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fishbuster

SW FL-Bonita Beach: 150 lb shark, keeper grouper, lanes, flounder

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“No oil—No spoil

Our Beaches are Clean—Our Waters Pristine”

Monday, 5/2, was another one of those breezy day, but the wind direction made it possible to at least get my party of four out to the reefs. Long-time customers Dennis & Jamie Riddell brought Dennis' brother, Tom, and sister-in-law, Joan, along this time. We used live shrimp to catch six nice trout to 18 inches, a 16-inch flounder, a couple of keeper mangrove snapper, a few Spanish mackerel to 23 inches, and four sheepshead to 13 inches. We released about 25 gag grouper shorts.

Tuesday, I headed back to fish the reefs, this time with Ralph and Kelly Kroll. Seas were still a little sloppy for getting out well offshore, but the reefs provided us plenty of action in relatively calm seas. We used live shrimp to catch fifteen trout, seven of which were nice keepers, all measuring between 16 and 18 inches. We released eight that were in the 15 to 15 1/2 inch range. We also caught a couple of keeper mangrove snapper, and we released lots of gag grouper shorts and ladyfish.

Thursday morning, a very windy one, I fished Estero Bay with Chris & Barbara Hodgson. We used shrimp to catch and release two black drum, two crevalle jacks, and five sheepshead. We also caught two keeper mangrove snapper. The tide was going out most of the morning, with the wind blowing about 18 knots.

Friday, I fished the last of this season’s trips with long-time customer, Ron Musick, joined by Eddie Alfonse, Dick Arnett, and friends, Denzel and Garrett. Eddie caught a keeper red grouper at 21 ½ inches, and the group caught fifteen nice lane snapper to 15 inches. The grouper ate a sardine and the lanes took live shrimp. We released a five-foot barracuda, which also ate a sardine and, after a tough fight that nearly pulled me and Ron out of the boat, we caught, on a sardine on the bottom, a nurse shark that was 7 ½ feet long and estimated at 150 pounds. After we released that one, we called it a day!

Saturday morning, I fished a catch-and-release trip in Estero Bay with Greg Parish and his two sons, Jason and John. We used shrimp to catch and release two redfish, a snook, and trout.

Tuesday, 5/10, I fished 22 miles west of New Pass with Jeff & Tina Slabbekoorn and their children, nine-year-old Zayda and seven-year-old Max. We used live shrimp to catch a 21-inch keeper red grouper, seven Spanish mackerel to 24 inches, and fifteen keeper lane snapper to 13 1/2 inches. We released about 25 additional red grouper that were shorts to 19 inches, as well as 35 additional smaller lane snapper.

Wednesday, the ,SW winds made for some sloppier conditions offshore, so David Raynondo and Joe Resendes fished near-shore with me, in 18 to 26 feet of water, with live shrimp. We caught two keeper sheepshead that measured 13 inches each, a 16-inch sea trout, a 17-inch black drum, a 16-inch flounder, and two Spanish mackerel 23 and 24 inches long. We released lots of mangrove snapper and gag grouper shorts.

Long -time customers, brothers, Harry and Grant Kurtz, along with Harry’s daughter, Lindsay, and her boyfriend, Cory, fished with me 22 miles off Naples on Thursday. The wind was up around fifteen knots, with the seas two to three feet. We stopped at the first area in about 43 feet of water, where visibility was about twenty feet. The plan was to catch enough fish for dinner and release the rest. We had non-stop action on nice lane snapper, but there were not many big ones at that spot so, after an hour or so, we moved a little ways, looking for grouper, and found lots of undersized red grouper and a few bigger lanes. Cory also caught his first Spanish mackerel, which was 20 inches long.

The next time I was scheduled to fish was on Saturday, 5/14, when I had hoped to get offshore with a party of six that got canceled a couple of Saturdays ago, due to rough seas. But the weather-front that moved through the area early Saturday had winds and seas kicked up once again, along with ominous looking skies threatening rain. We had to cancel that trip, and hope to reschedule for a day that might finally offer good conditions.

The photo shown is of angler, Joe Resendes, with a 16-inch flounder, caught on shrimp on a recent trip (last week.)

JoeResendes-16in-flounder.jpg.c166e4964c

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Great report. Thanks!

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