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Thursday morning, 2/4, I fished Estero Bay with John Hornell and his dad, Bud. We caught a 19-inch sheepshead, four keeper whitings and we released lots of ladyfish, small snapper and sheepshead. We used live shrimp for all.

Friday was rainy and windy, but the skies cleared Saturday, as the next front moved through, leaving a high pressure system in effect. Unfortunately, winds continued to be strong and offshore plans had to be traded for a morning of bay fishing. Brian Distefano and friends, Ron, Jim and Jim’s son, Nick, fished Estero Bay with me, using live shrimp. By mid-morning, the winds were roaring so we stayed as sheltered as possible and managed to catch five keeper sheepshead, all about 15 inches. We released lots of smaller ones.

The next time I got out on the water was Thursday morning, and that was in the backwaters on a catch-and-release trip with Mike Daley and son, Chris. It was chilly early on but warmed up nicely, and we delayed our start a bit to allow the sun to warm the air temperature. We used live shrimp to catch lots of sheepshead, the largest being 17 inches and 20 inches. We also released an 18-inch trout and some ladyfish.

Friday’s five-to-seven foot seas prohibited my offshore trip from going out. We might have fished the bay, but with cold winds and a 90% chance of rain, the group decided to bag the trip entirely. Saturday morning, four brave anglers headed into Estero Bay with in early morning temperatures of right around fifty degrees, with a cold, NW wind gusting 25-30 knots. Shannon and Rob Staples and their friends, Lisa and Bob O’Keefe fished in the most wind-sheltered spots I could find for them. Using live shrimp, the group caught five keeper sheepshead to 18 inches and released lots of smaller ones. Bob & Lisa also landed two nice trout at 19 inches and 17 inches.

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! You can see that report, along with my other offshore trips in the offshore reports posting.

RobStaples-15in-sheep.jpg.2384c502769909

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