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Post Info TOPIC: SW FL-Bonita Beach: Inshore & Near-Shore Report

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SW FL-Bonita Beach: Inshore & Near-Shore Report


 “No oil—No spoil

Our Beaches are Clean—Our Waters Pristine”


Monday, 3/7, I fished with (I kid you not) Dave Hanson! After we laughed about captain and client having exactly the same name, Dave introduced me to the rest of his angling party, which included his son-in-law, Ryan Seipp and friend, Wayne Courtney. We fished central Estero Bay with live shrimp and had a good morning there. We caught a half-dozen sheepshead and kept the two largest of those, each 14 inches. We also caught a half-dozen trout, including three keepers to 18 inches, which we caught using popping corks. We released ladyfish.


Tuesday, I fished central Estero Bay again, this time with Justin & Sarah Hefner and Sarah's brother, Tim Kennedy. We used live shrimp and popping corks to catch four trout, two of which were keepers at 16 inches and 18 inches. We used shrimp on the bottom to catch six sheepshead, two of which were nice ones at 15 inches and 18 inches. We also released a 17-inch redfish, and two snook, 18 inches and 20 inches.


Wednesday, winds and seas were once again increasing, but I managed a near-shore trip to the reefs with long-time customer Alene Haug, her mother, Carrie, Alene's brother-in-law, Dick, and two friends, Eli and Ethan. It was a little bumpy, even close-in, but we did pretty well, with five keeper Spanish mackerel to 24 inches and five keeper sheepshead to 17 inches. We released smaller sheepshead and ladyfish.


Thursday was a rainy day that wasn’t suited for fishing anywhere. And Friday brought more brisk winds and rough seas. I cancelled my offshore trips for those days and, with 25 knot winds Friday, even inshore fishing wouldn’t have been the most comfortable or successful experience.


Saturday morning, though seas were still sloppy as they tried to calm down, I was able to get out to the near-shore reefs with long time client, Leon Dargis, his four sons, Brett, Ryan, Kurt and Andrew, and friend Bob. We used shrimp to catch a mess of sheepshead, fourteen of which were nice ones to 19 inches. We kept those and released the rest of them, along with a bunch of ladyfish. The group also caught one keeper mangrove snapper and a large grunt.


Monday morning, 3/14, I fished the reefs off Bonita Beach with Mark Loverude and his young son, Ben, along with Darryl DeRuiter and his young sons, Jake and Derek, and friend, Casey Miller. The boys had a great time fishing with live shrimp, and they caught seven keeper sheepshead to 18 inches, four Spanish mackerel, all 22-23 inches, and a few large grunts.


Tuesday, Ron Musick, who fishes with me often, joined by his friends, Dick Arnett, Eddie Alfonse and Tom Collins, fished in 45 feet with me, 18 miles west of New Pass. We caught a mess of whitebone porgies and grunts, all right around 14 inches in size--twenty of them in all, caught on shrimp. We released red grouper shorts, triggerfish, gag grouper to 20 inches and a few small king mackerel.


Wednesday morning, I fished the near-shore reefs on a trip arranged by long-time customer Peter Kenney, for his daughter and for several of his grandchildren, all of whom were visiting. Susan Augustine, accompanied by youngsters, Marissa, Atlanta, Regan and Mitchell, used live shrimp to catch a mess of sheepshead, five of which were nice ones to 15 inches, two keeper mangrove snapper to 15 inches, large grunts, and a few Spanish mackerel to 24 inches. They released smaller sheepshead, grouper shorts, blue runners and the kids’ personal favorite: pufferfish. In fact, the photo of that fish might be finding a home on a teenager’s facebook page!


Thursday morning, Jim McGrath and Bill Crockett, who have fished with me several times over the past couple of months, headed offshore with me to 43 feet, about 18 miles west of New Pass. There, we used live shrimp to catch a keeper hogfish at 15 inches, two keeper sheepshead at 17 inches and 18 inches, and eighteen whitebone porgies, of which we kept the three largest, all about 15 inches. We released the rest, along with lots of near-keeper-size (but still out-of-season) red and gag grouper.


Mark McCarthy and four of his friends fished with me Friday morning, 17 miles west of New Pass, with live shrimp. The guys caught a 14-inch, keeper hogfish, a mess of mangrove snapper, four of which were keepers, keeper porgies, and a 24-inch Spanish mackerel. They released smaller snapper, sheepshead, porkfish, and red and gag grouper.


Gary Schwandt, his son, Rob, and his young grandsons, Graham and Gavin, fished in 43 feet with me on Saturday morning. It was one of those slower-action days, with the tide not ideal, but the kids still caught and released lots of fish, and had a good time. There were a few keepers too, including a 17-inch sheepshead, a 14-inch whitebone porgy, and Spanish mackerel.


The photo shown is of angler, Ursula Padavic, with an 18 ½ inch sheepshead, caught on shrimp, on a recent offshore trip.

18 1/2 inch sheepshead

Captain Dave Hanson Marti Hanson, Manager Fishbuster Charters, Inc. 239 947-1688 www.fishbustercharters.com fishbuster@comcast.net
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