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Fishbuster Dave
3/1/08 06:34 PM
SW FL-Bonita Beach: shark, goliaths, mangs & lanes [Post#: 2554 ] Reply to this post

Monday, 2/25, I fished with Mike and Lee Conneally, son Clint and Clint’s girlfriend, Anna. We fished the reefs off Bonita beach in calm seas, which was a pleasant change from the rough waters of last week. Using live shrimp, we caught five large sheepshead, but lost one to a seven-foot sandbar shark that Clint reeled in and lost another to a big goliath grouper that ate it boat-side. We also caught porkfish to add to the sheepshead so the Conneallys ended up with plenty of fish for dinner, even after feeding the shark-burglar.

Tuesday, with seas building offshore all day in advance of a strong cold front, Andy Ungar and Tony Pastore traded their gulf fishing plans for a morning of fishing in Estero Bay. We caught two fifteen inch sheepshead, an eighteen inch whiting, and released two cravalle jacks to three pounds and a 23 inch snook.

I cancelled my planned fishing trips Wednesday and Thursday, due to high seas offshore and low-tide, dry conditions in Estero Bay.

Friday morning, seas were predicted to be two to three feet offshore, but when I headed out with Larry Dahlburg and five of his friends, we had rough seas right out of the pass. We started out fishing with live shrimp at the reefs, where we caught nine nice sheepshead to 17 inches. When seas started calming down, we headed south and out a little further, where we caught three keeper mangrove snapper and released a dozen small snapper. We also caught a half dozen lane snapper to 11 inches and three Spanish mackerel to 24 inches before the blue runners moved in. we released lots of blue runners, along with triggerfish and gag grouper to 19 inches.

Saturday morning I returned to the reefs off Bonita Beach, this time with Carl Graham and Paul Long. We caught a 24 inch Spanish mackerel and a mess of sheepshead, kept three of the largest, and released the rest along with gag grouper shorts, smaller Spanish mackerel and blue runners. We had another encounter with a goliath that ate one of the big sheepshead as we were reeling in.

The photo shown is of anglers Margaret and Scott Danielak with a porgie and a trio of gag grouper caught on shrimp before grouper season closed, on an offshore trip.

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