Julie Shaw from Largo fished with the Bob Mizerski party on last week and caught this grouper aboard Capt. Larry McGuire's Show Me The Fish Charters.
Cold front chills snook catch, but grouper still strong offshore
Kingfish aren't here yet, but the annual migration should start within the next few weeks.
Cobia are starting to show up, though, and grouper fishing offshore in the Gulf of Mexico is really starting to get good as the water temperatures start to drop.
Inshore fishing for snook took a few days off due to the cold front, but redfish, flounder and trout didn't seem to mind the change of season.
Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said offshore fishing for grouper is getting better by the day as the water cools. Inshore action is still mainly snook and redfish. Whitebait is still out there, although somewhat scattered, but shrimp are working well for most catches.
Capt. Thom Smith at Angler's Repair on Cortez Road said he's been catching lots of keeper-size snook from Terra Ceia Bay, some redfish up to 26 inches, lots of small trout and a few keepers, all using whitebait.
Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters said he has found fishing to be great. "Fishing has been incredible since the hurricane went through. The fish are hungry and ready to feed." He's been putting his charters onto gag grouper to 20 pounds, some red grouper, scamp, lots of mangrove snapper and yellowtails. He's been fishing in about 110 feet of water in the Gulf, using live pinfish and frozen Spanish sardines.
Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said fishers there are catching some sheepshead, a few snook, whiting, snapper and redfish, but no mackerel as yet.
Jesus Rosario at the Anna Maria City Pier said snook are hitting at night and early in the morning, plus snapper, flounder and bluefish. Sheepshead are also starting to show up.
Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said redfish are starting to get big, black drum and mangrove snapper are good catches in the Manatee River, and some snook are hitting farther up the river.
Capt. Rick Gross on Fishy Business out of Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said he's catching his limit of redfish from Sarasota Bay. He found the cold front slowed snook action for a few days, but things started to pick up late last week.
At Perico Island Bait and Tackle, reports include lots of redfish being caught in Anna Maria Sound and trout just south of the Anna Maria Island Bridge. Flounder and snapper are also being caught, with shrimp working the best as bait.
At Skyway Bait and Tackle, reports include redfish being caught in Miguel Bay and a few mackerel off the Sunshine Skyway Pier system. The cold front froze the snook action for a few days, but it is expected to pick up again as the winds die down.
Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Annie's said he took Dave Bittrich and Jerry Hotz from New Jersey to a "banner catch of redfish. Around 30 were boated and ranged in size from 22 inches to 32 inches. The following day, Matt and Rick Fuchs from Cincinnati enjoyed catching a mixed bag that included several snook to 31 inches, numerous reds from 14 inches way up to 33 inches, several flounder, jacks and a pair of sheepshead that weighed in at 7 pounds." Capt. Zach had a tough time finding whitebait what with the cold front, but it's still out there, as are pinfish and shrimp for bait.
On my boat Magic, I took Lewis Christman of Terra Ceia and Gywen Mathews of Palmetto Point out last week and put them onto several redfish to 26 inches, keeper snook and trout to 20 inches.
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.