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Date of Issue: September 03, 2008

Snook season opens; reds, trout also good in bays

Fishing pic
Capt. Logan Bystrom, left, and brother Connor Bystrom, both of Holmes Beach, came up on some tuna while on a summer fishing trip to the Florida Keys.

Snook season opened Sept. 1, and based on the catch-and-release action of late, it promises to be a good year for the fishers vs. big linesiders.

Other inshore action continues to be good for redfish and trout, plus some mackerel off the beaches.
Offshore fishing for grouper and amberjack is also good.

And mangrove snapper are around all the structures, docks and reefs, both inshore and out in the Gulf of Mexico.

Capt. Sam Kimball, out of Annie’s Bait & Tackle on Cortez Road, said he’s been putting his charters onto amberjack, snapper and grouper offshore.

Capt. Mark Johnston, also out of Annie’s, said he’s catching reds, trout and lots of mangrove snapper.

Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said offshore fishing has improved a bit, but it’s still rough out there and he expects it to be rougher this week with Hurricane Gustav coming through. Offshore action last week included red and gag grouper, plus lots of mangrove and lane snapper and amberjack. In the bays, fishers were catching redfish, snapper everywhere where there’s a structure, and mackerel off the beaches. Best bet for snapper is on the rocks off Coquina Beach and Whitney Beach on Longboat Key.

Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said fishing has been slow, with a few small redfish, mangrove snapper and mackerel coming to the dock.

Dave Sork at the Anna Maria City Pier said anglers have been catching mangrove snapper, plus a few mackerel and redfish as well as some bonnethead sharks.

Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said he’s getting good reports of redfish from Terra Ceia Bay and Miguel Bay, plus some big reds coming from the mouth of the Manatee River.

At Tropic Isles Marina, reports include some 31-inch redfish as well as trout and sharks.
Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters said he found that fishing picked up after Tropical Storm Fay cleared up. “We are catching big red and gag grouper, cobia, mangrove snapper, triggerfish, barracuda and lots of sharks,” he said. “Best action is out past 90 feet offshore of Anna Maria Island, using live and cut bait.”

Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Parrot Cove Marina said there are plenty of snapper all over the inshore waters of Manatee and Sarasota, and fairly decent trout and redfish action as well. “As is usually the case, the plentiful small bait of the summer has reached a decent size for the opening of snook season,” he said, “and the schooling of redfish for the autumn spawn. The dense schools of bait are the key to success for trout, snapper and mackerel, because most of these species are found in close proximity.”
On my boat Magic, we’ve been catching lots of redfish.

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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