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Fishbuster Dave
12/27/08 05:57 PM
SW Fl-Bonita Beach: Offshore&Inshore Recent Catch [Post#: 2746 ] Reply to this post

Monday, 12/15, on a cloudy morning in Estero Bay, I dodged a few rain sprinkles and fished with H.O. Brownback and Steve Aggunt. We did pretty well using live shrimp and caught five keeper-sheepshead to 16 inches and four keeper-mangrove snapper. We released smaller fish of both varieties.

The rest of the week was pretty slow, as is typical in the lull before the holiday rush. I fished Estero Bay again on Saturday, 12/20, with Robert Haller, his wife, and his parents. We used shrimp to catch two keeper sheepshead to 15 inches, six keeper mangrove snapper, a 15 inch keeper black drum and a 14 inch keeper pompano. We released a trout, which is currently out of season.

Monday, winds whipped in advance of a cold-front, but that didn’t bother us much fishing in lower Estero Bay. Bill Darkoch and his son, Justin, wanted to learn to fish the bay and scheduled a day of catch-and-release fishing. We used shrimp and released thirty sheepshead to 15 inches, twenty mangrove snapper, ladyfish and cravalle jack.

With a small craft advisory in effect through Tuesday morning, I called my Tuesday anglers Monday night to let them know it would be rough offshore. But this hardy group of six from IL weren’t about to give up on their fishing plans. So I suggested we try the near-shore reefs, where seas would at least be tolerable. Paul & Celeste Luctenberg, son John, daughter Lindsay, and Bobby & Janet Cordoba withstood three to four foot seas even at the reefs all morning. But we had a good time using live shrimp to catch eighteen keeper mangrove snapper, all eleven and twelve inches, three twelve-inch lane snapper, and keeper triggerfish. We released lots of gag grouper shorts to 19 inches.

Wednesday, Christmas Eve, I fished near-shore again, with winds still blowing pretty strong. Marshall and Connie Swain, their daughter Laura, and Laura’s fiancé, Ryan Shick, had a good time at the reefs catching snapper. We caught a dozen keeper lane snapper, eight keeper mangrove snapper to 12 inches, and a keeper triggerfish. We released gag grouper shorts to 21 inches (an inch less than legal-size) along with two goliath grouper estimated at 12 pounds and 17 pounds.

December 25th and 26th were reserved for family events and, when I got back to fishing on Saturday, 12/27, winds were feisty once again. The bay was very shallow and not a very good option, so Jerry Spetzler and son, Andy, fished with me at the near-shore reefs, where the bite was finicky all morning. We caught mostly throw-backs, which included gag grouper shorts to 21 inches and small sheepshead and triggerfish. We managed a couple of keeper mangrove snapper and a couple of grunts.

By the time I update this fishing report next weekend, I will be changing the dates to ’09 so happy New Year to all, in advance.

The photo shown below is of angler Marvin Griescke with a 22 inch white margate, caught on a live shrimp on a recent offshore Fishbuster Charter.

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