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On Wednesday, 2/3, after watching the rain for the two preceding days, I finally got out fishing. Seas were still rough offshore so I fished Estero Bay’s backwaters with Bob Graham, daughter, Jenn Ness, her husband, Ryan Ness, and their adorable little boy, Graham Ness. Using shrimp, we caught two keeper sheepshead at 14 inches and 17 inches and a 17 inch keeper whiting. We released loads of ladyfish, which kept little graham amused—his 24-incher was almost as tall as he is! We also released lots of smaller sheepshead and mangrove snapper.

I spent some days bay-fishing after that (report posted in bay reports section.)

Monday morning, 2/15, I had to look out the window and check the NOAA forecast twice to believe what I was seeing and hearing...CALM seas! I couldn't have asked for a better day to fish offshore with long-time customers, Jim Sistek, his son, Jim Sistek Jr., grandson, Ryan, Andy Unger and his son, Dave, and friend, Frank Burkosky. We got out to 75 feet of water, 37 miles west of New Pass, where we had a great day of fishing with live shrimp. The only thing that could have made it better would have been if grouper season wasn't closed because we released four nice ones, three gags at 22, 23 and 25 inches, along with a 21-inch red grouper. We also caught our limit of mangrove snapper, the largest one being 24 inches and nine pounds, which is among the largest I have seen around here (see photo). The next largest was 21 inches and all of them were respectable size, mostly 16 to 17 inches. We also caught two keeper hogfish, 14 inches each , keeper sheepshead to 17 inches, grunts,and several nice whitebone porgies to 17 inches.

resizedFrankBurkosky-24in-9lb-mang.jpg.0

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