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Date of Issue: May 14, 2008

Trout terrific in bays; excellent grouper, snapper offshore

Fishing pic
Silver kings strike up fishing
Capt. Logan Bystrom, center, hooked up his friend Dustin Cole, right rear, with a nice tarpon catch in Tampa Bay over the weekend. Along for the trip, which produced six tarpon to the boat and three more jumped were Mark Wickersham, front, and, almost pictured, Logan's brother Connor Bystrom.

While snook season is closed as of May 1, the trout appear to have rebounded after the red tide issues of a few years ago. Redfish are also a terrific catch right now, as are flounder - unusual for this early in the year.

Offshore action still is great for grouper and snapper, plus amberjack a bit farther from shore.

And there are lots of mackerel being caught at the piers and in the passes.

Capt. Sam Kimball out of Annie’s Bait and Tackle in Cortez said he’s getting lots of grouper and snapper offshore.

Capt. Mark Johnson of Annie’s said his inshore charters are producing mackerel from the beaches, plus redfish in the bays.

Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said offshore fishing for grouper and snapper is excellent. Trout are the big-ticket item inshore right now, plus some redfish and catch-and-release snook.

Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said anglers there are catching mackerel, bluefish, sheepshead and some catch-and-release snook.

Dave Sork at the Anna Maria City Pier said it’s all mackerel right now, with a scattering of sheepshead.

Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said he’s hearing lots of reports of big catch-and-release snook, redfish, flounder and lots of trout hookups.

At Tropic Isles Marina, reports are good for redfish, trout and small catch-and-release snook from Terra Ceia Bay.

Capt. Rick Gross on Fishy Business out of Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said his charters are catching lots of redfish and trout to 20 inches.

Capt. Tom Chaya on the Dolphin Dreams in Holmes Beach out of Catchers said trout fishing has been very good over deep seagrass beds. He’s also catching reds on the oyster bars at high tides, and some nice-sized catch-and-release snook under the mangroves. He added that tarpon will be on the increase on the beaches and in the passes in the next few weeks.

Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters said he’s finding fishing to be great offshore of Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key. “Our parties are catching big permit, red grouper, gag grouper, scamp, mangrove snapper, big amberjack, all kinds of big sharks and barracuda. Fishing is hot, and that is a good thing! The best action is out past the 100-foot depths with a variety of live bait and artificials.”

On my boat Magic, we’ve experienced some weird tides this week, but were still able to catch a 27-inch redfish and some flounder. The flounder action is very good right now.

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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