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Date of Issue: May 11, 2006

Fishing
Fishing pic
That's a snook
Bobbi Deiffenbach caught this 40-inch-long snook while fishing with Capt. Ryan Hackney aboard the charterboat "Miss Clancy."

Kingfish continue to be the best bet for offshore fishers, while small snook and redfish are a good bet from the backwater.

The 20th Annual Kids Free Catch & Release Fishing Tournament, sponsored by Manatee-Sarasota Fish & Game Club and the Palmetto and Bradenton Kiwanis clubs, will be held Saturday, May 13, at the Green Bridge Pier in Palmetto.

The Tropicana Echo group will be cooking hot dogs and serving juice, compliments of Tropicana, at the free event.

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.

There will be prizes awarded in various age groups.

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.

Further information is available at 794-2806.

Capt. Tom Chaya on the Dolphin Dreams out of Catchers in Holmes Beach said the kingfish run is nearing its peak. "All charters were greeted with non-stop action last week," he said, "with fish in the 8- to 20-pound class. We also caught lots of nice reds in the bay and quite a few snook were landed."

Jesus Rosario at the Anna Maria City Pier said they’re catching mackerel in the morning, some snook at night and still a few sheepshead.

Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said sheespshead are all but gone for the season, but mackerel showed up last week, plus some jacks, small sharks and whiting.

Capt. Thom Smith from Angler’s Repair said he’s catching snook, redfish and trout.

Reports at Perico Bait and Tackle include good snook action coming from the mouth of Palma Sola Bay and trout from deeper in the basin.

Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle said offshore fishing for kings is great, as well as cobia. Snapper fishing is red-hot, Bill said. Backwater fishing for snook is great, with reports coming in of linesiders better than 30 inches. Trout fishing is slow, but redfish are thick during the lower tides.

Capt. Rick Gross said snook fishing couldn’t be better, with the fish big and hitting well.

Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters also said fishing was hot last week, with kingfish action providing "a strong bite, with limit catches most days and the fish going to 25 pounds." He’s also catching lots of gag and red grouper and mangrove snapper, yellowtail, triggerfish, amberjack to 50 pounds, barracuda and sharks. He’s fishingfrom the beach to about 30 miles out in the Gulf, with both live bait and artificials.

Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Parrot Cove Marina in Cortez claimed "top notch fishing action this week. Gary and Mary Shugart from Maryland started out the week in the Gulf with some jumbo Spanish mackerel and snook in the bay. Their second trip, later in the week, produced some super snook action with a number of fish up to 30 inches." Capt. Zach said he took Alan Schram from Greensboro, N.C., and another fisher "walloped the snook and redfish on two separate trips over the week. Schram boated around 20-25 snook on both trips, ranging in size up to 30 inches, and a number of redfish to 32 inches." He added that the new moon tides were a big factor in the great action, Spanish sardines were the bait of choice, and both the reds and the snook were "eating up the scaly offerings like candy."

On my boat Magic, we caught redfish to 26 inches, a few trout to 20 inches, lots of small snook and a few keeper-flounder.

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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