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Date of Issue: October 18, 2007

Kingfish run starts offshore in Gulf of Mexico

Fishing pic
Red of the day
Nate Davis of Plant City caught this 32-inch-long redfish while fishing with Capt. Tom Chaya on the Dolphin Dreams out of Holmes Beach.
Fishing pic
Good catch from Alaska
Anthony Manali and fiancée JoAnn Fumerelle, both of Anna Maria Island, caught a mess of huge fish while in Jeanu, Alaska: an 80-pound halibut, rock fish, Coho salmon, King salmon and ling cod.

Kingfish are starting to run past Anna Maria Island in the Gulf of Mexico, and reports of a good season are at hand. Other offshore catches include grouper, snapper, mackerel and amerjack.

In the backwater, look for lots of snook action and about as many redfish as you can reel into the boat or dock. Flounder fishing is also starting to pick up, as are some sheepshead.

Capt. Sam Kimball out of Annie’s Bait & Tackle on Cortez Road said his charters are producing good catches of grouper, snapper, amberjack, mackerel, triggerfish and barradcuda. Capt. Mark Johnson, also out of Annie’s, said snook are biting well, as are keeper-size redfish, snapper, flounder and trout.

Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said there is a “good grouper bite offshore,” in about 100 feet of water in the Gulf. Plenty of red grouper and snapper are being caught off the offshore reefs as well. Backwater fishing if great for snook, plus a lot of linesider action coming off the beaches. He added that flounder are starting to show up in the bays, and snapper are still hanging around pretty much everywhere.

Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said fishers there are catching mackerel, snapper, small redfish and a few big flounder, plus keeper-size snook.

Jesus Rosario at the Anna Maria City Pier said best bets for anglers there are sheepshead, mackerel, small sharks, flounder, snapper and snook, although the snook catches are mostly at night.

Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said he’s hearing reports of snook up to 50 inches in length being caught, redfish to 24 inches and plenty of them, plus blacktip sharks coming out of Terra Ceia Bay.

Capt. Rick Gross on Fishy Business out of Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said his charters have been doing good on snook and redfish from Miguel Bay, with mackerel coming on strong in front of the bay.

Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters said that he’s finding fishing to be”absolutely outragous! Everything is biting, fall is here, and it is my favorite time to go fishing offshore. Everybody is asking where the kingfish are. Well, they are right behind my boat and in our cooler. We are also catching grouper and snapper.” He added that he took Tim Mack, Jeff Perkins and Skip Murry out last week, and they caught gag and red grouper, mangrove snapper and some big Spanish mackeral, as well as two “tournament quality” kings of about 40 pounds each, plus lots of smaller ones. “We also had a nice school of cobia swim up to the back of the boat in our chum line,” Capt. Larry said. Fishing was at the 65-foot depth in the Gulf, with live blue runners and sardines as bait.

Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Parrot Cove Marina saidthat the long awaited pelagic run is under way. “The past week has produced kingfish in all size ranges, Spanish mackerel, and a variety of shark,” he said, “and a few cobia along the areas beaches. The placement of numerous stone crab traps this week creates a lot of additional reef-like structure all along the length of the beaches. When the crabbers start pulling and re-baiting their traps, you can follow behind and often find schools of cobia gleaning goodies from the process. A few southbound schools of tarpon have also been spotted and they often enter in the fray as well.” His backwater fishing is “challenging at times,” but he’s still catching snook, trout, reds and flounder. “If the ‘glamour’ species fail,” he added, “there is always the plan ‘B,’ with fast action fishing the deeper seagrass beds of Palma Sola Bay, Sarasota Bay and Anna Maria Sound for ladyfish, mackerel, bluefish, jacks and trout. Snapper are still pretty thick and cooperative as well.”

On my boat Magic, we caught a 40-inch snook and several other keeper-size linesiders, as well as limit catches of redfish every trip and snapper to 16 inches in length.

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 news@islander.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.

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