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Date of Issue: March 30, 2005

Fishing

Yahoo for wahoo
Wahoo and big grouper were the order of the day for, from left, David Guybusfi, Reed Roak, Dan Howe and Lance Spotts after fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.
Click on image to enlarge

Big cobia coming to the hook, but no tarpon as yet

Cobia are starting to make an appearance in local waters, with some reports of the big ling coming in at better than 40 pounds.

Offshore action for snapper is still excellent, and grouper fishing is also good.

Backwater fishing for redfish is slow, but trout are big and hungry, with lots of reports of limit-catches on most trips. There are also lots of catch-and-release snook being reeled in.

Tarpon are still a no-show, but fishing for silver kings should get started any day now.

Capt. Thom Smith at Angler's Repair on Cortez Road said he put his charters onto some catch-and-release snook to 27 inches last week, plus trout to 21 inches and a few redfish, but the reds are hard to come by right now.

Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle said tarpon aren't hitting yet, but should start to show up any day now. Mackerel, pompano and bluefish are lurking in the bays, and some big trout are being caught as well. Redfish action is slow but improving daily, he added.

Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said fishing is a little slow there, but there are some good catches of mackerel in the mornings, a few black drum and redfish. There is lots of bait working around the pier, Bob added, but no real signs of tarpon yet.

Cliff Alcorn at the Anna Maria City Pier said fishing is slowly improving, with some good-sized mackerel, pompano, a couple of under-size cobia and a few flounder caught. Tarpon are still hiding around that pier as well, he added.

Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said he caught several good-size trout last week. There are some reports of cobia being hooked, and there are a few reds coming to the dock.

Capt. Rick Gross on Fishy Business out of Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said he still hasn't hooked a tarpon yet this season, but mackerel action is hot and snapper fishing is excellent in the Gulf of Mexico. In the backwater, he's catching lots of trout, a few reds and mackerel.

At the Perico Island Bait and Tackle, reports are coming in that trout action is excellent in the bays right now, with most fishers catching their limit most days. Other action includes good catches of mackerel and some redfish.

Capt. Tom Chaya on the Dolphin Dreams in Holmes Beach out of Catchers said he's catching permit, cobia, mackerel and snapper out in the Gulf, while bay fishing features catch-and-release snook, redfish and good-sized trout.

Capt. Matt Denham out of Catchers said offshore fishing is excellent right now, with good catches of grouper to 26 pounds, snapper to 6 pounds, amberjack to 30 pounds and all the lane snapper and porgies you could want.

Capt. Sam Kimball on Legend charters out of Annie's Bait & Tackle in Cortez said he's getting into lots of Spanish mackerel, bonito to 12 pounds, a few kingfish, snapper to 4 pounds and a few keeper-size grouper.

Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Annie's said he's also finding lots of Spanish mackerel, plus redfish, big trout and plenty of catch-and-release snook.

On my boat Magic, we've caught several cobia up to 40 pounds, some small sharks, mackerel, trout to 4 pounds, redfish to 27 inches and lots of small catch-and-release snook.

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 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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