Trout, reds inshore while grouper, snapper great offshore
Capt. Mark Howard caught this 8-pound mangrove snapper while fishing with Capt. Kurt Janisch aboard his boat "Fight's On."
Backwater fishing has been a bit slow of late, but offshore action in the Gulf of Mexico for grouper and snapper is still great.
For bay fishers, redfish and trout are the best bets, followed by flounder and catch-and-release snook.
There are also a lot of amberjack being caught in the Gulf at the 30-mile line, as well as some dolphin.
And there are a lot of sharks being caught in Terra Ceia Bay.
Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said offshore fishing is stable for grouper and snapper, plus some amberjack and a few dolphin — the fish, not Flipper — at about 30 miles out in the Gulf. In the bays, he said that redfish are the big catch, as well as extremely big trout and flounder.
Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said fishing has been a bit slow, but anglers are catching a few sand perch and yellowtail jacks. Bait has moved away from the pier, as have the mackerel, he said.
At the Anna Maria City Pier, fishing reports were also slow, with a few snapper and jack catches coming on deck.
Capt. Mark Johnston out of Annie’s Bait and Tackle on Cortez Road said he’s been putting his charters onto trout and catch-and-release snook.
Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said there are lots of big mangrove snapper being caught up to 16 inches in length, plus some oversize redfish.
At Tropic Isles Marina, reports include sharks coming out of Terra Ceia Bay, with some blacktips coming in better than 6 feet in length.
Capt. Rick Gross on Fishy Business out of Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said his catch-and-release snook fishing is good, plus limit-catches of redfish and big mangrove snapper.
Capt. Tom Chaya on the Dolphin Dreams, also out of Catchers, said mangrove snapper and Spanish mackerel were hitting small shiners over all structures and reefs. Sharks were lurking near shallow sandbars on the bulkhead, and he’s also catching some nice-size trout and a few reds in deep seagrass in Terra Ceia Bay.
Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters said fishing is hot offshore of Anna Maria Island.
“Best bites this week are limit catches of big red grouper and American red snapper,” he said. “We’re also catching gag grouper, mangrove snapper, lots of amberjack, big barracuda, and lots of varieties of sharks up to 8 feet. Best action is out past depths of 125 feet using live pinfish and grunts.” He said one of his best charter moments was when 16-year-old Taylor Parker from Denhan Springs, La, hooked into an 8-foot hammerhead shark and fought him for about 40 minutes until he broke off at the boat. But, Capt. Larry said, “the trip that stole the show was when 13-year-old David Maulick hooked up a 7-foot sailfish. “The big sail jumped, got crazy and ran and finally broke off,” Capt. Larry said.
Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Annie’s said it was all mangrove snapper, sea trout and redfish in that order for his charters. “Tarpon season for all intents is over, but there still will be some sporadic silver kings hooked up around the area right up until the first cold fronts of the autumn season,” he said. He’s finding snook to be fairly thick around the beaches, near most passes, “and their spawning duties are pretty much done as of the full moon in July. Find the linesiders starting to make their way to the backwaters in dribs and drabs for the next several weeks,” he added. He’s finding snapper just about anywhere there is some structure “and they will jump all over the smaller baitfish available right now. We have been scoring some really fat Spanish sardines and finger mullet that have worked exceptionally well on days with favorable conditions. The trout love this bait as well, and most of the larger fish have been taken drifting over deep seagrass beds.
On my boat Magic, we’ve been catching some redfish to 30 inches 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.