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Date of Issue: June 02, 2005

Fishing
Sizeable snook
Joe Mitchell of Tampa caught and released this 36-inch snook while fishing with Capt. Tom Chaya last week.
Click on image to enlarge

Tarpon coming on strong off Egmong Key; trout in backwaters

Tarpon are starting to show up off Egmont Key and near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in some numbers and size. Sharks, as always, are following the silver kings and bonnetheads are a good bet for a good catch.

Inshore action continues to be excellent for trout, redfish and catch-and-release snook.

Offshore fishing for snapper is also good, and there are some reports of wahoo and dolphin while trolling out in the Gulf of Mexico.

And don't forget the Anna Maria Island Community Center fishing tournament June 17-19, with lots of prizes and goodies. There is even more good stuff available if you register by June 6. Call 778-5900 for more details.

Capt. Thom Smith at Angler's Repair on Cortez Road said he and his charters reeled in a bunch of redfish and trout last week, using live and artificial baits, plus some catch-and-release snook. Most of the best action came from Sarasota Bay, he added.

Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said inshore fishers are still catching redfish and trout in great numbers right now. Offshore action includes lots of dolphin and wahoo while trolling out in the Gulf of Mexico.

Capt. Wayne Jenthner of Wolfmouth Charters out of Longboat Key said his offshore charters are producing lots of grouper, snapper and blackfin tuna, while inshore action includes trout and large, large tarpon. He's also doing some nighttime charters and producing lots of mangrove snapper to 7 pounds and gag grouper to 15 pounds.

Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said fishing has been a little slow at the pier, but there have been some hookups of blue runners, spadefish, mackerel and catch-and-release snook at night.

Cliff Alcorn at the Anna Maria City Pier said there were a few mackerel caught last week, plus some small bonnethead sharks, flounder and catch-and-release snook caught at night.

Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said he's hearing good reports of catch-and-release snook from Terra Ceia Bay, some mangrove snapper along the shipping channel in Tampa Bay, and mackerel out in front of Terra Ceia Bay. There are also reds coming from Miguel Bay, Dave said.

Capt. Rick Gross on Fishy Business out of Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said he's catching lots of redfish and catch-and-release snook, plus some trout.

At Perico Island Bait and Tackle, the best word in fishing was trout from the seagrass flats in the backwaters around Palma Sola Bay and Anna Maria Sound. There were also some good reports of good-size sharks coming out of Tampa Bay, with one 6-foot bull shark coming onto the dock.

Capt. Tom Chaya on the Dolphin Dreams in Holmes Beach out of Catchers said he's catching some mackerel and mangrove snapper offshore, plus trout and redfish in the backwaters.

Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Annie's Bait & Tackle in Cortez said he's putting his charters onto snook to 40 inches in length, redfish to 25 inches, trout to 25 inches, plus flounder and jacks. The beach fishing has been producing a slew of mackerel to 28 inches as well as a few small kingfish.

On my boat Magic, we've caught lots of redfish - up to 20 per trip on most outings - as well as a 20-pound cobia and seven snook that could have been keepers if the season had permitted on one trip last week.

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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