Snapper bonanza both inshore, offshore going on now
|Jack Titsworth, 11, left, and friend Henry Fradley caught this 36-inch snook off the dock at the Titsworth home on Tampa Bay in Holmes Beach one night last week. They released it shortly after the picture was taken. They were fishing for shark when the whopper snook picked up their bait - a chunk of mullet - from the bottom. Islander Photo: Judy Titsworth
It’s all snapper all the time right now, both inshore and out in the Gulf of Mexico.
Snapper fishing is described as being phenomenal, with some mangroves coming in at up to 8 pounds. Even Sunshine Skyway Bridge Pier fishers are catching fish up to 5 pounds.
Other action offshore include grouper and amberjack.
Backwater fishing includes lots of redfish and big snook, as well as a few mackerel.
The water has been exceptionally clear in the past few days, something to ponder with all the churned-up water that came our way thanks to Hurricane Ike.
Capt. Sam Kimball out of Annie’s Bait & Tackle on Cortez Road said offshore fishing improved with better, calmer weather. He’s putting his charters onto grouper, amberjack and snapper, with the snapper reaching up to 8 pounds in size.
Capt. Mark Johnston of Annie’s said he’s catching keeper-size snook and limit catches of redfish on his trips.
Bill Lowman at Island Discount Tackle at Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said offshore fishing has been rough weather-wise, but the fishers going out are bringing back red and gag grouper and even some Warsaw grouper in the 100-mile-from-shore range. “Snapper fishing is tremendous,” he said, adding that it’s the time of year when snapper appear in huge numbers. Inshore action features mackerel, snapper everywhere and redfish. The best bet for reds is to work the lower tides, he added.
Bob Kilb at the Rod & Reel Pier said fishing is greatly improved of late, with keeper snook, redfish to 30 pounds, big black drum and mackerel. Snapper are everywhere, Dave added.
Dave Sork at the Anna Maria City Pier said pier anglers are reeling in black drum, mangrove snapper, mackerel and even a few early sheepshead.
Dave Johnson at Snead Island Crab House said he’s seeing mangrove snapper, trout and redfish coming to the dock.
At Tropic Isles Marina, fishers are catching redfish and trout in Terra Ceia Bay, plus lots of blacktip and bonnethead sharks.
Capt. Rick Gross on Fishy Business out of Catchers Marina in Holmes Beach said he’s catching nice-sized snook up to 30 inches, a few redfish and lots of trout, but the trout are usually pretty small.
On my boat Magic, we caught a half-dozen reds to 25 inches on one trip, plus lots of small trout and a few keepers.
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.