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Fishbuster Dave
1/10/09 08:40 PM
SW FL-Bonita Beach: 28 Inch Gag Best Catch & Big S [Post#: 2752 ] Reply to this post

Monday, 1/5/09, I fished offshore in 43 feet, to the north of New Pass with Alene Haug, Scott Kempfort, Loren Heintze and John Reardon. The snapper bite was hot all morning and we caught twenty-two of those to 19 inches, none of them smaller than 14 inches. We also caught a big whitebone porgie and a 14 inch hogfish. We were cut off twice by big king mackerel and we released some smaller mackerel, triggerfish, gag grouper to 21 inches and red grouper shorts.

Tuesday, seas began building mid-morning, in advance of a weather-front coming through, and we had 3-4 foot seas twenty miles out of New Pass, where I fished with Bill and Mike Evans. The somewhat rough seas were worth enduring, though—we were rewarded with a 28 inch gag grouper, caught on shrimp. That catch was a team effort, with Bill hooking it and Mike on the net. We also caught thirteen keeper mangrove snapper to 16 inches and a large whitebone porgie. We released lots of smaller snapper, red and gag grouper shorts, small king mackerel and triggerfish.

Wednesday was a blustery, rainy day and I had to cancel my fishing plans. I had hoped for good conditions Thursday but, even though the sun was shining and the seas decreased to about 2-3 feet, those seas happened to be on top of a four-foot swell left over from the high seas of the previous day and night. I did not think my anglers would appreciate those conditions so I also cancelled Thursday’s trip.

Friday, I fished is somewhat sloppy conditions, but better than they had been for a couple of days. Vince Tomlinson and friend, John, fished with me in 44 feet out of New Pass, where we caught ten keeper mangrove snapper to 16 inches and a keeper hogfish. We released lots of smaller mangs, porgies, triggerfish, bluefish and grouper shorts. We missed boating the biggest mangrove snapper when a shark bit it in half before we could reel it in—that one’s head measured about 8 inches so he was a pretty big fish.

Ron Musick, Dick Arnett and friends fished with me Saturday in 44 feet out of New Pass, where the snapper bite was still on pretty strong. We caught twenty nice mangs to 18 inches and a half dozen whitebone porgies, all about 14 inches, on live shrimp. We let smaller mangs and porgies go, along with grouper shorts, grunts, a small hogfish and a few small king mackerel.

The photo shown is of angler Sven Petersen with a 24 inch gag grouper, caught on a live shrimp on an offshore Fishbuster Charter 12/30/08.

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