|Fishing with dad
Brendan Ahearn, with sons Collin, 6, and Grayson, 4, vacationed on Anna Maria Island and took in a bit of fishing at the Rod & Reel Pier in Anna Maria City. The anglers were vacationing from Warwick, R.I. Islander Photo: Edna Tiemann
FWC makes fish, crab busts in area
Five people have been charged with fishery violations by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officers.
Charged April 12 with fishing with illegal gillnets were Michael E. Cook, 35; Trever J. Flathman, 19; and Nicholas O. Wettstein, 20, all from Bradenton.
The trio were stopped in Longboat Pass with the oversize nets.
On April 14, two people were charged with theft and illegal sale of crabs as the culmination of a five-month investigation by FWC officers.
Wilfredo Leon Gonzalez, 23, and marisela Gonzalez, 20, were charged with illegal sale of more than 580 blue crabs and some stone crabs. FWC officers said the pair had been taking crabs from commercial traps, a third-degree felony, and selling them without a proper saltwater products license, a second-degree misdemeanor.
FWC officials said they intended to file more charges at a later date againse the Gonzalezes.
Kings moving through offshore, when you can get to 'em
Kingfish are on their spring run offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, but rough seas are keeping some of the anglers from getting into the big, tasty treats. The same heavy surf is keeping the grouper and snapper catch down, but the fish are still out there if you're willing to put up with the chop.
Backwater action for sheepshead continues to be great, and now is the time to enjoy it before the season comes starts to drop off in the next few weeks. Trout is also a good bet in the bays, as well as redfish and snook.
By the way, we've got some monofilament line recycling boxes available at The Islander office for anyone who wants them. The boxes are big, so only those who go through a lot of line should pick them up, but please, if you can put them to good use, help out the environment.
Compliments of Keep Manatee Beautiful and Berkley Pure Fishing Co., the boxes are pre-labeled and postage-paid to get shipped, when full, to the company, where the contents will be recycled into other plastic products.
Stop by and pick up a box - we're at 5404 Marina Drive in Holmes Beach. Guides especially are welcome!
Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said kingfish are offshore and ready for the taking - as long as the weather cooperates. Windy days and rough surf are keeping some anglers close to port, but those willing to tough it out are getting into lots of big kings as they move past the Island. Inshore action for sheepshead remains good, Bill said, and snook are making a good springtime showing so far.
Capt. Rick Gross on Fishy Business out of Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said his charters landed several snook to 30 inches last week. He's finding redfish to be scattered, but trout fishing is good, and he expects it to pick up as the weather clears.
Capt. Thom Smith at Angler's Repair on Cortez Road said he's catching small redfish up to 20 inches, some trout and lots of small snook.
Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said sheepshead are still around and a good bet for most pier fishers. The Goliath grouper - formerly jewfish - that was hanging around the pier has apparently moved on. Bob said he expects the mackerel action to start to bloom any day now.
Jesus Rosario at the Anna Maria City Pier said anglers there have been catching lots of sheepshead and a few mackerel, with some snook coming on for the nighttime fishers.
Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said some big snook are coming onto the dock, with most of the catches coming from Terra Ceia Bay. He's also seeing lots of sheepshead and snapper being caught near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, plus a few kingfish caught offshore.
At Perico Island Bait and Tackle, reports include lots of redfish coming out of Palma Sola Bay on the higher tides, some big trout caught on the deeper seagrass beds in 4 to 6 feet of water, and plenty of sheepshead around any of the structures in the bay or Gulf.
At Skyway Bait and Tackle, reports include mostly sheepshead, small grouper, some mackerel and a few mangrove snapper from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge area. There are also redfish coming out of Miguel Bay.
Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Parrot Cove Marina in Cortez said he took the Armitage family, grandsons Sam, Tyler, dad Gary and Granddad Lou, out last week and "put the hammer down on some great kingfish ranging in size from 15 to 25 pounds, plus a number of blacktip shark to 35 pounds off the beaches of Longboat Key and Anna Maria. Later on that morning, the quartet nailed some nice snook ranging in size to 29 inches." The following day, Sue and Bill Waite of Palmetto had similar luck with kingfish up to 25 pounds in the Gulf and snook to 32 inches in the bay. "Whitebait was the key to hot action," Capt. Zach added.
Capt. Wayne Genthner of Wolfmouth Charters from Longboat Key said he's putting his clients onto really big schools of Spanish mackerel, bluefish and ladyfish all over the beach shore and out a mile. You can see them if you go on down to the beach and look west for the flocks of diving pelicans - all that thrashing and boiling in the water is caused by big fish that are tearing into the bait pods," he said. He's catching about a fish per cast into schools. As to other action, "we've been locking into some very big bull reds, cobia and snook back in the bay and in the beach surf along with pompano and permit. For adventure seekers, we're running a few miles offshore, where we're getting our share of ferocious king mackerel, some over 30 pounds, and numerous sharks to 7 feet in length." Capt. Wayne predicts that this week will be a good one for fishing "and the bite will stay hotter than a bowl of Thai pepper sauce."
On my boat Magic, we're catching redfish on every trip out, plus a few keeper-size snook to 29 inches and all the sheepshead anyone could want. We also caught a few mangrove snapper to 15 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 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.