NOAA has spoken and there will be no more fishing this weekend, so I might as well post the report for this week. Monday, 3/3, the winds were starting to kick up the seas again ahead of the next cold front so I fished near-shore with Rellan Monson, his wife and a friend. We caught seven nice sheepshead to 20 inches and had another one of those now frequent encounters with a monster-sized goliath grouper that ate one of the big sheepshead we had hooked. We also caught four Spanish mackerel to 23 inches and released lots of gag grouper shorts.
Tuesday, there were small craft advisories issued, with gusty winds and seas building to six to eight feet. I cancelled my fishing trip.
Wednesday, I fished with Roy Kelley and friends in Estero Bay, along the mangrove tree lines from Wiggins Pass to Barefoot Beach. We caught three keeper sheepshead all 15 to 18 inches and a 16 inch trout on shrimp. We released smaller sheepshead and trout, a 17 inch redfish, cravalle jacks and ladyfish. We lost a big red when it bit just after the small one did and broke off in the trees.
Thursday, skeptical about the calmer seas predicted offshore, Ed & Margie Bock and I decided to fish bayside. If seas were at all calmer it was to be temporary at best, just recovering from a rough weather front with a worse one on its approach. We fished with shrimp along tree lines and caught five keeper sheepshead to 18 inches along with three keeper mangrove snapper. We released cravalle jacks.
The big blow arrived overnight Thursday and with wind gusts of 35 mph and seas of 7-10 feet in the forecast, it wasnâ€™t a good day for fishing anywhere. I cancelled my trips and will be spending the weekend on land.
The photo shown is of a goliath grouper, over six foot, released by angler Brian Distefano, caught when it bit a large sheepshead Brian was reeling in on a recent offshore trip.