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What a treat Monday, 3/9 was offshore! For the first time in a very long time, seas were dead-calm and the fishing was good at the same time. I fished in 46 feet out of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">New</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Pass</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> with brothers Mike & Paul Conneally and their friends, Rodney & Kass Bromm. Using live shrimp, we caught five nice mangrove snapper to 20 inches, none of them less than 15 inches. We also kept five of eight sheepshead we caught, to 19 inches, and a 15 inch whitebone porgie. We released silver porgies, porkfish, grunts, Spanish mackerel, red grouper shorts and gag grouper shorts to 21 inches. We had a big shark eat one of our fish and run off before I could identify what type of shark it was.

Seas were still calm Tuesday and allowed me to get out to 74 feet, about 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> with Ron Musick, Eddie Alfonso and Richard Arnett. We caught fourteen nice mangs to 17 ½ inches, five 17 inch whitebone porgies, a 15 inch triggerfish, a few large grunts and a 15 inch hogfish, all on shrimp. We released grouper shorts.

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Wednesday, I fished about 20 miles out of <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">New</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Pass</st1:PlaceType> in 43 feet with <st1:place w:st="on">Sandy Hook</st1:place>, Sam Sayles, Doc Washa and Hank Lischer. We caught a 16 ½ inch mangrove snapper, a couple of 15 ½ inch whitebone porgies, porkfish and grunts, and we released lots of grouper shorts.

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I fished <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Estero</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Bay</st1:PlaceType>, close to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Wiggins</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Pass</st1:PlaceType></st1:place>, on Thursday with Sherman Heazlitt, Todd Miller, Bob Miller and Mike Dash. We caught two keeper pompano, ten sheepshead, five of which were keepers to 17 inches, and we released a couple of small mangrove snapper and some ladyfish.

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Calm waters offshore were again a treat on Friday, when I fished in 45 feet, 22 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> And, Friday the thirteenth wasn’t at all unlucky for Gerry Casey, Terry Vallely, Bob Bellevielle, and Steve O’Connor. Baited with shrimp, we caught seven mangrove snapper to 18 inches, sheepshead to 15 ½ inches, porgies to 15 inches, a few big grunts, and a 14 inch hogfish. We released grouper shorts, porkfish and undersized triggerfish.[/font]

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I ended this week of fishing offshore in 45 feet, fishing with Reiner Neumann, his son, Steve, and friends Vince and Dino Bacetta and Leo Adamo. We caught lots of mangrove snapper, four of them keepers, along with a half dozen good-sized whitebone porgies and three sheepshead to 16 inches, all on shrimp. We released smaller snapper, porkfish, triggerfish, Spanish mackerel and lots of grouper shorts. This week was one of the calmest full weeks offshore we have seen all season.

The photo shown is of six-year-old angler, Max Robson, with a 17 1/2 inch sheepshead, caught on shrimp on a recent trip that was his first on a boat.

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