Nate Talucci caught this nice-sized dolphin while fishing in the Florida Keys. Dolphin and wahoo are running offshore of the Island right now as well.
Dolphin, wahoo offshore, snook, reds in backwater
Fishing action is picking up as the water temperature drops.
Offshore action for dolphin, wahoo, grouper and snapper is excellent right now. Backwater fishing for redfish, snook and trout is also good, with lots of good catches of big reds being reported.
The second annual fishing tournament sponsored by the Home Builders Association of Manatee County is scheduled for Oct. 27-28. Prizes include a week-long vacation at the RonJon resort of Cape Caribe, as well as cash prizes for inshore and offshore divisions. Cost is $400 per boat.
The captain's meeting/party will begin at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at Hooters. Weigh-in will take place at the Bradenton Yacht Club from 2 to 5 p.m. Oct. 28, with the award banquet to follow.
Proceeds from the tournament will go to help the Habitat for Humanity, Future Builders of America and the Manatee County Home Builders Association. For more information, call Beverly Smock at the HBA of Manatee County at 749-7035, ext. 1.
Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Parrot Cove Marina saidfishing has been fair, "but nothing to write home about. Bait is absolutely thick and big, with some luck the big pilchards will still be around when the kingfish show up." He said snook and redfish were the bulk of the catch for the week and ranged in size from dinks to specimens in the 30-35 inch range. "One of the more unusual catches has been juvenile Goliath grouper being encountered all over the inshore area," he said. "The average mini-Goliath has been about 18 inches. My clients have landed and released more of the potential giants in the past couple of weeks than I have seen in an entire career of fishing the inshore waters of Manatee/Sarasota counties." Snook are also a good bet in the backwaters, he said, although redfish haven't been schooling as much as usual for this time of year. "Sheepshead are absolutely thick and if they don't pull a disappearing act between now and Thanksgiving, it should be a banner winter season for the convict fish," he added.
Capt. Thom Smith at Angler's Repair on Cortez Road said he did well last week on redfish to 25 inches, a few trout, mackerel and some small snook.
Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said fishing is good right now. Offshore action for dolphin, wahoo and tuna is excellent, as well as good catches of grouper and snapper in more than 100 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico. Inshore fishing is comprised of snook, redfish and mangrove snapper.
Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said anglers there are catching lots of small redfish, some mangrove snapper, pompano, a few mackerel and some black drum.
Jesus Rosario at the Anna Maria City Pier said he's seeing some mackerel come onto the deck, plus some small snapper, flounder, some big jacks and a couple small sharks.
Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said he's seeing lots of big redfish coming out of the Manatee River, with the best hookups coming from near the docks. Big snapper are being caught by the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, and a few snook are coming out of Terra Ceia Bay.
Capt. Rick Gross on Fishy Business out of Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said snook fishing is still fairly good, and redfish action is getting better as the water temperatures chill.
At Skyway Bait and Tackle, reports include mackerel catches in the morning, snapper throughout the night and day, plus small grouper and flounder are starting to hit with some frequency.
On my boat Magic, we've been catching lots of redfish, with most catches within the slot limit, although we did catch two 29-inch reds last week. We're also catching a few flounder to 22 inches and mangrove snapper to 16 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.