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 SW FL-Bonita Beach: 28-inch gag released, snapper, hogfish, sheepshead & trout

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fishbuster



Posts : 232
Join date : 2008-04-04

PostSubject: SW FL-Bonita Beach: 28-inch gag released, snapper, hogfish, sheepshead & trout   Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:58 pm

Cool Wednesday morning, 3/3, was chilly and windy but my brave party of three lady-anglers, Alene Haug, her mother, Carrie and friend, Connie, decided to give the backwaters a try anyway. We caught and released sheepshead until the ladies decided they'd had enough cold, then we headed back for shore.

Thursday morning, I fished Estero Bay with John Kenney and his eight-year-old son, Anthony. We had to bundle up and try to stay out of the wind as best we could, but we had fun using live shrimp to catch and release seven sheepshead to 12 inches, three trout to just short of15 inches, and a 16-inch whiting.

My trip for Friday cancelled, as two in the party wanted to wait for better conditions and warmer temperatures.

By Monday morning, 3/8, a nice warming and calming trend was in effect. I fished 20 miles west of New Pass in 45 feet with Bob Wojtowicz, his son, Greg, and grandson, Josh, along with family friend, Bob Bradley. We used live shrimp and caught keeper mangrove snapper, sheepshead, porkfish and jolthead porgies. We released triggerfish shorts, as well as lots of red and gag grouper, the largest of which was a 26 inch gag, caught by Bob Bradley. Grouper season re-opens April 1st.

Tuesday morning, I sure was happy to see calm seas for long-time customer Ron Musick. So far this season, Ron had tried to get out offshore nine times and had been foiled by weather each time. But Tuesday was a good day for Ron and his friends, Dick Arnett, Eddie Alfonso and Hank Scheroski. We fished in 45 feet out of New Pass, using live shrimp and caught keeper mangrove snapper to 19 inches, two 14-inch keeper hogfish, a half-dozen keeper sheepshead to 18 inches, and some good-sized whitebone porgies and grunts. Ron landed and released a 28-inch gag grouper and scored best catch of the day.

Alene Haug, daughter-in-law, Margie Kempfort, and friend, Cali McCarthur fished with me on Wednesday morning, in 45 feet west of New Pass. We caught two keeper hogfish at 15 inches and 16 inches, two keeper sheepshead, 15 inches and 18 inches, and a 13-inch mangrove snapper. We released red and gag grouper. Seas were calm most of the morning, but it did begin to get a little sloppy around noon-time.
Thursday morning was drizzly and winds were strong, with a small-craft advisory in effect. Chuck Nebes and son, Steven, traded their offshore plans to fish a catch-and-release trip in Estero Bay, where we used live shrimp to land four keeper-sized sheepshead to 15 inches, crevalle jack and ladyfish.

Friday brought heavy rains and gusty winds to the area, to be followed by more rains and rough conditions on Saturday, so that ended my fishing for this week.

Monday, 3/15, was sunny, windy and cool, but pleasant for my inshore fishing trip with long-time customers Joe Goodall and his son Alex, who has been fishing with me annually since he was a toddler. They were joined by friends Dave Bixby and Fred. We fished wind-sheltered spots in Estero Bay with live shrimp and caught two keeper trout at 18 inches and 16 inches, along with two keeper sheepshead.

The photo shown is of young angler, Alex Goodall , with an 18-inch trout, caught on shrimp in Estero Bay on Monday, March 15th.
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