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Fishbuster Dave
4/18/09 04:56 PM
SW FL-Bonita Beach: Nice Red Bayside; Nice Gag Off [Post#: 2793 ] Reply to this post

Monday, 4/13, the winds kicked up again—a familiar story here for the past three weeks or so. With seas offshore building four to six feet, I recommended inshore-fishing for George Flanders and his son. The bay has been tough recently too because of muddy conditions in parts of it and grass that has blown in, but at least there are no rough seas to worry about there. We caught and released a couple of snook, sheepshead and mangrove snapper, fishing with shrimp along the tree-lines of the central bay.

Estero Bay was a little more productive, though still slow, Tuesday morning, when I fished with Mike and Norine Weber and their two young daughters, Christine and Julia. We caught a few keepers, including three mangrove snapper to 15 inches and a sheepshead. We released a couple of smaller sheepshead, crevalle jack and a small snook. Winds remained strong offshore, with small craft advisories in effect, so backwater fishing was the only game in town.

I was glad to hear forecasts of two-to-four foot seas on Wednesday. I headed to the near-shore reefs with Chuck Neumann and friends for a morning of fishing. Unfortunately, those seas were on top of a four-to-five foot swell left over from Tuesday night's stormy conditions. Fishing was only fair, and we managed four keeper mangrove snapper, a keeper trout, a keeper whiting and grunts, all on shrimp.

Thursday, we finally caught a break in the rough seas and had two-to-three feet mostly, even out to 65 feet, where I fished with Ron Musick, his son, Mike, and friends, Richard Arnett and Eddie Alfonso. We caught a keeper gag at 23 inches and also had the line cut by a bigger one, and released lots of gag shorts. We also caught keeper mangrove snapper to 15 inches, keeper yellowtail, keeper lane snapper and whitebone porgies. We were fishing with live shrimp and pinfish.

Friday, as winds picked up to about 20 knots again, I fished central Estero Bay with Jim Novy and three of his young children, Jimmy, Jordan and Jackie. The littlest Novy was still too small to go this year. The three who went had never been on a boat before and they had a great time catching mangrove snapper to 12 inches and releasing small snook. Jim caught the daddy-sized fish: a nice 25 inch redfish, on shrimp. (see photo)

What a difference a day makes. Conditions in Estero Bay were far from ideal Saturday morning, when I fished with Bill Keefer and friends. The winds were out of the north-northwest, the water was shallow, and the tide never came in. We fought wind, tide and boat traffic to catch and release a few snook and sheepshead. We had originally planned to fish offshore, but with small craft caution in effect, winds of 15 to 21 knots and seas of three-to-five feet beyond twenty miles, I wasn’t believing the two-to-three foot predictions for near-shore. So concluded another very windy week of fishing.

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