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Poster: Fishbuster Dave
Subject: Re: SW FL-Bonita Beach: Good Bite-Inshore & Offshore R

Estero Bay offered a pretty good variety of fish for us on Monday morning, 6/30, when I fished with Jason and Callie Eubanks, Don Cruz and Paul Odele. We used live shrimp to catch a keeper sheepshead, a 21 inch keeper redfish and a bunch of keeper-sized mangrove snapper. We released all the mangs but four, and we were broken off by another slot red and by a big cravalle jack.

I was back in the bay Tuesday morning, with Tom Wolfe and young son, Jordan. We caught a nice redfish at 22 ½ inches (see photo) and lost another keeper-sized red when it snagged on some trees. We also caught a keeper mangrove snapper, which was big for a bay snapper at 14 inches. We released a couple dozen smaller snapper, along with three trout that were all around 14 inches, four snook to 16 inches, and a cravalle jack.

Jim & Lisa Roe, son Brendon, and friend Jerry Garland fished the reefs with me in 33 feet Wednesday morning and we managed to get half-day of fishing done before the rains came. We caught twenty nice- sized whitebone porgies and fifteen keeper mangrove snapper. We also got a 25 inch Spanish mackerel and two hogfish, one of which was keeper-sized at 14 inches. We released small yellowtail snapper and red grouper shorts to 19 inches. We had a cobia that was about fifty pounds hooked at one point, after he bit a fish we were reeling in—that fight lasted about fifteen minutes until the cobia finally spit the fish and took off.

Bill Brown and son, Greg, fished with me Friday morning until we got run in a little bit early by storms. Fishing with live shrimp about fourteen miles west of Big Carlos, we caught ten keeper mangrove snapper to 14 inches, porgies to 14 inches and Spanish mackerel to 25 inches. We released red grouper shorts and grunts.

Ethan & Kay Ware, along with children Malachai, Jack, Noah and Julia, celebrated the 4th of July with an offshore fishing excursion. We fished about 17 miles west of New Pass. Unlike the day before, there wasn’t much cloud cover and the water was crystal clear. We could see bottom in 38 feet. The bite was a little slower. We caught a keeper hogfish, whitebone porgies to 15 inches and grunts. We released triggerfish, a mangrove snapper that was just short of legal size for federal waters, a Spanish mackerel and red grouper shorts to 19 ½ inches.

Brian McGoldrick, Bill Justice and Todd Snapp fished central Estero Bay with me Saturday. Brian caught a nice 25 ½ inch redfish shortly after we anchored. He lost three more nice reds that came off their hooks. Bill caught a 24 ½ inch redfish and an 18 inch trout. Todd caught a keeper sheepshead at 15 inches and the group caught eight keeper mangrove snapper to 12 inches, all on shrimp.

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