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Monday, 1/26/09, I fished offshore in 45 feet with Barry Pfleuger and friends. We caught fifteen nice mangrove snapper in the 14 to 16 inch range, two keeper pompano and a keeper hogfish. We released gag and red grouper shorts, porgies, triggerfish and a bluefish, all on live shrimp.

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The snapper bite was on in 70 feet Tuesday, when I fished with Ron Musick and Dick Arnett. We caught twenty-one nice mangs to 18 inches, using shrimp. We tried some cut bait, but shrimp was definitely the bait that worked so we stuck with that. We also caught six large whitebone porgies to 17 inches and two 30 inch king mackerel. We released the mackerel, along with grouper shorts and a couple of small yellowtail snapper.

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Even in shallower depths on Wednesday, the snapper bite was hot and the mangs were good-sized. Fishing with Bob Wojtowicz, his brother Stosh, and friends Bob Bradley and Mel Stuart in 44 feet, we caught seventeen mangs to 19 inches, along with whitebone porgies, grunts and porkfish. We released lots of red and gag grouper shorts.

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Thursday’s snapper fishing with Bill story, Jim and Mark Martin, and friends Steve, Dave and Marv, was decent but didn’t yield as many big mangs as the trips earlier this week. We kept five of them to 16 inches and released smaller ones, along with some grouper shorts. We also caught porgies, sheepshead, porkfish and grunts, all on shrimp in about 43 feet.

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Weather predictions for Friday included a small craft advisory, with another strong cold front approaching. Sure enough, it was raining by 9AM. Once again, the Gulf was too rough to fish and the bay too dry for at least Friday and Saturday.

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The photo shown is of angler Bill Evans with a 28 inch gag grouper, caught on shrimp in 45 feet, on a recent offshore Fishbuster Charter in January. Gag grouper are in closed season February 1<SUP>st</SUP> through March 31<SUP>st</SUP> so there won’t be many pics like this one for a while.

BillEvans28ingagJPG-1.jpg

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