Red tide drifts north to Anna Maria Island

On Coquina Beach, crews worked Monday to clear dead fish from the shore. 

"It was awful. Literally the whole water was totally brown. The whole shore was full of dead fish," said tourist Hanan Bata, in town from Brooksville. 

The beach should be packed this time of year.  But only a few, including Andrew Partain from Chicago, could bear the smell. 

"We saw the alerts coming down starting August 1. We kind of thought it would be done by now," he said.

The red tide bloom which has plagued Southwest Florida for almost a year has made its way north into Manatee County and Anna Maria Island over the weekend. 

"I'm a little bummed. Can't really get into the water. I don't want the kids to get sick," continued Partain. 

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Captain Kathe Fannon out of Cortez is worried. She takes people on sightseeing tours with Captain Kathe and First Mate Pup-Pup Charters. 

This is her livelihood, but it's also personal.  The red tide is destroying her back yard. 

"I've seen flounder, gag grouper, jimmies, trout, mullet, everything. I've seen everything," she said. 

Captain Kathe is on the water every single day. She's followed the trail of the dead fish all the way up to the Palma Sola Bay up to the mouth of it in the Intracoastal and she says the red waters aren't too far behind it.

"With the tide going out in Palma Sola Bay in the Intracoastal, it's either going to go out Manatee Avenue and then it's going to go out Longboat Key. That's your split," she said. 

As the bloom continues to creep towards the north, Captain Kathe's phone rings off the hook. 

"I have people calling me and asking me about this red tide and should they come or not," she said. 

She can only wait it out, knowing she's been through this before. 

"I tell them the truth. I can't predict this," she added. 

MORE: Tons of dead fish shoveled from beaches