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Fishbuster Dave
12/16/06 06:01 PM
SW FL-Bonita Beach: 175 lb.goliath, gag, hogfish. [Post#: 2337 ] Reply to this post

After a blustery weekend, that caused me to cancel my offshore trips, I headed to the artificial reefs on Monday with John Maliszewski and friends, Phil, Russ, and Irv. Seas were decreased to 2-3 feet most of the day, although there was still a pretty stiff wind blowing. We caught keeper mangrove snapper and a half dozen nice triggerfish, and released short gag and red grouper.

Fishing Tuesday with Reiner Neumann and friends in 35 feet out of New Pass, we caught sheepshead, porkfish, grunts and triggerfish. The grouper we caught wasn’t keeper size, but at least we released larger ones than I have been seeing lately—gag grouper to 20 inches and red grouper to 17 inches.

Wednesday, I fished in 70 feet out of New Pass with Larry Mosher and friends, Dennis, Dave, Ronnie & Toby. We caught keeper mangrove snapper, porgies, and keeper sheepshead. One angler lost what looked like a keeper sized gag grouper when it snapped the line. And we fought a big bonito for about ten minutes, before it snapped the line. We released two goliath grouper, one weighing 35 pounds, and one at 175 pounds. We also released lots of red grouper, gag grouper and scamp grouper shorts. We caught everything on live shrimp and cut-bait, except for the goliaths, which bit blue runners.

Thursday morning, I awoke to the sound of rain, and though it was a light drizzle at that time, forecasters called for a 90% chance of rain, becoming more likely as the day progressed. With no trip scheduled for Friday, I offered that alternative to my anglers, brothers Robert and Gale Taylor, and we set our sites on a drier excursion Friday morning. That turned out well for us, fishing in 40 feet out of New Pass. We caught the first keeper-sized gag grouper I have seen in a while—a pretty nice 24 inch one. My anglers had their lines broken three times, probably by grouper that got down in the rocks. We also landed two nice hogfish, and six keeper mangrove snapper, all around 13-14 inches. We released short mangroves, gags and red grouper. Seas were calm, and with the cloud cover, it was a pleasant day offshore.

Saturday morning, it was raining early, but the radar looked as if it would fizzle to a drizzle and clear. I headed out of new Pass to 40 feet again, with John Iacuone, friend Mitch, and Mitch’s son, Alex. It ended up raining lightly most of the morning, but we stayed and fished. We caught keeper mangrove snapper, porgies, triggerfish, and a keeper hogfish. There weren’t any keeper grouper this time, but we released lots of gags to 20 inches and reds to 18 inches.

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