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:happy7:

The easterly wind on Monday, 2/9, laid the seas down nicely well offshore in 45 feet out of New Pass, where I fished with Ward Wester and his dad, Loren. We caught a keeper 23 inch red grouper (red grouper are still in season-see photo), a keeper hogfish at 13 inches, seven nice mangrove snapper to 16 inches, some good-sized porgies, porkfish and grunts, all on shrimp. We also released a 2o inch true black grouper, along with gag and red grouper shorts.

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Ron Musick, Dick Arnett and Eddie Alfonso fished with me, using live shrimp, 37 miles out of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">New</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">Pass</st1:placetype></st1:place> on Tuesday. We caught a 23 inch gag grouper, which we had to release due to new regulations, and making the third one caught and released in a week…frustrating, but we were compensated with a 17 inch keeper scamp grouper, a dozen mangrove snapper to 15 inches, seven porgies to 18 inches and several big grunts. We released lots of gag and red grouper shorts, as well as twelve lesser amberjacks to 20 inches.

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Mandy Conneally, boyfriend, Brian, and friend, Andy fished with me Wednesday, over live bottom fourteen miles west of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">New</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">Pass</st1:placetype></st1:place>, where winds and seas were building all morning, enough that we took a wave completely over the bow on the way in. But the morning was productive for snapper, with a dozen of those to fourteen inches, along with some large grunts and porkfish, all caught on shrimp. We released triggerfish and red and gag grouper shorts.

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Thursday morning, seas were flat and the weather was perfect. I headed out of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">New</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">Pass</st1:placetype></st1:place> with Bob Graham, daughter Jennifer Ness, son-in-law, Ryan Ness and seven-year-old grandson, Graham Ness. As soon as we got to the pass, we were met with dense fog, but once that lifted, we had a good morning of fishing with live shrimp, about fourteen miles west of <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on">New</st1:placename> <st1:placetype w:st="on">Pass.</st1:placetype></st1:place> We caught two keeper lane snapper, eight keeper mangrove snapper, and ten good-sized grunts. We released smaller snapper and grouper.

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I had an unanticipated day off on Friday, due to a last minute cancellation that came in too late to allow me to rebook the day for someone else who wanted to fish this week. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen often, but it is a shame when it does, especially during peak-season.

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Saturday, the morning looked good, without the fog that hung around most of Friday morning. But by 11:00AM, that fog was rolling backing. I was able to navigate out in clear skies, however, to about twenty miles off Bonita Beach with Garry Jacobson, son Chuck, grandson Grayson, and family friend, Tom Batchelor. We used shrimp to catch ten nice mangrove snapper keepers to 17 ½ inches, none smaller than 14 inches. We also caught three hogfish, two of which were keepers at 15 inches, and a few large porgies to 16 inches. We released grouper shorts, triggerfish and porkfish, before heading back to shore in thickening fog.LorenWester-23in-red-grouper-vert.JPG.55

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