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Captain Zach's Manatee Fishing Report, June 23


CORTEZ -- Not a lot new to add this week except for it is very hot and the water temperatures are way up there. I am highly anticipating the onset of the summer rainy season which helps to moderate the water temperature.

We have gone from the coldest on record a few months back, to the warmest for mid-June. Bait is starting to transition to a summer pattern where the larger spring white bait has spawned and is schooling to migrate out of here.

Tons of small pin fish and grunts are invading the shallow grass and is a highly productive bait in the hot summer conditions. Big trout, Spanish mackerel, bluefish, jacks, ladies, etc. are providing fast action all over the open bay grass beds in 4-6 feet of water. T

arpon are thick if that is your quarry. The silver kings can be found all along the oil free beaches of Longboat Key and Anna Maria, Egmont Key and Tampa Bay, near the mouths of the Manatee River/Terra Ceia Bay.

I've noticed a marked increase of mangrove snapper in the bays over the past week. One trip out to the reefs last week continued to give up good catches of mackerel, school kings, grouper, snapper, shark, and lesser amber jack.

Good luck and good fishing. Be careful out there!! Make sure and use good sense when dealing with the heat and the upcoming lightning and squall season. Bring plenty of water, wear sensible clothing and keep an eye on the horizon for weather that can get scary in a heartbeat.

Capt. "Zach" Zacharias, "Dee Jay II," Docked on Palma Sola Bay at Parrot Cove Marina/Sunny Shores, 115th St W and 36th Avenue, Cortez,Fl, 941-795-5026


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