Kelly Quin caught this nice-sized shark about 50 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico while fishing with Capt Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters.
Fall's start should signal a kickstart to fishing fun
Some lingering traces of red tide are still somewhat chilling fishing, and continuing warm water temperatures are doing anything but heat up the action, but with the start of fall last Saturday things should improve.
Inshore action for redfish, trout, snook and snapper remains steady. Offshore fishing for grouper and snapper is also good.
Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Parrot Cove Marina saidthe start of fall Sept. 23 seemed to also start a positive note for fishing. "Red tide blooms of the past two weeks have cleared up and things look pretty good," he said. "Bait is still plentiful and stayed alive and frisky in my bait well on a couple of trips lately. The trips produced mostly redfish and snook with pretty good numbers of each. The reds ran from 14 to 34 inches depending on where you were fishing, and the snook were pretty much the same, fishing various areas mostly north of the Cortez Peninsula over to the mouth of Terra Ceia Bay. The cool front that passed through the area made for comfortable angling conditions without the threat of rain, a welcome change from the anytime-of-day deluges we had been experiencing for weeks." Capt. Zach said other action included a few trout, mangrove snapper and flounder. He also offered this prognosis: "The amazing mackerel run of summer 2006 waned a bit the past couple of weeks, but it should commence again in earnest about the first of October, with kingfish not too far behind."
Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said redfish and snapper are the best bets right now, but snook are hitting "pretty good," he said, and offshore fishing for grouper and snapper is also good.
Capt. Thom Smith at Angler's Repair on Cortez Road said he's catching keeper-size snook, a few redfish and some mackerel.
At Perico Island Bait and Tackle, reports include redfish from the seagrass flats in the bay on the lower tides near Prices Key at the mouth of Palma Sola Bay. Snapper are being caught by the Intracoastal Waterway, and there is still an occasional mackerel hookup.
Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said fishers there are bringing in a few snapper, some small redfish, sheepshead, small pompano and a few snook.
Jesus Rosario at the Anna Maria City Pier said anglers are reeling in snook at night, plus snapper, flounder, small sharks, a few mackerel and some large yellowtail jacks.
Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters said he's finding fishing to be good 15 miles to 50 miles offshore. "We are catching red grouper, gag grouper, red snapper, mangrove snapper, triggerfish, tilefish, lots of sharks and barracuda," he said, adding that he, too, thinks the red tide seems to have cleared out.
Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said there are snapper around the dock in the mornings, and redfish are being caught in Miguel Bay. Black drum are still coming out of the Manatee River, and - believe it or not - some tarpon are being sighted but not caught in front of Terra Ceia Bay.
At Skyway Bait and Tackle, reports include some nice-sized redfish near Miguel Bay and Joe's Island. One 37-inch snook was caught from Miguel Bay, and bait is still plentiful.
On my boat Magic, we have been catching lots of redfish to 27 inches, a 22-inch trout, and limit catches of mangrove snapper. There are also really big schools of yellowtail jacks out there, with some 10-pound hookups not at all unusual.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.