|Good catch of gags
Babe and Sherrie Spruch caught a fine catch of gag grouper while fishing with Capt. Glenn Corder on the Reel Fast last week.
Where the heck are those big kings?
For a few fishers, kingfish are finally here. Capt. Larry McGuire found that his best catches came from laying a flat line behind the boat with live bait or Spanish sardines and leaving the rod in the rod holder until one hit. He also chummed with chopped up bait while fishing for grouper and snapper.
Grouper are also moving closer to the Island at this time of year, making a long day shorter traveling offshore. Catches are very good, too.
Offshore action for snook, redfish and catch-and-release trout is also good, and sheepshead are starting to show up around any structure in the bays.
Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Annie's said he's been catching "some pretty good catches of big Spanish mackerel, cobia and hookups with a few kingfish. Whitebait has been plentiful in the bays and, along with shrimp and pinfish, have been producing all of the species mentioned. Inshore there has still been decent action with snook and redfish." He took Alan Schram and Rick Fuchs, both guests at the Bali Hai Resort in Holmes Beach, out on a few trips last week and caught a number of cobia, including a 30-pounder caught by Schram. He's also putting his charters onto sheepshead, black drum, flounder, jacks and large ladyfish, plus some big barracuda.
At Perico Island Bait and Tackle, there are good reports coming in of big catches of redfish caught near Perico Island, some mangrove snapper and sheepshead from the Anna Maria Island Bridge and good-size snook in back of the marina.
Capt. Thom Smith at Angler's Repair on Cortez Road said he caught some small snook last week, with a few mixed keepers. He's also catching redfish to 24 inches and catch-and-release trout, with the best of his action coming through the use of artificial bait.
Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said pier fishing has been a little slow of late, but there are still some good catches of keeper-size snook, a few sheepshead, bluefish, snapper, whiting and yellowtail jacks.
Jesus Rosario at the Anna Maria City Pier said fishers there have been reeling in snapper, snook, flounder, sheepshead and bluefish.
Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle said offshore anglers are doing very well with lots of mangrove snapper, triggerfish and gag grouper but very few kingfish so far. Backwater action includes keeper snook coming out of Sarasota Bay and some big, fat sheepshead.
Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said he's seeing a few redfish come onto the dock, plus a couple keeper-size snook caught off the pier. Early morning is a good time to catch mangrove snapper off the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, he advised.
Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters said he had "an exceptional trip Nov. 6 with Jamie Gage of Longboat Key. Jamie and party of six went home with a bag limit of 60 snapper. We caught 41 flag yellowtail snapper to 6 pounds, 19 large mangrove snapper to 6 pounds and then we caught and released large red snapper and large red grouper. We also caught some keeper gag grouper until sharks and barracuda to 4 feet came in crashing the party." Capt. Larry said his action was out to 50 miles in the Gulf of Mexico.
At Skyway Bait and Tackle, reports include redfish coming out of Miguel Bay on lower tides, with artificials working the best for the more successful hookups. Snook weren't biting as well last week as earlier this fall, perhaps due to cooler water, but with water temps starting to rise, the linesider action should improve this week.
On my boat Magic, we fished offshore last week and caught mangrove snapper to 20 inches in length, triggerfish to 3 pounds, flounder and one legal-size cobia.
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.