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Date of Issue: June 04, 2008

'Mack attack' continues almost everywhere; reds thick in bays

Fishing pic
Costa-whopper silver king
Toni Lyon of Holmes Beach caught this 130-plus tarpon while fishing on vacation in Costa Rica in May.
Fishing pic
Little man, big fish
Zack Guerin, 12, of Anna Maria, hooked up tarpon Memorial Day weekend while fishing with his dad, Jim Guerin, near Egmont Key with Capt. Randall Fowler of Uncle Mudfish Fishing Charters. It took Zack about 20 minutes to get the silver king to the boat and it was estimated to weigh about 85 pounds.

Mackerel are everywhere.

Inshore and offshore fishers report good catches of the macks - far out in the Gulf of Mexico, near the beaches and in the bays.

Speaking of bays, trout and redfish are the fish to target for the plate. Catch-and-release snook are also a good fight for fishers.

Offshore action for grouper and snapper continues to be good at the 100-foot depths, with amberjack being a good bet farther out in the Gulf.

Capt. Sam Kimball out of Annie’s Bait & Tackle on Cortez Road said he’s putting his charters onto lots of barracuda on the offshore artificial reefs, plus snapper, amberjack and grouper.

Capt. Mark Johnston of Annie’s said his inshore catch includes redfish, mackerel off the beaches and catch-and-release snook.

Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said grouper action continues to be excellent in about 100 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico. There are also lots of red snapper catches, with amberjack being caught a bit farther offshore. Mackerel are pretty much everywhere, Bill said, both offshore and in the backwater. Inshore fishing is great for redfish and big trout, with good results coming from the seagrass beds in Sarasota Bay.

Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said anglers are reeling in lots of mackerel, bluefish and mangrove snapper. There are also some small black drum being caught off the dock, plus some catch-and-release snook.

Dave Sork at the Anna Maria City Pier said mackerel are “all over the place.” Fishers are also catching mangrove snapper, yellowtail jacks and some catch-and-release snook.

Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said there are good reports of snapper being caught by the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa Bay, mackerel, some small sharks and tarpon hookups in Tampa Bay.

At Tropic Isles Marina, reports of redfish catches are coming out of Terra Ceia Bay on the higher tides, with the best action coming from near the mangroves along the shore. There are also lots of trout coming out of the bays.

Capt. Rick Gross on Fishy Business out of Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said he’s catching good-sized redfish on the good tides in the bays, plus trout and mackerel.

Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters said he has been catching red grouper and lots of released amberjack. First mate Larry Bethke caught and released a Goliath grouper estimated at least 200 pounds. Capt. Bill Miller went out with us last week and caught a “true fire-truck” grouper. “All of our action was off Anna Maria Island about 35 miles offshore, using grunts and frozen sardines.” Capt. Larry said his other catches included lots of grouper, mangrove and yellowtail snapper, plus a trip that produced 14 sharks to 9 feet in length, as well as tarpon, kingfish, mackerel and cobia.

Capt. Logan Bystrom of Nearshore Fishing in Homes Beach says tarpon are still making a strong appearance on the beaches and passes with plenty of hookups using white bait and thread fins. Snook are hitting white buck-tailed jigs in the morning on the beaches and redfish are being caught around mangrove lines and oyster beds.

On my boat Magic, we’ve been catching limit catches of redfish, plus lots of trout and some small catch-and-release snook.

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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