Krysten Steurerwald of Jasonville, Ind., caught this big barracuda while fishing offshore with Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters.
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Red tide departure spurs fishing action off Island
With the dissipation of red tide, fishing is finally starting to come back to normal, although water temperatures are very hot and some fish seem to be especially sluggish in the middle of the day.
Offshore action for grouper and snapper remains good farther out in the Gulf of Mexico in about 100 feet of water.
Mangrove snapper are "everywhere" still in the bays, as are good catches of redfish, trout, a few flounder and catch-and-release snook.
Pass fishers report a few nice-size pompano, too.
Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Annie's said Frank Moore of Marietta, Ga., and crew "iced down a limit catch of mangrove snapper ranging in size from 12 inches to 16 inches on Saturday. The tasty panfish were taken in the vicinity of Longboat Pass and fell for a variety of baits, including shrimp, small shiners and small sardines." Capt. Zach added that earlier in the week he had been catching trout, reds, flounder and even an occasional Spanish mackerel. "It has been very hot on the water this past week due to a lack of cooling rainstorms along the coast," he added, warning that "anglers need to be extra careful not to overdo it in the heat. The water temperatures are way up there and keeping bait continues to be challenging. I have found that dropping some frozen ‘blue ice' units in the well helps moderate the baitwell temperature and helps the water retain more dissolved oxygen."
Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said he's found that red tide is for the most part gone from our area and fishing is starting to return to its usual summer norm. There are good reports of big reds in Sarasota Bay, snook are still along the beaches and there are lots of mangrove snapper in the bays near any structure. Offshore fishing still requires about 100 feet of water for any good action, but grouper and snapper are out there and hungry.
Capt. Thom Smith at Angler's Repair on Cortez Road said he's been fishing near Joe's Island and caught lots of catch-and-release snook up to 27 inches in length, plus some redfish to 22 inches and trout to 17 inches.
Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said there are lots of mangrove snapper being caught, plus pompano and a few snook.
Andrew Morris at the Anna Maria City Pier said some snook have been caught early in the morning from the pier, with lots of mangrove snapper and a few pompano being landed throughout the rest of the day.
Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said a group of angling youths who hang out on the dock have been catching lots of 30-inch-long redfish of late. A charter captain out of Palmetto said he's been catching lots of redfish and added that "mangrove snapper are everywhere."
At Perico Island Bait and Tackle, reports include lots of redfish at Longbar Point in Sarasota Bay, lots of mangrove snapper near the Anna Maria Island Bridge and a few trout coming off any of the more lush seagrass flats.
At Skyway Bait and Tackle, reports include mangrove snapper "all over the Skyway Bridge system," plus there are lots of reds caught near Joe's Island.
Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters said he's been catching lots of gag grouper, red grouper, scamp, red snapper, mangrove snapper, amberjack, sharks and barracuda. "We have been taking our clients out to 150-foot waters, and Spanish sardines have been the best bait," he added. He hasn't had any problems with red tide of late, he said.
On my boat Magic, I took Lewis Christman and Glenn Mathews out last week and caught 18 reds, three snook, a trout and a flounder. We've also been catching mangrove snapper.
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.