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Captain Zach's Manatee Fishing Report, May 26


BRADENTON -- This past week, two consecutive trips out to the near shore reefs of Manatee/Sarasota counties were phenomenal. A laundry list of species were encountered including king fish, ball-bat Spanish mackerel, cobia, sharks, red & gag grouper, flounder, mangrove snapper, and banded rudderfish. White bait, Spanish sardines, and pinfish accounted for most of the action.

The kingfish were mostly of the school variety, but a smoker of about 40 pounds was attacked by a pack of barracuda and another king of about 20 pounds was sliced in two.

The remaining part of the king weighed in easily at 10 pounds. The largest cobia brought to the gaff weighed in at about 30 pounds, with numerous king fish coming in at lesser sizes.

The shark were abundant and of various species with the largest at about 5 feet. We managed to boat a couple of keeper gags, but most were in the 18- 20 inch range. The mangroves were finicky but we iced down several in the 18 inch range. This action was light tackle heaven for my clients. Both trips had some goliaths nailing our bait.

Earlier in the week, some stellar trout action was enjoyed both in Anna Maria Sound and North Sarasota Bay. Several reds and snook were encountered as well with little effort or time invested. Trout topping out at 28 inches were taken in 4-6 ft of water over broken grass beds with white bait and pin fish. There were also Spanish, bluefish, jacks, and lady fish adding to the rod bending.

This action is unusual, being so close to June, but it seems as if everything is running about a month late after the unseasonably cold winter.

On our way out of Longboat Pass on Friday, we witnessed about a half-dozen huge silver kings hanging out around the slow speed sign adjacent to the north Longboat jetty in 4 feet of gin clear water.
Good luck and good fishing. Be careful out there!!

Capt. "Zach" Zacharias "Dee JayII"
Docked on Palma Sola Bay at Parrot Cove Marina/Sunny Shores
115th St W and 36th Ave. Cortez, Fl 34215


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