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Date of Issue: May 21, 2008

Fishing great, fishing lousy - you decide

Fishing pic
All smiles
Sarah Lynch from Montague, N.J., caught this big gag grouper on her first fishing trip with Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters. The fish was caught about 32 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico using live pinfish as bait.
Fishing pic
Good catch
Megan Jackson, left, and Joann Fumerelle caught these fish 28 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico in 110 feet of water with Capt. Anthony Manali on board the Legmakr Fishing Team. The catch was made in two hours, and the shark on the left was a 5 1/2 foot blacktip that took Megan 45 minutes to land.

It’s a mixed bag of reports for fishing this week. Some locations are saying that everything is great while others lament the action.

Nonetheless, there are good reports of trout in the bays, plus redfish, mangrove snapper and catch-and-release snook in the backwaters.

Winds appear to be somewhat hampering offshore action in the Gulf of Mexico, but grouper, snapper, amberjack and even some kingfish are being reported to have come onto the hook.

Capt. Logan Bystrom said tarpon fishing has been picking up in the passes, with a 200-pound silver king caught last Friday by Tommy Daniels. Snook have been caught and released under the mangroves on high tides in the backwater, and trout around the potholes in the seagrass flats. Capt. Logan also said that he’s catching lots of big redfish around the oyster beds in the bays.

Capt. Sam Kimball out of Annie’s Bait and Tackle on Cortez Road said his offshore fishing has been hampered by winds, but he’s still able to catch grouper, snapper, kingfish and Spanish mackerel.

Capt. Mark Johnston of Annie’s said mangrove snapper fishing inshore is as good as he can remember on the good tides. Trout fishing is great, from the mouth of the Manatee River to southern Sarasota Bay, plus good action by Key Royale with some of the trout up to 22 inches in length.

      Capt Mark Howard of Sumotime Fishing Charters said that fishing around Anna Maria is excellent. “Trout have been very cooperative with catches up to 24 inches, redfish are in the potholes close to shorelines with catches to 10 pounds, and catch-and-release snook are in a feeding frenzy.” He added that big tides this week should provide some  Snook are on a tear and feeding heavily. He added that with big tides this week,  “fishing will be at its apex.”

Greg Lowman at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said he’s hearing good reports of trout, redfish and snook, plus some tarpon near the passes and off the beaches of the Island. Offshore action includes continued good catches of grouper and snapper offshore, as well as permit and some lingering kingfish.

Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said anglers there are catching snapper, pompano, redfish, blue runners and jacks. He’s seeing some tarpon, and caught one on 8-pound-test line last week. It jumped once before it broke the too-light line. He did offer some off-news, though: “Fishing is the worst I’ve seen in 35 years. It’s lousy.”

Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters said fishing is great offshore of Anna Maria Island. “Grouper has gone wild with red grouper up to 28 pounds and some big gag grouper. Our parties are also catching big permit, mangrove snapper, catch-and-release American red snapper, all the big amberjack you can handle, blacktip shark and barracuda.We are using a variety of live, cut and artificial bait.” He added that the best grouper action is out past 100 feet in the Gulf. He’s also catching some tarpon around the beaches, as well as Spanish mackerel and a few kingfish.

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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