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 SW FL-Bonita Beach: Winter Sheepshead are Back...and Big!

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fishbuster



Posts : 229
Join date : 2008-04-04

PostSubject: SW FL-Bonita Beach: Winter Sheepshead are Back...and Big!   Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:40 pm

Cool The first week of December was kind of slow around here, which is typical for the few weeks between Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday rush. But I did get out fishing in Estero Bay, on a catch-and-release trip with Dave and Diane Carey on Friday, 12/7/12. The couple used live shrimp to catch twenty sheepshead to 14 inches, eight of which were would-be keepers, along with one keeper-sized mangrove snapper at 13 inches, two puffer-fish and two stingrays.

My next trip wasn’t until ten days later, the interim filled with lots of rainy, windy weather. On Monday, 12/17, I fished Estero Bay’s backwaters with Greg Sturley, his son, Chris, and his father-in-law, Richard. Using live shrimp, the guys caught ten sheepshead, three of which were 14-inch keepers, along with three keeper mangrove snapper at 12 inches each. They released two 16-inch crevalle jacks, a couple of puffer-fish, and a couple of rays.

Wednesday morning, 12/19, I again fished the backwaters, this time with Robert and Kim Rzepiela. The couple used live shrimp to catch three keeper sheepshead, all in the 13-14-inch range, a keeper mangrove snapper, and a 16-inch pompano. They released ten smaller sheepshead and three stingrays.

Today, Friday, 12/21, I cancelled my offshore trip in the face of 25 knot winds and 5-foot seas. A cold front has made it all this way south, and is predicted to drop our usually tropical temperatures to a chilly 40 degrees tonight.

Happy holidays to all!

The photo shown is of angler Rich Honsa, with a 19 ˝-inch sheepshead, caught on shrimp on a recent trip.
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