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fishbuster

SW FL-Bonita Beach:Big Grouper, Snapper, Sheepshead, Goliaths & Shark

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5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} </style> <![endif]--> “No oil—No spoil

Our Beaches are Clean—Our Waters Pristine”

After a couple days of rough seas, I got back offshore on Thursday, 11/18, and fished in 2-4 foot seas on 43 feet with Terry Howell and Chris Steinbauer. We used live shrimp to catch seven keeper porgies to 14 inches, a 22-inch Spanish mackerel and a 16-inch mangrove snapper. We released red grouper shorts, as well as short sheepshead, grunts, porkfish, triggerfish, and a 30-pound goliath grouper.

After the Thanksgiving holiday, I fished on Friday, 11/26, with Robert and Roberta Duhlberg and their two children, Daniel and Rebecca. Seas were pretty sloppy in advance of a cool front moving through, but we did okay in about 40 feet, fishing with live shrimp. We caught four keeper mangrove snapper, a 15-inch hogfish keeper and four keeper sheepshead in the 13-14-inch range. We released gag and red grouper shorts, as well as triggerfish shorts.

Saturday morning, seas were calm, when I headed out 17 miles west of New Pass with Bob Welch and his friend, Carl. We used live shrimp to catch a 16-inch sheepshead, a 15-inch mangrove snapper, and a mess of whitebone porgies and grunts. The guys were planning a fish-fry for some guests so the table-fare was much appreciated. We also had some fun with a 10-foot shark, which cut our line three times, as it circled the boat. We released triggerfish shorts and some smaller snapper.

Sunday morning there was more chop on the water, which actually made the fishing better than it was in the dead calm waters the day before. I headed out to 43 feet of water, about 17 miles west of New Pass with Paul McConnell and his sons, Tim and Andrew, on the last day of their Thanksgiving weekend visit. The guys caught keeper mangrove snapper and three nice gag grouper, at 22 ½ inches, 24 inches and 28 inches. We hooked and released a huge goliath grouper that I estimated to be about 400 pounds. That one bit two blue runners and provided some sore arms for both the boys, who managed to get it to the surface with heavy tackle. When we released it and tried for another, the 28-inch gag bit the blue runner bait, and it wasn’t much of a fight on that heavy pole. (see photo) The two smaller gags bit shrimp on light tackle. The McConnells planned a fish-fry for their last dinner before heading home.

resizedAndrewMcConnell-28in-gag.jpg.50f3

Connie Matusak and friends, Ray and Dan, spent Monday morning fishing in Estero Bay with me. We released a half dozen redfish shorts and seven snook, and kept a pair of 15-inch sheepshead, all caught on live shrimp.

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