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 SW FL-Bonita Beach: Inshore & Near-shore Report

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Posts : 243
Join date : 2008-04-04

PostSubject: SW FL-Bonita Beach: Inshore & Near-shore Report   Fri Jun 26, 2009 3:08 pm

Cool This week was challenging in terms of weather, for sure.

Monday morning, 6/22, was the best weather of the week. I fished Estero Bay with the Matt Stanford family, including Matt, his wife, their two young children and the children’s grandfather. We had a good morning, using live shrimp to catch seven keeper mangrove snapper, three keeper sheepshead to 14 inches and a keeper whiting. We released two small snook, each about 16 inches.

Tuesday morning, Julie Brady, her son, Nick, and Nick's friend, Colby, had planned to fish offshore, but with stiff winds out of the west, we changed those plans to fish inshore instead. Using live shrimp in central Estero Bay, we caught keeper mangrove snapper and a 14 inch sheepshead. We released smaller mangs and sheepshead, along with a 15 inch snook.

After two consecutive days of strong, westerly winds and rough seas, the offshore forecast for Wednesday calmed down significantly, with predictions for two-foot seas out to 20 miles and two-to-fours from 20 to 60 miles offshore. Robert Smith and son, Walker, were pleased to awake to calm winds that morning, and we optimistically headed out. But, even at the near-shore reefs, seas were sloppy, with a leftover swell and seas on top of the swell higher than predicted. We fished there until it wasn’t fun anymore, dared not venture out further, and retreated to the relative calm behind Ft. Myers Beach for the final hour of fishing. We caught keeper mangrove snapper and grunts, and released Spanish mackerel.

NOAA continued to forecast calming seas, with predictions for two-foot out to 60 miles for the rest of this week. But the low pressure system that stalled over us had other ideas. Thursday morning, I was back to the dock by 10 AM with Mike Weber, Bill Carlson, and their wives. There was a stiff 20 knot wind and seas rough enough to be border-line unsafe. We released a couple fish and decided to head in before it got any more uncomfortable or dangerous.

Needless to say, with unstable, rough conditions and lots of moisture still around on Friday, I advised Chris Morrow, son Alex, and Bob Snyder and son, Zack, to fish inshore, rather than risk gulf fishing. We dodged a few rainstorms throughout the morning but we ended up catching ten keeper mangrove snapper and a keeper sheepshead. We released smaller snapper and sheepshead, and returned to shore just as the skies were letting loose with a heavier shower.

The photo shown is of six-year-old angler,Tyler Guthman, with a bonnethead shark, caught on shrimp in Estero Bay, on a recent inshore trip.
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