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Date of Issue: August 06, 2008

Trout, reds inshore while grouper, snapper great offshore

Fishing pic
Jo Valasquez of Sebring, Fla., shows off her first gag grouper, caught with a sardine offshore of Anna Maria Island in 55 feet of water while fishing with Capt Larry McGuire of Show Me the Fish Charters. at the Cortez Fishing Center.

Summer is here and the water is hot - as is the fishing.

Inshore action features good catches of redfish, trout and catch-and-release snook.

Offshore, look to catch grouper, snapper and amberjack, plus some wahoo and dolphin.

Capt. Sam Kimball of Annie’s Bait & Tackle on Cortez Road said his offshore charters are pulling in lots of grouper, snapper and amberjack within about 30 miles of Anna Maria Island.

Capt. Mark Johnston of Annie’s said his backwater charters are producing catch-and-release snook along the beaches, with it being nothing to see at least 50 a day off Whitney Beach on Longboat Key. He’s also catching lots of snapper in the bays near the Intracoastal Waterway, plus lots of reds and big trout in Sarasota Bay.

Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said he’s hearing lots of good reports of mackerel offshore, as well as dolphin, wahoo and tuna. Grouper and snapper are also good catches. In the backwaters, he advises fishers to target redfish or snapper.

Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said fishing has been slow, but there were a few catches of mangrove snapper, small redfish and some catch-and-release snook under the pier. Mackerel and whitebait have moved offshore, he added.

Dave Sork at the Anna Maria City Pier said his anglers are also finding fishing to be a bit slow, but he reports some small bonnethead sharks are coming to the hooks of pier fishers, plus a few mangrove snapper.

Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said he’s hearing good reports of catch-and-release snook at night at the dock, as well as mangrove snapper being caught later in the day. Boaters are catching big trout in Terra Ceia Bay, he said, as well as some big cobia.

At Tropic Isles Marina, reports include lots of shark catches from Terra Ceia Bay, plus trout and some redfish.

Capt. Rick Gross on Fishy Business out of Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said he’s putting his charters onto catch-and-release snook, redfish when the tides cooperate, mangrove snapper and even some late-season tarpon.

Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Parrot Cove Marina saidnumerous showers over the past several days have moderated water temperatures but it’s still very hot. He said he put Jack Barnett of London, England, onto trout, snapper, grouper and ladyfish on a half-day outing last week. The 6-year-old’s best catches were a 22-inch sea trout and a 15-inch mangrove snapper fishing in northern Sarasota Bay and the Longboat Pass area. “All of our catch was taken using average-sized whitebait, Spanish sardines and very small pinfish,” Capt. Zach said.

On my boat Magic, we’ve been catching lots of redfish – 20 to 30 per trip - with most up to 25 inches in length. Sarasota Bay is our best bet for the biggest fish.

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 news@islander.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.

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