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Poster: Fishbuster Dave
Subject: Re: SW FL-Bonita Beach: Trout, Sheepshead, Pompano

After the rain, winds and chill of Monday, Tuesday morning offered my first opportunity to go fishing. I fished the oyster bars of Estero Bay with Bill Gardner and his sons Jamie and Brian. The tide was low, and it was still windy and cool early in the morning, with a slow bite early. The bite picked up toward mid-morning, when we caught three keeper sheepshead to 15 ½ inches, and a 16 ½ inch trout. We released some smaller sheepshead and three ladyfish.

Wednesday, the seas finally calmed enough to head offshore, but the fish weren’t as enthused about it as we were—there was a slow snapper bite in 40 feet out of New Pass, and Bob James and friend, Dick, were happy to get a single keeper mangrove snapper. But, they did also catch a keeper hogfish, and filled the rest of their dinner bags with whitebone porgies, porkfish and grunts. We also had fun catching and releasing plenty of gag grouper to 20 inches and red grouper to 19 inches.

I fished Estero Bay Thursday with Leeds Hutchinson, son Bill, and friend Gary Jorgenson. We did well fishing a wash channel (water running off a flat) close to Wiggins Pass, with live shrimp. We caught three trout 16 to 17 inches, four keeper sheepshead to 15 inches, and two keeper pompano.

Friday, fishing in 45 feet out of New Pass with the Bill Schroeder party, there was a very slow tide and light bite for a couple of hours. We ended up doing okay with snapper--fifteen keepers--and we released grouper shorts.

Fishing with Earl Meturfman and friends, Phil and Tom Saturday in Estero Bay, we caught a 16 inch trout and released sheepshead and ladyfish to 24 inches.

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