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Captain Dave
1/12/08 08:06 PM
SW FL-Bonita Beach: Grouperfest [Post#: 2533 ] Reply to this post

Monday, 1/7, I fished with Ed and Margie Bock in 30 feet out of New Pass with live shrimp. We caught a mess of nice sheepshead to 17 inches and kept a half dozen of those. We also caught two keeper mangrove snapper, a pair of 14 inch triggerfish and grunts. We released a 15 inch bluefish, small Spanish mackerel and grouper shorts.

Tuesday, I headed out 31 miles west of New Pass on a 270 degree heading, where I fished with live shrimp in 63 feet with Ron Musick and his friends, Dick and Mike. We caught keeper mangrove snapper, Spanish mackerel and porgies, brought home fifteen fish, and released lots of gag shorts to 20 inches and red grouper shorts to 18 inches.

Andy DiCarlo and son Andy, Jr. fished with me Wednesday morning over hard bottom, off the beaches in 30 feet. Using shrimp, we caught another nice mess of sheepshead to 20 inches. We kept ten of those in the 16 inch to 20 inch range and released the rest. We also caught keeper-sized triggerfish and grunts and released lots of small grouper.

Five business associates, Ray Malayter, Steve Casey, Jeff Robillard, Kelly Packard and Larry Brockhaus had a good morning of fishing on Thursday. We headed out of New Pass and fished in 27-36 feet. Ray caught a nice gag grouper at 26 inches (see photo) and, although Larry had to release his 20 inch fish, it was a true black grouper, more unusual than a gag. We also had lots of catch-and-release-grouper action with red grouper to 19 ¾ inches, a quarter inch shy of keeper-size, and lots of short gags. We also caught a keeper mangrove snapper and released smaller mangs, whitebone porgies and grunts.

Friday, Scott Danielak and Margaret Danielak fished with me for the day in several spots on the way out to 60 feet, west of New Pass. We started catching lots of gag grouper on shrimp and light tackle, mostly shorts, but then we were broken off three times by bigger ones so I readied some heavier tackle and baited with sand perch. We caught three keeper gags on those rigs, two at 22 inches and one at 24 inches. We also caught four keeper yellowtail snapper, a few keeper mangrove snapper and whitebone porgies. All but the gags were caught on shrimp.

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