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Date of Issue: August 20, 2008

Reds good inshore; grouper, amberjack biting offshore

Fishing pic
Big barracuda
William Hampton of Ruskin caught and released this big barracuda in about 100 feet of water off Anna Maria Island while fishing with Capt. Larry McGuire.
Fishing pic
Record amberjack
William Stanfield from Palmetto caught this 50-pound amberjack with Capt. Larry McGuire.

Lots of rain has spurred some inshore fishing action, with catch-and-release snook and redfish leading the parade. Trout are scarce, though.

Offshore anglers are doing well with grouper, snapper and amberjack.

And shark fishing in Terra Ceia Bay continues to be superb.

Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said offshore fishing is good to excellent except for the weather acting up. Grouper and snapper catches are great, and amberjack are coming in from farther offshore. For backwater fishers, best bets are redfish on the lower tides, plus snapper coming out of Terra Ceia and Palma Sola bays.

Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said fishing was slow, with fish coming to the hooks in the early mornings and in the evenings. Best catches were for mangrove snapper and black drum.

Dave Sork at the Anna Maria City Pier said anglers at the pier were catching an occasional mackerel, plus some catch-and-release snook at night.

Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said there are lots of big mangrove snapper up to 17 inches in length under his dock, but they only seem to bite from late night to 11 a.m. He’s also hearing of good catches of redfish.

At Tropic Isles Marina, reports include slow but steady catches of small shark in Terra Ceia Bay and lots of snapper by the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa Bay.

Capt. Tom Chaya on the Dolphin Dreams in Holmes Beach out of Catchers said he’s putting his charters onto lots of mangrove snapper around area bridges. Redfish were hitting best on outgoing tides around Longbar Point in north Sarasota Bay, he added, and he’s been catching Spanish mackerel, bluefish and trout in Anna Maria Sound on the deep seagrass flats.

Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters said his best bite is on big grouper and amberjack.

“Fishing is good offshore of Anna Maria Island when the weather is nice,” he said. “We did not get out much this week due to the weather, but when we did it was great catching big red and gag grouper, mangrove snapper, amberjack and blacktip shark.

Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Parrot Cove Marina saidhe’s catching mangroves, trout and reds fishing in the in the Sarasota Bay, Palma Sola and Anna Maria Sound vicinity. “Bait is plentiful and getting larger,” he said, adding that he’s catching scattered Spanish macks, flounder and lots of small grouper.

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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