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Fishbuster Dave
5/12/07 08:27 PM
SW FL-Bonita Beach: rough seas, goliaths galore, 7 [Post#: 2424 ] Reply to this post

The calm winds and seas of last week didn’t hold too long. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday brought strong gusty winds and high seas, which caused me to reschedule my offshore anglers for later in the week. I finally headed out Thursday on a catch-and-release trip with Harry Oleferak. NOAA had predicted two to four foot seas, but I knew they would be at the higher end of that range, with the winds still blowing hard. We stayed close in at the reefs off Bonita Beach, and even there we had three to four foot seas and a steady wind of 15 knots. We used small cravalle jack and blue runners for bait. We caught and released Spanish mackerel, mangrove snapper, and an eight pound goliath grouper. We also had a bigger goliath cut our line, and a 3 ½ foot barracuda eat one of our blue runners.

Anglers Eric Harper and Dave Enayert had been waiting since Monday for a day calm enough to go after goliath grouper. The two wanted the thrill of the big catches, and I knew trying to catch those in the rough seas we had earlier this week would be next to impossible. Friday we finally had two foot seas at the reefs, so we seized the opportunity to load up the heavy tackle. We released six goliaths boat-side that ranged from 75 pounds to over 200 pounds. The biggest one was 5 ½ feet long. We caught them all on blue runners and small Spanish mackerel.

Chris and Yvette Worthington and young sons Hunter and Peyton fished with me Saturday. We started out about 16 miles out of New Pass where we caught some snapper, but before long, the porpoise moved in, so we headed further out to about 37 miles. We caught a bunch of keeper yellowtail and lane snapper for food value, but my anglers also wanted some big fish for sport value. We caught two sharpnose sharks, each about three foot, then hooked a seven foot bull shark that gave us a good fight. We were broken off by something big and fast that I am guessing was a tuna.

The photo shown is of angler Ed Bosch with a 28 inch kingfish, caught on shrimp last week on offshore trip.

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