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Fishbuster Dave
5/5/07 08:26 PM
SW FL-Bonita Beach: Another tuna! Kingfish, shark, [Post#: 2421 ] Reply to this post

I was in port on Monday, but I fished Tuesday in 80 feet on a 265 heading out of New Pass with anglers Jim McCarthy and friend, Dan. We had one great day fishing. Baited with live shrimp, we began catching some nice yellowtail snapper to 16 inches, landed about eight of those along with keeper lane snapper to 12 inches. We kept four of the latter and released the rest. We also released ten nice-sized banded rudder fish, two king mackerel at 26 inches and 40 inches, and short grouper to 20 inches. Our best catch was a 25 pound blackfin tuna, which we caught, believe it or not, on half a shrimp (see photo.) We got that big boy boated, and I put a hunk of squid on the pole while I was getting the tuna on ice. Suddenly, the rod screamed--I thought it was another tuna. It spooled 200 plus yards of Power-Pro line. For 35 minutes with one angler on the reel and one on the top of the rod, we fought that fish. At the end of a long run, with no line left, I lifted the rod-tip ever so slightly. There was a big thrust on the end, and a 7 foot bull shark snapped the rod in half just under the big guide. With both pieces of the pole held fast, we fought that big boy to the end, thanked him for the fight, and released him. The thrill was well worth the damages!

Wednesday morning, my old friends Chris and Lissa Dillon from Indiana were in town for business, and they managed to reserve some pleasure time, along with friend Ed Bosch, to fish offshore with me. We headed out about 15 miles on a 260 heading from New Pass with some shrimp and pinfish in the bait well. We caught twenty keeper-sized lane snapper, Spanish mackerel to 20 inches, a 28 inch kingfish, porkfish, whitebone porgies, a 25 inch goliath and grouper shorts to 19 inches. We caught one keeper gag grouper at 23 inches on a pinfish. We released all but the keeper gag and a few lanes.

I fished with Jim McCarthy and Dan Gilbert again on Thursday, about 37 miles out of new Pass on a 260 heading. No tuna this time, but our shrimp and squid served up five mangrove snapper to 17 inches and ten keeper yellowtail snapper. We released gags just short of legal to 21 inches and red grouper to 18 inches, along with porgies. We had two big sharks cut lines a couple times, but never close enough to see what kind.

Saturday, I headed back out to the same area with Jim Ozark and two of his friends. We used shrimp and squid to catch a dozen keeper yellowtail snapper, a half dozen lane snapper, grunts porgies and triggerfish. We released a variety of grouper shorts—reds, gags and scamps.

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