||Grouper, snapper catch
Pastor Brian Bustle of the Church on the Rock, Palmetto, proudly displays some of the grouper and snapper he and his party caught while fishing with Capt. Larry McGuire.
So where are all those big kingfish?
Mackerel are still the best bet along the beaches and piers off Anna Maria Island this week, with redfish being a real winner in the backwaters.
Grouper offshore are still pretty far out, in about 125 feet of water or more, and kingfish are starting to show up but not in the big numbers that are expected any day now. Cobia are also starting to make a real showing.
Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters guided Brian Bustle, Roy Padgett, Dave Ratliff and party to a catch of 30 mangrove snapper to 5 pounds in two hours, plus gag grouper to 12 pounds, four sharks to 6 feet in length, plus some kingfish.
Capt. Thom Smith at Angler's Repair on Cortez Road said the recent high tides are producing redfish and snook in Terra Ceia Bay, with the lower tides causing redfish to hit in Miguel Bay.
Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle said grouper fishing offshore is still an "offshore" event, with the deep dwelling critters still farther offshore than usual, roughly in 125 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico. Mackerel and redfish are good bets closer to shore, and some of the guides are reporting big snook hookups.
Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said he's hearing reports of lots of redfish in Miguel and Terra Ceia bays, trout being caught near Joe's Island and he's seen quite a few 20-inch-long flounder coming back to the dock.
Capt. Rick Gross on Fishy Business out of Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said the bigger snook are still hard to get, but there are plenty of slot-limit linesiders coming on board his boat. Redfish are still his mainstay, he said.
Capt. Tom Chaya on the Dolphin Dreams in Holmes Beach out of Catchers said he's catching trout on most trips, enough snook to keep his clients happy and lots of redfish for those looking for a catch of spotties.
Capt. Matt Denham on the Rip-Tide out of Catchers said he's catching red and gag grouper up to 25 inches in length, mangrove and lane snapper to 5 pounds, and warsaw grouper when they do some deep fishing.
Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Annie's Bait & Tackle in Cortez said he's catching mackerel along the beaches. His charters are hooking a few kingfish out there, too, and backwater action is good for trout and reds, with the trout being of average size right now.
Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said mackerel are starting to show up around the pier in some numbers. Anglers caught two legal-size cobia last week, plus black drum and redfish that were within the slot limit.
Cliff Alcorn at the Anna Maria City Pier reported fishers are getting mackerel most days, sheepshead are starting to appear around the pilings but aren't biting very well as yet, but snook are being caught at night and there are also some catches of mangrove snapper and flounder.
On my boat Magic, we have been catching up to 20 redfish per trip, a few keeper snook and several flounder up to 21 inches in length. We even were able to catch a 7-pound bluefish.
Good luck and good fishing.
Good luck and good fishing.
Capt. Mike Heistand is a 20-year fishing guide. Call him at 779-9607 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.