|Happy little fishers
Daniel Ward, 8 of Guilford, England, and Ellie Gammon, 8, of Manchester, England, caught a couple of nice-size gag groupers last week while fishing with Capt. Larry McGuire.
Where the heck are those big kings?
Don't forget that the 12th Annual Old Salt King of the Beach Kingfish Rodeo is Nov. 10-12 off Madeira Beach in Pinellas County. Captain's meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Madeira Beach Ball Field, 200 Rex Place in "Mad Beach," featuring lots of music plus food and drink.
Cost is $165 for Old Salt members, $185 for non-members.
Fishing starts at 6 a.m. Saturday, and weigh-in is between 4-5 p.m. at the ball field that day. Grand prize is $10,000, and there are a slew of raffles and door prizes and other goodies.
Locally, fishers are awaiting the fall kingfish run, which well may have already begun when you read this, it's getting so close.
Offshore action for grouper and snapper remains good in the Gulf of Mexico.
Backwater fishing for redfish and snook is also excellent right now.
Remember that trout season is closed.
Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle advised that everyone should get ready for the fall kingfish run, which should start any day - any minute, actually - right about now. Other action Bill reported was some big snook and redfish hitting off Longbar Point in Sarasota Bay, with whitebait working best to get the bigger catches.
Jesus Rosario at the Anna Maria City Pier said fishers are catching sheesphead, flounder, black drum, snapper and a few linesiders.
Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters said fishing last week was very good for grouper and snapper, with gags going to 15 pounds, mangroves to 5 pounds, and yellowtails to 3 pounds. He's looking forward to the fall kingfish run to start this week.
Capt. Thom Smith at Angler's Repair on Cortez Road said he's been putting his charters onto snook, redfish and trout, with his best action coming from artificial lures such as Mister Twister Exudes. He's also starting to target just snook and redfish since trout season is closed.
Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said anglers there are reeling in redfish, sheepshead, whiting, snapper and a few keeper-size snook.
At Perico Island Bait and Tackle, reports include good catches of redfish near Perico Island, with the lower tides producing the best results. There were some keeper-size snook caught just off the marina in Anna Maria Sound, and mackerel and some kingfish were starting to show up offshore in the Gulf of Mexico recently.
Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said he's hearing that redfish are the best catch for his fishers, with lots of keepers being caught in Terra Ceia Bay and the surrounding waters.
Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Annie's said his fishing for the past week was mostly filled with snook to 30 inches, reds to 29 inches, black drum, flounder, sheepshead and numerous jacks. "I'm still looking for some pelagic action with Spanish mackerel, kings and cobia," he said, "but so far it has been spotty. Bait is still available on the flats of the bulkhead and Key Royale, but it's getting late in the bait season and it is moving around and found in different spots each day."
Capt. Rick Gross on Fishy Business out of Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said snook are hitting well for him, with lots of keepers - some better than 30 inches in length. He's also finding that redfish are making a good showing for his charters.
At Skyway Bait & Tackle, reports include redfish from the oyster beds in Terra Ceia Bay and Miguel Bay, with artificials working the best for the best action. There are also some good reports of keeper-size grouper and flounder coming from near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge artificial reef systems.
On my boat Magic, we hooked and lost a 30-pound cobia last week, but we're still catching redfish to 26 inches and a few small snook and some 18-inch flounder.
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.