Wayne Kimmel from Longboat Key caught this 30-inch redfish while fishing with Capt. Tom Chaya.
Welcome to summer's squalls, hello catch-and-release snook
Afternoon summer storms produced a dip in fishing last week, both from the thunder and lightning and also the stormwater runoff from all the rain. Adding to the problem were the two-per-day tides, rather than our usual four-times-a-day action.
Nonetheless, fishing inshore for redfish and catch-and-release snook was good, plus some trout showed up. Mackerel remain a good bet.
Offshore action was also stymied by the storms, but there are still reports of some snapper. Small sharks are also being caught in Tampa Bay.
Capt. Thom Smith at Angler’s Repair on Cortez Road said he put his charters onto lots of legal-size catch-and-release snook on artificial bait, a few small redfish and lots of Spanish mackerel.
Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said weather has held most of the offshore fishers from the Gulf in the past few days, but the afternoon thunderstorms seem to have improved the inshore fishing, cooling the water a bit. There have been good reports of catch-and-release snook of late, as well as lots of redfish, tons of mackerel and good shark fishing at night by Marker 70 in Tampa Bay.
Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said not only the storms held fishing back last week, but also the bad tides. Fishers at the pier are still catching mackerel, bluefish, ladyfish, yellowtail jacks and a few mangrove snapper.
Jesus Rosario at the Anna Maria City Pier said all the fishing action lately has been in the mornings, what with all the storms in the afternoons. Best bets continue to be mackerel, small sharks, snapper and flounder.
Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said there are still lots of mackerel out by the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa Bay, plus a few mangrove snapper. One good bit of news about all the afternoon thunderstorms is that the black drum catch has improved, he mentioned.
Capt. Rick Gross on Fishy Business out of Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said catch-and-release snook fishing remains steady. Redfish were plentiful on the right tides, and there was lots of whitebait around, he added.
At Skyway Bait and Tackle, reports include mackerel, snapper, small grouper, small sharks, bluefish and flounder near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Inshore action is good for redfish in Miguel Bay, but slow for trout.
Capt. Tom Chaya on the Dolphin Dreams in Holmes Beach out of Catchers said that Gulf reefs are working well with his charters, with good catches of sharks and Spanish mackerel. In the bay, trout are making a bit of a showing and he’s also getting into some nice-sized reds near Port Manatee.
Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Parrot Cove Marina said he took Tom Lovelace and crew, visiting from Raleigh, N.C., out for a diverse catch from the inshore Gulf and Sarasota Bay last week. "The Gulf gave up a number of Spanish and juvenile king mackerel, bluefish, and grouper," Capt. Zach said. "Later, in the bay, we boated snook, redfish and mangrove snapper." He said that mangrove snapper have finally started to make the scene this past week, "and the action for the delicious panfish should build and peak over the next two months. I can't predict how much longer the mackerel action will last, but as of this week it has been pretty strong."
On my boat Magic, we caught lots of mackerel, a few snapper, grouper to 20 inches, a couple of redfish and four 23-inch trout.
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.