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Fishbuster Dave
2/2/07 06:44 PM
SW FL-Bonita Beach: 26 inch gag grouper, 17 inch s [Post#: 2359 ] Reply to this post

Monday, 1/29, another cold front that passed through the area kicked up seas offshore to 6-8 feet, and I had to cancel my offshore trip. By Tuesday, seas were calmer, although there was still a 3-4 foot swell out there early, when I headed out to 40 feet with Bill Story, Bernie Didoro, and friends Tom, Jim, Dave and Mike. Armed with plenty of live shrimp, we caught three limits of mangrove snapper to 17 inches and a keeper gag grouper at 26 inches. We released lots of gag and red grouper shorts, and snapper shorts. We also caught 14 inch whitebone porgies, and Spanish mackerel to 22 inches.

Wednesday, I headed out about twenty miles out of new Pass with Jim McCarthy and friend, Dan. We had some pretty rough seas for a while, with 5-6 footers at times, but by about 2PM, seas had laid down to a calm 1-2 feet. We used live shrimp, and caught a dozen nice mangrove snapper to 16 inches, lots of Spanish mackerel to 24 inches, porgies, whitings, gag grouper shorts, and a six pound bonito. We released all but the snapper.

Fishing Estero Bay was tough on Thursday when Lee Larsons, Bud Lancer, and friends Paul, Steve and John had to give up their offshore plans, due to small craft advisories in the Gulf. We did our best in windy, low tide conditions, and managed to catch a keeper snapper and sheepshead. We released a few smaller sheepshead. Winds got progressively higher all day, and advisories were extended to Friday. I cancelled my offshore trip for that day, and given conditions in the bay, I did not even offer backwater fishing as an option.

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