Mack attack hits almost all waters off Island now
Rick Carter of Orlando caught this 33-inch snook while fishing with Capt. Tom Chaya aboard the Dolphin Dreams.
It seems to be all mackerel all the time right now, with the fast-moving fish being caught in the bays, the passes and in the Gulf of Mexico.
Gulf fishing is still going good with kingfish, although the winds and waves are something of a problem for most boaters.
Snapper fishing is also a good deal almost everywhere there is structure.
Snook and redfish are thick in the backwaters as well, with some sheepshead starting to come to the pilings and to the hook.
And, please, remember that trout are currently out of season, and fragile, and let them rest for now. It’s the “green” thing to do.
Capt. Sam Kimball out of Annie’s Bait & Tackle on Cortez Road said he’s catching a slew of kingfish, mackerel, snapper, grouper and amberjack on his offshore trips. Capt. Mark Johnson, also out of Annie’s, said his backwater catches include lots of snook, redfish, mackerel and mangrove snapper.
Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said mackerel seem to be the best bet of late. “They’re everywhere,” he said. Other backwater action includes snook and redfish, while offshore fishing is great for kings and even more mackerel. Grouper are moving closer to shore as the water temperatures cool, he also observed.
Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said anglers there are pulling in a few small redfish, some snapper, yellowtail jacks and lots of Spanish mackerel.
Jesus Rosario at the Anna Maria City Pier said there are “tons” of mackerel coming to the dock, plus snapper and a few sheepshead.
Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said reports include big black drum being caught around his dock, some up to 15 pounds. Snook are still biting in Terra Ceia Bay, and redfish are a good bet in Miguel Bay. Dave added that there are also good reports of mackerel coming in by the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa Bay.
At Tropic Isle Marina, reports include redfish and mackerel, plus a few sheepshead coming to the docks.
Capt. Rick Gross on Fishy Business out of Catchers Marina said he’s getting into lots of mackerel in the mornings. Snook and redfish are good catches throughout the day, he said, adding that whitebait is still plentiful despite it being late in the year.
Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Parrot Cove Marina saidhe’s finding the weather to be weird this year. “While the cool weather of the past week is certainly welcome, it is still a lot cooler than is normally expected hereabouts in early November,” he said, adding “the low 50s at night and brisk winds have caused the bay temperatures to drop precipitously and kind of put the kabosh on snook fishing, at least temporarily. Redfish continue to be hot and cold depending on who you talk to and where they are fishing. The Gulf temperature has remained a little more constant and is fully 10 degrees warmer than the local backwaters.” He said he took Bob, Christian and Paul Dowling to a catch of “monster Spanish mackerel in the Gulf off Holmes Beach at week’s end. A number of other large specimens were hooked and lost early on and were probably kingfish and sharks. The Spanish mackerel were so thick and aggressive that it was hard to catch anything else for several hours.”
On my boat Magic, I took Ronnie and Mary Antcliff of Palmetto out last week for a catch of eight or more redfish up to 25 inches. Other catches included mangrove snapper and black drum.
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.