SW FL-Bonita beach: Sharks, Groupers, Snappers, Redfish, Black Drum, Sheepshead
Monday morning, 12/4, I headed 19 miles offshore in choppy, but tolerable seas, with Bob, Troy, Tim and Tom Gregoire. Using squid and cut-bait, the guys caught and released twenty red grouper shorts, and a few snapper shorts. They boxed four nice porgies that were all around 14-inches, three whitebones and one silver. They added three, 14-inch grunts to the fish box, and released several more.
Tuesday morning, 12/5, it was choppy heading out to 22 miles west of New Pass, but calm enough while fishing and heading back in. Brent Jones, Aaron Mead, Joe Meier, and John Rieckenberg uses squid and cut-bait to catch and release twenty-five red grouper to 19 ½ inches. They also released a 17-pound goliath grouper and a 14-inch triggerfish. The guys brought home seventeen lane snapper to 15 inches and a mess of 14-inch grunts.
Wednesday, 12/6, Jeff Mills and his friend, Brad, fished offshore with me in spots ranging from 15 to 35 miles west of New Pass, using squid and cut-bait. We had good action all day, and the guys released fifty plus red grouper shorts to 19 inches, two 18-inch gag grouper, a 15 ½-inch scamp grouper, seven porgies to 14 inches, four 14-inch triggerfish, two mangrove snapper to 13 inches, two lane snapper to 12 inches, five yellowtail shorts, three banded rudder fish all about 20 inches long, and four remoras to 36 inches. They also battled three big goliath groupers until they broke the lines and got away.
Frequent angler, Mike Connealy, fished with me on Thursday, 12/7, 22 miles west of New Pass, with squid and cut-bait. Mike boxed five keeper porgies all about 13 inches and a half-dozen keeper lane snapper. He released a 14-inch mutton snapper short and a 15-inch out-of-season triggerfish.
A weather front from the north approached Friday, and rain, wind, rough seas, and chilly temperatures were in store for the weekend and into the next week.
Mike Conneally fished again with me on a catch-and-release inshore trip in the chilly waters of southern Estero Bay on Wednesday, 12/13. Using live shrimp, Mike caught and released two black drum to 13 inches, twenty sheepshead to just under 12 inches, and a 14-inch redfish.
Thursday, 12/14, was the only day this week that was calm enough to get offshore. I fished 23 miles west of New Pass with Cody Sturgill, Kerry Heller, John Hammonf, and Randy Green. We had good action all day on squid and cut-bait. The guys caught 26 red grouper, including one nice keeper at nearly 24 inches. They caught their limit of lane snapper (40 total) to 16 inches, and released thirty additional lanes. They also caught forty-five grunts, and kept the largest fifteen of those to 14 inches. Kerry battled, caught, and released a 47-inch shark, which added a little sport-fishing to the mostly food-fish mission!
The photo shown is of John Hammonf, with a 24-inch red grouper, caught on squid 23 miles west of New Pass on an offshore trip 12/14/17.
The photo shown below is of Joe Smith, with an14-inch sheepshead, caught on shrimp in Estero Bay on a recent inshore trip.
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