I fished offshore, about twenty miles west of New Pass, on Wednesday morning, 5/29, with Paul and Belinda Parks. It was sloppy heading out, despite a seas forecast of two feet, but it calmed down toward mid-morning. The couple used squid to catch two keeper lane snapper, and they released two trigger fish that were 13 inches and 14 inches. They also released four red grouper shorts, all around 17 inches. Belinda made an interesting “food-chain” catch when a squirrelfish bit her squid, and a groper then bit the squirrelfish!
On Saturday morning, 6/8, I fished fifteen miles west of New Pass with Valoyd Glover. Seas were choppy, but tolerable, and Valoyd had his hopes up for catching something of size—He got his wish when he battled a 300-pound goliath grouper that bit on cut-bait. He released that monster boat-side, with a few photos and two sore arms to show for it! He also caught a 27-inch king mackerel, which he released, along with two lane snapper, ten crevalle jacks to three pounds, and six true red snapper shorts about 11 inches. The latter are usually not around so close to shore, so even though they were small, it was an interesting find.
Wednesday morning, 6/12, I fished the backwaters of southern Estero Bay on a catch-and-release trip with Adam Martin. Using shrimp and pinfish, we released two 16-inch snook, a dozen mangrove snapper to12 inches, and a two-pound crevalle jack.
Lots and lots of rain fell over the weekend and into the early part of this week. I headed offshore Tuesday morning, 6/18, to fish 19 miles west of New Pass with Tony Costillo, his dad, Rick, and friend, Kyle. We left in sunny skies, but got caught in a thunderstorm mid-morning, which we rode out and continued to fish. But the storm left behind some choppy seas to battle on the way back to shore. The guys used squid to catch and release five triggerfish to 14 inches, six red grouper shorts to 17 inches, and a 20-inch goliath grouper. As for food-fish, they got eight keeper grunts and one keeper lane snapper.
Wednesday morning, 6/19, I fished the backwaters of southern Estero Bay with Michael Quinlen, Jonas Stillman, and Hunter Rohand. The guys did well with live shrimp, and caught four keeper sheepshead, all around 14 inches and four keeper mangrove snapper to 11 inches. They also got what would have been two keeper redfish at 20 inches and 21 inches, if not for the current moratorium on harvesting reds. So they released the reds, along with an 11-inch mutton snapper.
I returned to southern Estero Bay on Friday morning, 6/21, to fish inshore with Brady McFarland, his dad, Lee, and Brady’s son, Jaiden. The family did well using live shrimp. They released two redfish at 19 inches and 22 inches, and had a couple more of them hooked, but they cut the line boat-side. They also caught seven keeper mangrove snapper to 12 inches, and boxed the four largest of those, along with a 15-inch black drum. They also caught six sheepshead to 14 inches, including two that were legal size, but they chose to release them all, along with a 1 ½-pound crevalle jack.
Saturday morning, 6/22, I fished 22 miles west of New pass on an offshore trip with Charlie Tobler, his twin sons, and three of their friends. The guys used squid and cut-bait to box a half-dozen grunts and four keeper lane snapper. They released six red grouper shorts and an 8-foot nurse shark.
Gary Hourselt and Melissa Sawin fished 36 miles offshore with me on Monday, 6/24. Using cut-bait and squid, they caught six keeper grunts, six keeper lane snapper all around 11 inches, ten porgies to 24 inches, sixteen yellowtail snapper, including one keeper, a 14-inch keeper mangrove snapper, twenty red grouper shorts to 19 inches, and a 37-inch cobia (photo below.) They also released an 8-foot tiger shark, after a 45 minute battle.
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