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Tuesday, 5/26, I fished central <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Estero</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Bay</st1:PlaceType> with Wayne Hawkins and his niece, Lauren Mullinax, both from <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:City w:st="on">Cumming</st1:City>, <st1:State w:st="on">GA.</st1:State></st1:place> We used live shrimp and popping corks to catch three keeper trout to 18 inches and release lots of smaller trout. We also caught two keeper sheepshead, and we released a 23 inch snook.

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Wednesday morning, 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> to 43 feet to fish offshore with George Noonan and his two sons. We fished with shrimp, hoping to catch some nice mutton snapper, like I had last week. But the goliath grouper had other ideas and ate two of those before we could get them off the bottom. We managed to beat out the goliaths and keep a nice yellowtail, some porgies and grunts, and two king mackerel at 25 inches and 32 inches. We also caught and released a 25 pound goliath grouper, along with lots of mangrove and yellowtail snapper shorts, undersized gag grouper and smaller kingfish.

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I headed offshore Saturday morning with Leon Mead and son, Spencer, but we only made it to the near-shore reefs because of three-to-four foot seas, even near-shore. We used shrimp to catch keeper mangrove snapper, grunts and Spanish mackerel, and we released grouper shorts, smaller mackerel and blue runners.

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<st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Fishing</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Estero</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Bay</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> Sunday with Steve Vender and Shawn Hennessey yielded some decent trout to 19 inches. Steve fished with me a couple more times this week too, on Tuesday and Thursday.<o:p></o:p>

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Tuesday, 6/2, we headed offshore to 43 feet, about 20 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 three mutton snapper at 16 ½ inches, 18 inches and 19 ¾ inches. We lost another big one when it cut the line and also hooked a hogfish that got free about three feet from the boat. We also caught whitebone porgies and Spanish mackerel, and released triggerfish, grouper shorts, grunts and blue runners.<o:p></o:p>

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Thursday, we’d planned to head out for more muttons but the rain offshore kept us in the backwaters, where we caught a 24 ½ inch redfish, a 14 inch sheepshead and a few keeper mangrove snapper.<o:p></o:p>

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Backwaters fishing Friday morning with Dave Koenigsmark and his five-year-old son, Tyler, was good for three keeper trout, two at 18 ½ inches and one at 17 inches, on shrimp with popping corks. We also caught a few keeper mangrove snapper to 13 inches.

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The photo shown is of angler, Gary Click, with a 23 inch trout, caught on shrimp, on a recent inshore trip.


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