SW FL-Bonita Beach: Fishing pre and post Hurricane irma
Newlyweds, Brian and Rachel Lavalle, fished southern Estero Bay’s backwaters with me on Tuesday, 8/29. I had feared that the influx of fresh water brought by the tropical disturbance that had hung over our area for days could interfere with the bite, but I was fortunately wrong. Using shrimp, the couple caught eight sheepshead, including six keepers: one at 14-inches, a couple at 15-inches, a couple at 16-inches, and one at 17-inches. They also caught a 20-inch keeper redfish.
Bob and Lisa Gatesy fished southern Estero Bay with me Thursday morning, 8/31. The fish were liking shrimp, and by 10:30 AM, the couple had already caught eight keeper sheepshead to 15 inches and two keeper redfish to 25 inches. They released three sheepshead shorts, and decided to call it a half-day a little early, in order to get out of the heat.
The photo shown is of Lisa Gatesy, with a 25-inch redfish, caught on shrimp in Estero Bay on a recent inshore trip.
Hurricane Irma hit our area on September 10th, and its aftermath was quite a challenge. We were fortunate to have only minor property damage, along with a lot of downed trees. Our boats, thankfully survived. We were without power for nine days, and were so thankful t for the hard working linemen from all over the country who worked tirelessly to restore it.
As a consequence of the storm, there was very little fishing going on, as locals lost income and struggled to repair their properties, file claims, and the like. It was September 28th before I fished again. That trip was with six linemen in our area, on assignment from West Virginia, Jim Blackstock, Jim Messenger, and four of their friends and co-workers. We fished 25 miles west of New Pass, using squid and cut-bait to catch and release twenty-five keeper-sized lane snapper, twenty-six red grouper shorts, a small amberjack, and twelve grunts.
Brothers, Jake and Adam Sutton, fished 19 miles west of New Pass with me on Saturday morning, 9/30, using squid and cut-bait. The guys caught a 22-inch keeper red grouper and five keeper lane snapper to 12 inches, along with a mess of grunts. They released two mutton snapper shorts at 12 inches and 14 inches, along with a 25-pound goliath grouper.
You can view our fishing action videos at http://fishbustercharters.com/fishing videos.html