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Date of Issue: September 21, 2006

Fishing

Fishing pic
Terrific linesider season-opener
Jessica Dellatorre caught this 34-inch snook while fishing with Capt. Mike Gregory.
Fishing pic
Snook catch to keep
This 37-inch snook was caught aboard Capt. Mac Gregory's boat. Pictured, from left, is Capt. Mac, Cory Bouziane and Trek Hackney.

Slow summertime fishing means slower fishing action

Summer is still here, and the fishing is still in a sleepy summer mode. Lots of afternoon thunderstorms are keeping anglers close to home in the afternoon - even in the early morning, of late - but the best backwater action continues to feature snapper and redfish.

Offshore action is also down right now due to storms, but grouper and snapper are still a good bet in the deeper waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Capt. Tom Chaya on the Dolphin Dreams in Holmes Beach out of Catchers Marina said he's finding redfish starting to school around oyster bars in high water. "Trout are being caught on small shiners on edges of deep grass areas," he said, "and mangrove snapper are hitting shrimp near docks and structure."

At the Rod & Reel Pier, reports include small snook, redfish, a few sheepshead and an 18-inch-long flounder, plus lots of mangrove snapper as the best catches last week.

Jesus Rosario at the Anna Maria City Pier said snook are being caught at night and in the early morning hours. There are also lots of mangrove snapper, small sharks and some big yellowtail jacks caught, plus some sheepshead.

Capt. Thom Smith at Angler's Repair on Cortez Road said he's been catching snook redfish, mackerel, snapper and trout, but the mixed bag of fish has been on the small side, he admitted.

Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers said snapper are the No. 1 catch right now from almost any type of structure in the Gulf or bay. Redfish are starting to school in the seagrass flats, and trout fishing is good in the backwater as well. Offshore fishing has been slow, Bill said, due to adverse weather.

Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said he's seeing big snook around the dock, big mangrove snapper and trout action is slow, but there are some black drum being caught near the Snead Island Boat Works.

Capt. Rick Gross on Fishy Business out of Catchers said he's finding snook to be a good catch for his charters, as well as some redfish on the higher tides, but snapper is his best bet right now.

At Skyway Bait and Tackle, reports include mackerel in the mornings near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa Bay. Reds are coming on strong in Miguel Bay, plus a few keeper-size snook in the bay and near Rattlesnake Point.

On my boat Magic, we caught mangrove snapper to 15 inches, a 29-inch-long snook, redfish to 25 inches, small bonnethead sharks and some keeper-size trout.

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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