Melissa Shipley and dad Skip, both of Orlando, caught a nice set of grouper while fishing with Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters.
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Trout catches going well, plus reds; mangroves everywhere
Fishing has slowed somewhat, but every day seems to be getting better - a typical summer fishing cycle.
Inshore action for trout and redfish is good, mangrove snapper are being caught near the Intracoastal Waterway, and catch-and-release snook are moving inshore under the docks and bridges.
Offshore action on snapper and grouper remains strong, plus dolphin and wahoo for those willing to venture to the 100-mile mark in the Gulf of Mexico.
Capt. Thom Smith at Angler's Repair on Cortez Road said he's been fishing Joe's Bay with artificial lures and has been catching and releasing snook as well as keeper redfish to 23 inches, trout to 18 inches, and one 16-inch flounder on a Mister Twister Exude.
Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said inshore action for redfish and snapper is the best bet he's hearing right now. Inshore structures are where the action is at this point for backwater fishing. For those anglers going offshore, Bill said anybody willing to go 100-plus miles offshore should get into lots of American red snapper and mangroves to 10 pounds, plus some dolphin and wahoo.
Capt. Larry McGuire of Show Me The Fish Charters said he's finding no red tide after getting about 10 miles offshore. Fishing action has been good for gag grouper to 30 pounds, he said, as well as reds to 25 pounds, lots of red snapper, plus some blackfin tuna.
Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said snapper is his best bet right now, as well as good catches of black drum, some pompano and a few redfish.
Dave Sork at the Anna Maria City Pier said anglers there are catching mackerel, black drum, a few flounder, mangrove snapper and some snook at night.
Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said lots of redfish came onto the dock in the last week. Trout seem to be running on the small side, but there are lots of big hookups of mangrove snapper off the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, he said.
Capt. Rick Gross on Fishy Business out of Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said he thought that most of the red tide was gone and he put his charters onto snook and redfish off Longbar Point in Sarasota Bay.
Reports from Perico Island Bait and Tackle include improve fishing, with wade fishers catching redfish and trout on the seagrass flats south of the Anna Maria Island Bridge. Boating anglers are reeling in lots of mangrove snapper along the Intracoastal Waterway in Anna Maria Sound and Sarasota Bay. Offshore action includes grouper, which is picking up according to the long-range boaters.
At Skyway Bait and Tackle, reports include redfish being caught in Miguel and Terra Ceia bays, plus some small sharks. There are also good takes of limit trout up to 19 inches in length being caught near Joe's Island.
Capt. Zach Zacharias on the Dee-Jay II out of Annie's said Ron Zacharias and sons Kyle and Bubba, visiting from Fayetteville, N.C., braved the rain, wind and lightning one morning last week and were rewarded with some decent action with redfish, mangrove snapper and jack crevalle, plus a couple of "too big for our tackle" inshore grouper. "Without a doubt, mangrove snapper are the big catch," Capt. Zach said. "They are fat and feisty and provide the makings for a top notch fish fry due to their abundance and a somewhat liberal bag limit compared to other species right now. A slow tide and a little structure will produce the tasty panfish if offered the right sized bait. Small hooks, light leaders, and a minimum of weight will produce limit catches of the toothy critters." He said that reds seem to be scattered but available, snook are moving into the backwaters under the docks, trout are also scattered but seem to be hitting on whitebait, small pinfish, select shrimp, and any number of soft-bodied jigs, and there are also catches of Spanish mackerel, bluefish and small sharks.
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.