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Monday, 12/15, on a cloudy morning in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Estero</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Bay</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>, I dodged a few rain sprinkles and fished with H.O. Brownback and Steve Aggunt. We did pretty well using live shrimp and caught five keeper-sheepshead to 16 inches and four keeper-mangrove snapper. We released smaller fish of both varieties.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>

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The rest of the week was pretty slow, as is typical in the lull before the holiday rush. I fished <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Estero</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Bay</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> again on Saturday, 12/20, with Robert Haller, his wife, and his parents. We used shrimp to catch two keeper sheepshead to 15 inches, six keeper mangrove snapper, a 15 inch keeper black drum and a 14 inch keeper pompano. We released a trout, which is currently out of season.<o:p></o:p>

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Monday, winds whipped in advance of a cold-front, but that didn’t bother us much fishing in lower <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Estero</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Bay</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>. Bill Darkoch and his son, Justin, wanted to learn to fish the bay and scheduled a day of catch-and-release fishing. We used shrimp and released thirty sheepshead to 15 inches, twenty mangrove snapper, ladyfish and cravalle jack.<o:p></o:p>

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December 25<SUP>th</SUP> and 26<SUP>th</SUP> were reserved for family events and, when I got back to fishing on Saturday, 12/27, winds were feisty once again. The bay was very shallow and not a very good option, so I fished the near-shore reefs. That offshore report is posted in the offshore forum.

<o:p> Happy New Year to all!</o:p>

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