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Date of Issue: November 23, 2006

Fishing

Fishing pic
Cobia star
Bert Bolton, 12, from England, caught this nice-size cobia while fishing with Capt. Larry McGuire on Show Me The Fish Charters.
Fishing pic
A beauty
Hope Rykman of Palmetto caught this 33-inch-long, 12-pound redfish while fishing with Capt. Mike Heistand.

Kings starting run offshore; mackerel hitting well, too

Mackerel and kingfish are starting their run offshore, and the action is good and should get better in the coming weeks.

Farther out in the Gulf of Mexico, grouper and snapper continue to be a good catch, but expect the best action in better than 100 feet of water.

In the backwaters, snook and redfish are still good catches on the right tides; look for oyster bars or near the mangroves and cast carefully.

At Corky's Bait and Tackle Shop on Cortez Road, Vin reports that he has been catching snook, redfish and a lot of sheepshead in his "secret" fishing hole. Other fishers have been catching a lot of sheepshead, reds, pompano, mackerel and snook. Chuck and his fishing partner have been catching snook, reds, pompano, kingfish and sheepshead in the bays. By the way, Corky's is the official drop-off spot for Capt. Thom Smith's Angler's Repair since he has relocated. Bring your rods and reels to 10103 Cortez Road W. and we will get them to Capt. Thom and call you when repairs have been completed.

Matt Bowers at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said that mackerel are a huge hit out about a mile offshore of the Island. The kingfish run has definitely started, he said, with catches upwards of 20 pounds being brought back in the coolers. Grouper and snapper action offshore is also good, with most of the best catches coming from the 100-foot depths in the Gulf. For bay fishers, redfish are still congregating near the oyster bars, and snook are a good bet on the higher tides near the mangrove shores.

Tom Cassetty at the Rod & Reel Pier said anglers there are catching some nice-size keeper snook, plus black drum. Snapper action has dropped off at the pier, but mackerel are hitting, plus some sheepshead. The big news is the sharks - they've had some big catches of bull and nurse sharks, upwards of 9 feet in length, caught and brought to the deck, plus a lot of smaller blacktips.

Jesus Rosario at the Anna Maria City Pier said one lucky angler had just reeled in a 38-inch redfish. Snook action is good, with the best results coming either in the early morning or at night. Sheepshead fishing is starting to pick up, too, he said.

At Perico Island Bait and Tackle, Lee Gause said that there were some good catches of trout and redfish coming out of Palma Sola Bay.

Capt. Tom Chaya on the Dolphin Dreams in Holmes Beach out of Catchers said Spanish mackerel and kingfish are the best bet for great action. Snook and reds are still in good numbers on the edges of the bars on the low tides in the backwater, and he's finding trout fishing on the rise with decent numbers on shallow bars.

Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Parrot Cove Marina saidhe took Rick Fuchs from Ohio out and had a "big mack attack in the Gulf off Anna Maria on Friday. Countless king-sized mackerel were taken on white bait in 30 feet of water on an outgoing tide. After the mackerel onslaught, we plied the waters of north Sarasota Bay and caught a number of redfish and sheepshead. Both species fell for live shrimp on an incoming tide. I believe there is going to be a big run of kingfish in the next couple of weeks off the beaches of Anna Maria and Longboat Key. That all hinges on a break in the windy weather that has plagued us for the past few weeks. There are plenty of good-sized bait available in the bays and no hard arctic fronts are on the horizon. Live shrimp is becoming the bait of choice on the inside. Shrimp have out-produced whitebait for snook, reds and, of course, sheepshead.

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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