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Fishbuster Dave
(Unregistered)
3/26/05 06:21 PM
Better variety for snapper-weary anglers: SW FL [Post#: 1895 ] Reply to this post

I fished Monday, 3/14, in 42 feet, about 18 miles out of New Pass. We caught keeper lane snapper, mangrove snapper to 17 inches, and two keeper sheepshead.

Tuesday, fishing in 40 feet off New Pass, we caught a mess of 23 lane snapper, along with some grunts, and released grouper shorts.

I tried getting out Wednesday morning, hoping to beat the rough conditions forecast for later in the day. But, after taking 3 waves over the bow before we even got out of the pass, we decided to head back to shore. With rough conditions and a 90% chance of rain forecast for Thursday, I cancelled those offshore plans also.

I fished Friday at the Bonita reefs off New Pass with live shrimp. We caught nine sheepshead to 19 inches, mangrove snapper, two 22 inch Spanish mackerel, and released short gags. We hooked four goliaths, which bit larger fish on light tackle, and fought them until they won.

Saturday, we caught thirteen mangrove snapper to 20 inches, sheepshead to 19 inches, and released red grouper to 18 inches and gags to 21 inches, along with small mackerel, fishing in 42 feet, off New Pass.

Monday, 3/21, brought rough seas, and I cancelled my offshore plans. Tuesday, it was still sloppy offshore, with 3-4 foot seas. We caught keeper sheepshead, lane snapper and grunts, about 15 miles west of New Pass.

Wednesday was rough and rainy, and I remained in port. Thursday, I fished 17 miles out of New Pass in 38-45 feet. Using cut grunts, we caught twelve keeper lane snapper, and released gag grouper to 21 inches, just an inch below keeper size, and red grouper to 19 ½ inches, just ½ inch below legal size. We used live shrimp to catch fifteen mangrove snapper to 17 inches, and released small sheepshead.

Friday, I was hoping to get to the Ledge, but it was too rough, so we stayed near shore at the five-mile reef off Bonita Beach. We caught keeper sheepshead and mangrove snapper, a 20 inch pompano, and one keeper flounder. We released grouper shorts.

Fishing at the Bonita reefs Saturday, we caught a 27 inch gag grouper, the first keeper gag I have seen in close in a while. He bit a blue runner. We also caught keeper mangrove snapper and sheepshead on live shrimp.





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