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 SW FL-Bonita Beach: Snapper-fest gulfside & good bay fishing too

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Posts : 245
Join date : 2008-04-04

PostSubject: SW FL-Bonita Beach: Snapper-fest gulfside & good bay fishing too   Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:59 pm

Wednesday, 10/8, I fished the backwaters of central Estero Bay, along the mangrove shoreline, with Henry & Lois Wilson and friend, Harold Fleming. We used live shrimp to catch and release five redfish to 17 ˝ inches, two snook, 22 inches and 24 inches, sheepshead that were just short of keeper-size and lots of undersized mangrove snapper. We also got a couple of keeper mangs.

Friday morning, Jack & Linda Heckel, their children and grandchildren, fished with me about 17 miles west of New Pass. We kept the kids busy all morning with lots of catch-and-release yellowtail snapper, lane snapper, mangrove snapper, about fifty red grouper shorts, a fifteen-pound goliath grouper, porkfish, triggerfish, porgies and grunts. The group also caught a half dozen keeper-sized lanes and mangs for dinner.

Saturday, I had a great day of snapper fishing with long-time customers, Chester Yanik, son Mark Yanik and friend, Jim Basara. We fished with live shrimp and sardines 37 miles out of New Pass in about 72 feet all day. By 1:00PM, we’d caught our federal limit of thirty mangrove snapper, all of which were in the 15-18 inch range, so we had to start releasing all the rest. We also caught nine nice yellowtail snapper to 19 inches and a keeper mutton snapper at 17 inches. We released porgies and grouper shorts.

Sunday morning, I fished with the reefs off Bonita with Dave & Anita Ballard, eleven-year-old son Ben, and seven-year-old daughter Lauren. We used shrimp to catch fifteen keeper mangrove snapper, grunts to 14 inches, and a keeper Spanish mackerel. We released a ten-pound goliath grouper.

Monday, the guys who fished offshore with me on Saturday, Chester and Mark Yanik and Jim Basara, had planned another offshore excursion. But, with winds kicked up to 20-25 knots and seas of 4-6 feet offshore, we changed plans and decided to fish central Estero Bay instead. We limited on redfish, with three keepers at 20 inches, 22 inches and 24 inches. We released another smaller red, along with ladyfish, mangrove snapper shorts, a couple of cravalle jacks and seven undersized snook to 23 inches. We also caught five nice sheepshead to 18 inches—everything on live shrimp.

The photo shown is of angler, Dennis Hill, with a 21 inch red grouper, caught on a live shrimp on a recent offshore Fishbuster Charter.
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