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fishbuster

SW FL-Bonita Beach: Good Variety and another goliath video

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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]--> Monday, the first day of August, I fished with Paul Fenwick, daughter Emma, son Spencer, along with John Priddy, his daughter, Jordyn, and her cousin, Susan Carlisle. The group wanted big fish, so we spent some time catching bait for goliath grouper. Using live shrimp, we caught ten grunts, nine porgies, twelve mangrove snapper, five crevalle jacks and two ladyfish, all yummy fare for the goliaths. We caught and released four goliath grouper that ranged from forty to one hundred fifty pounds, and the group had great time. They plan to fish again with me on Thursday, which should allow enough time to rest their sore arm muscles!

Tuesday morning, I headed out to about 26 miles west of New Pass with Chuck Schmitt and his two grandsons, Nick and Zach Trani. We originally planned to fish a spot about 22 miles out, but we had to keep running from the many dolphins that were trying to grab all our catches. We ended up doing well with snapper, with fifteen keeper lanes and 14-inch keeper yellowtail, caught on live shrimp. We released ten smaller lanes, a few smaller yellowtail, a half-dozen mangrove snapper shorts, and thirty-some red grouper ranging 17 to 19 1/2 inches, many just short of their 20-inch legal size. The grouper bit best on grunts.

Wednesday, I headed out to fish in 63 feet, about 24 miles west of New Pass, with Daniel Veita, his dad, George, and friend, Gino. We used live shrimp and pinfish to catch twenty-five keeper-sized lane snapper, a half-dozen Spanish mackerel to 26 inches, and two keeper yellowtail snapper, 13 inches and 15 inches. We released eight mangrove snapper shorts and twenty-five red grouper shorts to 18 1/2 inches, along with half the keeper lanes, since the trio wanted only enough for dinner. We also released two sharpnose sharks.

Thursday morning, I fished with the same party I fished with Monday. Paul Fenwick, son Spencer Taylor, daughter Emma, Emma's cousin Susan Carlisle, along with John Priddy and his daughter, Jordyn, fished with me at the near-shore reefs off Bonita Beach. We caught nine mangrove snapper, four of which were keepers, eleven lane snapper, three of which were 12-inch keepers, a keeper porgy and a 15-inch flounder. We released two red grouper shorts, one gag grouper short, one under-sized sheepshead, lots of ladyfish and crevalle jacks, and a 15-pound stingray.

Friday morning, I fished a catch-and-release trip in the Wiggins Pass area of Estero Bay with Dan & Jackie Marshall and their eight-year-old daughter, Bethany, who are visiting from the U.K. We used live shrimp to catch and release twenty-five mangrove snapper to ten inches, crevalle jacks, three small sheepshead, a 13-inch flounder, and a pompano.

I had planned an offshore trip for Monday, 8/8, but we awoke to thunderstorms encompassing the gulf. We rescheduled that trip for Friday, which was the first day fit for fishing this entire, soggy week. The skies finally brightened a bit Friday morning, 8/12, when I headed offshore about 23 miles west of New Pass with Eric Vincent and family and friends, who had waited since Monday to get out fishing but, each day, it seemed to rain harder than the day before. We managed a near rain-free trip Friday, though we did encounter a thunderstorm mid-morning. We used live shrimp to catch eight keeper lane snapper and three keeper mangrove snapper, along with seven nice whitebone porgies, a keeper porkfish, and a 21-inch Spanish mackerel. We released about twenty-five smaller mangs, a small hogfish, and red grouper shorts to 18 inches.

Wednesday, 8/17, I fished a catch-and-release trip in Estero Bay with Matt Haylock and Emma Wilkinson. We used live shrimp to catch and release two black drum, 20-inches and 27 inches, three bonnethead sharks ranging 35 to 40 inches, half a dozen snook to 20 inches, and fifteen mangrove snapper.

Thursday morning, I headed offshore with long-time customer, Robert Dulberg, his son, Daniel, and family friends Len Kerns and William. We had to stay a little closer to shore than I had planned, in order to miss the rainstorms further out in the gulf. We fished with live shrimp in 30 feet of water, about fourteen miles west of New Pass. The group caught two hogfish, one of which was a 13-inch keeper, three keeper mangrove snapper to 13 inches, fifteen grunts and four nice whitebone porgies. They released fifteen smaller mangrove snapper, a few short yellowtail snapper, and a few red grouper shorts.

Friday morning, I fished with J.T. and Diane Thompson and J.T.'s daughter, Christie, in Fish trap Bay and central Estero Bay. We used live shrimp to catch three redfish, one of which was a keeper at 19 inches. We also caught eight mangrove snapper, one of which was a keeper. We released the short reds and mangs, as well as two 20-inch snook and some big pinfish. We sighted two sharks in Fish Trap Bay, which is kind of unusual. One was a brown shark that looked like it could have been a bull, and the other was a 4 1/2 foot bonnethead shark.

The photo shown is of angler, Tim McConnell, with a 4-foot barracuda, caught on shrimp and released on a recent offshore trip.

resizedTimMcConnell-4ft-cuda.jpg.df882ec

A new goliath grouper video can be viewed at:

[video=youtube;14UOLicH2f8]

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