Action was pretty good early in the week and then slowed at the end.
We fished primarily off the beaches in 25 to 40 feet of water and did well with numerous grouper, red and gag, and some that were keepers. There were also mangrove snapper, kingfish, spanish and flounder.
The flounder fishing has been off the charts somedays with doormats up to 27 inches.
On the inside the action has been so-so with some average-sized snook and reds coming aboard along with more spanish, flounder, grouper and the occasional pompano. We have not been targeting pompano but there have been many reports from other guides in the area that the action has been pretty hot in places for the tasty nuggets from Egmont to New Pass.
Black tip sharks have been nailed both in the bays and on the nearshore reefs in the Gulf of Mexico.
Bait is still easy to get on the grass flats of Manatee County but the first hard norther will put an end to that fishery and find us switching to live shrimp and artificial offerings for the winter months.
I had surmised in last week's report that the kingfish run was over but we managed to nail a number of school-sized specimens off the beaches in the past week. At week's end there was a funky, foggy Friday that turned out fairly lackluster despite our valiant efforts both offshore and inshore.
An epic battle with a fish we later deemed to be a jewfish was waged for a long time on too light tackle on Friday. The big grouper finally found a crevasse large enough to accommodate his girth and that was the end of the battle.
Good luck and good fishing. Be careful out there!
Capt. "Zach" Zacharias
Docked on Palma Sola Bay at Parrot Cove Marina/Sunny Shores
115th Street West and 36th Avenue, Cortez, FL 34215