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Fishbuster Dave
1/19/07 06:28 PM
SW FL-Bonita Beach: Keeper gag grouper to 26 inche [Post#: 2353 ] Reply to this post

Sure enough, as predicted, the four foot seas were calming over the course of the day Monday to two foot. I fished about 28 miles out of New Pass with Andy Ungar, Al Layton, and friends Jim and John. We used mostly live shrimp, along with some squid and cut bait. We caught keeper mangrove and lane snapper, Spanish mackerel and triggerfish, and released a couple of sharpnose sharks.

Tuesday was a beautiful day, but my angler had to cancel due to an injury, and by Wednesday, the seas were kicked back up to 4-6 feet, so that trip rescheduled. Seas subsided over night Wednesday, and by Thursday morning, when I fished with Ron Musik, Larry Laudick and Dick Arnett, we had good conditions. The action was good about 20 miles west of New Pass, where we fished with live shrimp. We kept seven mangrove snapper out of about 40 that we caught, and the grouper bite was hot too, but most of the gags were an inch short of keeper size, and the reds were lacking a couple of inches, so we had to release all but one gag, which was 22 ½ inches. We also caught Spanish mackerel to 20 inches, along with other reef fish.

Friday, I headed out to 40 feet, in morning fog, with brothers Bob and Tom Graham and friends, John and Don. It was difficult getting anchored, with visibility only about 200 feet, and with winds increasing and blowing a different direction from the way the tide was going. We moved around a good bit, but we did well in the long run, with a 26 inch gag grouper, keeper mangrove snapper, lots of keeper-sized Spanish mackerel, keeper sheepshead, and whitebone porgies. We released lots of red and gag grouper shorts to 19 inches, and also released all the mackerel.

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