons, Kendra Presswood and Capt. Mike Heistand had a good day on the water, catching trout, redfish and lots of small snook.

This season is shaping up to be one of the best kingfish runs in years, with huge fish up to 35 pounds being caught by almost everybody willing to go offshore a bit. There are also some huge amberjack catches reported in the Gulf of Mexico.

Snook action is great in the backwater, as well as redfish and trout.

And don't forget the 20th Annual Kids Free Catch & Release Fishing Tournament Saturday, May 13, at the Green Bridge Pier in Palmetto.

All children between the ages of 7 and 14 are eligible to fish. Bait, hooks and sinkers are provided for fishing, but no tackle boxes are allowed on the pier, and all fishing must be done with the bait provided. All youthful fishers must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration begins at 7 a.m., and fishing starts at 8. Lunch is served at 10 a.m., and the awards ceremony is at 10:45.

And did I mention that it's free?

Further information is available at 794-2806.

Capt. Thom Smith at Angler's Repair on Cortez Road said he's been putting his charters onto snook, redfish and trout, with artificial bait working the best for him.

Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said kingfish "have invaded the Island waters," with reports coming in daily of huge catches of huge fish. Snook fishing remains excellent in the bays, and a few cobia have been spotted along the beaches.

Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Parrot Cove Marina saidhis trips last week produced a mixed bag of catch-and-release snook, redfish, big Spanish mackerel, trout, bluefish, ladyfish, jack crevalle and a few kingfish. He put Alan Schram from Greensboro, N.C., onto some big Spanish mackerel and spotted sea trout early in the week. Morris Emigh scored well on kingfish of 12 pounds, large mackerel and a number of short gag grouper about 8 miles west of Egmont Key in 30-45 feet of water. Capt. Zach said that bait continues to be thick and easy to acquire - "pilchards, thread herring, Spanish sardines, small pinfish and even shrimp have been filling my bait net with little effort. It is interesting that the bait is so thick in the bay but pretty scarce out in the 50-foot range in the Gulf." He added that some tarpon and pretty large cobia have been seen but not caught.

Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said mackerel have finally showed up at the dock, and he expects the action to continue to pick up daily.

Jesus Rosario at the Anna Maria City Pier said he's also seeing a lot of mackerel action at the pier, plus a few small sharks, yellowtail jacks and a few snook catches at night.

Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said he's seeing lots of mackerel and mangrove snapper coming in from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge area, snook from the seagrass flats are a good bet, and redfish near any mangrove islands on the higher tides.

Capt. Rick Gross on Fishy Business out of Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said he's catching all kinds of kingfish, mackerel, snapper, snook and redfish.

At Perico Island Bait and Tackle, reports include lots of good redfish action in Palma Sola Bay. There have been a few tarpon spotted but not hooked - yet - and snook fishing continues to be good near Perico Island on the higher tides.

Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters said he has had a "fast and furious time. With kingfish action still explosive, fishing has been red hot." He getting his charters onto kings to 35 pounds, as well as amberjack to 50 pounds. He's also catching sharks to 5 feet in length and barracuda to 4 feet, mostly in water in the Gulf to 110 feet. Live and artificials are his bait of choice. Oh, and he's also catching triggerfish, mangrove and yellowtail snapper.

On my boat Magic, we've been catching all the kings you could ask for, most in the 5- to 12-pound range. We're also getting lots of small snook and lots of redfish.

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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