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I had planned to fish everyday of Thanksgiving week, but by Wednesday, 11/24, it was raining in advance of a cold front that kicked up seas to 5-7 feet offshore on Friday. The next time I got to fish, after Tuesday, was on Saturday morning, 11/28, and with seas as rough as they were Friday, we decided to play it safe and fish the backwaters. I fished with Mike & Regan McIntosh and their friends, Clark & Ashley Horgan. The redfish bite was on and we released eleven of those, along with several sheepshead. We kept a larger sheepshead and a 15-inch flounder, all caught on live shrimp.

Wednesday, it rained all day and did much of the same parts of Thursday, all of Friday and most of Saturday. I had to cancel all my trips for those days and was unable, unfortunately, to reschedule them. I set my sites upon better weather for this coming week, which is predicted, at least for the first part of the week. We have an El Nino weather pattern in effect this winter, which is notorious for interfering with fishing plans, given the wetter winter it brings.

Tim Carberry and June DeJonge fished Estero Bay with me on a windy Wednesday morning, 12/9. The two were admitted novices, but they caught on quickly and had a good time fishing with live shrimp. We caught and released four redfish to 17 ¾ inches, just ¼ inch short of legal keeper-size. We also caught a keeper sheepshead at 13 inches and a 19-inch black drum.

Friday morning, I fished the bay with Jonathan Tracy and friend, Jeff. The tide was low and slow and we tried to stay as sheltered as possible from the twenty-knot winds that blew most of the morning. We caught keeper sheepshead and mangrove snapper on shrimp.

Saturday, with seas still kicked up offshore, the Dargis family decided to stick with the backwaters. Grandpa Leon, son, Brett, and grandsons, Connor and Blake, caught and released redfish just short of keeper-size, along with an 18 ½ inch snook. The group also caught keeper some sheepshead and a half-dozen keeper mangrove snapper, all on shrimp.

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