Madeline Lallier, 9, from Ireland, is pictured with a nice gag grouper she caught while on a charter with Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters.
Click on image to enlarge
Look north - or to crystal ball - for better fishing
Traces of red tide off Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key were evident last week, but the waters appeared clear to the north in Terra Ceia Bay and Miguel Bay.
We're dealing with summertime fishing right now, with lots of good reports of snook and redfish in the backwaters and lots of hookups of snapper and grouper in the Gulf of Mexico.
Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Annie's said he took Bill Waite of Palmetto and his son Chris from Naples fishing Friday morning while Hurricane Rita was sitting about due west. "High tide was at 2:30 a.m. and the low at 11:30 a.m." Capt. Zach noted. "When we left the dock at 7:30 a.m. the tide was still almost to the top of the docks. This allowed us to fish in most places that could only be reached at the top of an outgoing tide. For about two hours we enjoyed near non-stop action with snook and redfish. The amazing thing was we had mullet spinning and dying all around us from red tide and could barely keep our bait alive. The rest of the tide produced little or no action at several different spots we tried." Capt. Zach added that "I wish I could look into a crystal ball and figure what is going to happen going into fall fishing, so I think I'll just leave it at ‘hope for the best' right now."
Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle said offshore fishing is excellent right now for grouper, snapper, amberjack and blackfin tuna and there are bonita schools starting to form in the Gulf. For backwater action, Bill said to look for lots of redfish and snook, with good hookups coming from Terra Ceia and Miguel bays.
Capt. Thom Smith at Angler's Repair on Cortez Road said he had one trip last week and did well with snook, redfish and trout, using artificials as bait.
At Skyway Bait & Tackle, reports include redfish coming from in back of Joe's Island near the mangroves. Trout are running on the small size, but there are a lot of keeper snook coming from Terra Ceia Bay.
Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said action there includes redfish, snook, snapper and a few black drum.
Jesus Rosario at the Anna Maria City Pier said fishing action there includes snapper, flounder, a few small bonnethead sharks and some snook, with the linesiders coming on mostly at night.
Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said there seem to be lots and lots of redfish in front of Miguel Bay, and he's seeing lots of mangrove snapper around the dock at the crab house. Terra Ceia Bay is pumping out a pretty fair catch of keeper-size snook, too, he said, and snapper are still coming from most of the backwaters.
Capt. Rick Gross on Fishy Business out of Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said he's finding snook fishing to be pretty good on the higher tides, with redfish hitting very well on the lower tides.
At Perico Island Bait and Tackle, reports include lots of redfish being caught around Perico Island and mangrove snapper near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. There were also some good-sized snook hooked near Prices Key at the mouth of Palma Sola Bay.
Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters said he's doing very well out in better than 100 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico. "We are catching lots of gag grouper, red grouper, big mangrove snapper and large yellowtail snapper," he said, "using live pinfish and frozen Spanish sardines as bait. Fishing should be real good this week as the Gulf settles down and cleans up from Hurricane Rita. Some of the best fishing is right after a hurricane goes through."
On my boat Magic, we had only a few trips out last week due to the wind and weather, but managed to catch several reds to 25 inches, snook to 31 inches, a few snapper and three flounder.
Good luck and good "ishing.
Capt. Mike Heistand is a 20-year-plus "ishing guide. Call him at 723-1107 to provide a "ishing report. Prints and digital images o" your catch are also welcome and may be dropped o"" at The Islander, 5404 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach, or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include identi"ication "or persons in the picture along with in"ormation on the catch and a name and phone number "or more in"ormation. Snapshots may be retrieved once they appear in the paper.