SW FL-Bonita Beach: Good Variety-even caught a scamp!

:cool:Labor Day Monday, 9/3, I fished at the near-shore reefs with Brian Lucas and his two young sons, Grady and Grant, along with Cadrin Cojanu and his two young children, Ben and Emily. The group used live shrimp to catch four Spanish mackerel to 23 inches, five pompano, all around 14 inches, a keeper mangrove snapper and a keeper lane snapper. They released a 24-inch cobia, along with blue runners and ladyfish.

After a couple of weeks off the water, due to lots of rain, wind, and our typical late-summer scarcity of bookings, I fished a catch-and-release trip in the backwaters of Estero Bay on Wednesday, 9/19, with Chris Romey and his wife, Kaylyn. The couple used live shrimp to catch and release ten mangrove snapper, two sheepshead, a 17-inch snook, and a crevalle jack.

Thursday, 9/20, I fished Estero Bay with Erinn Hanson and Liz Sherer, of Minnesota. The girls used live shrimp to catch four sheepshead, one of which was a keeper at 13 inches. They also caught a 14-inch permit and a 14-inch flounder. They released a stingray and fifteen small mangrove snapper.
Friday, we awoke to some unexpected rain showers, so I delayed my near-shore trip for a while, until the rains passed through. I headed to the near-shore reefs off Bonita Beach with Bob Wickham, his son, John Wickham, and friend, Stephen Schoepfer. The guys used live shrimp to catch and release thirty mangrove snapper shorts, gag grouper shorts to 20 inches, and a few whitebone porgies. Keepers included six lane snapper to 12 inches, a 16-inch flounder. a 15-inch sea-trout and a silver porgy.

Saturday morning also began with rain, but it was light and sporadic, so I figured I could dodge it, and I headed out about 19 miles west of New Pass with Drs. Meir and Rie Daller, their young sons, Brenden and Julian, and friends Alejandro Miranda-Sausa and his teen-aged son, Gabriel. The group used live shrimp to catch twenty keeper lane snapper, all around 11 inches, a keeper yellowtail snapper, three keeper whitebone porgies, two Spanish mackerel keepers to 25 inches, and a 16-inch keeper scamp-grouper. They released two red grouper to 18 inches, ten yellowtail-shorts, and a mess of blue runners. One angler hooked a big shark, but it cut the line before we could identify what kind it was.

The photo shown is of angler, Stuart Wisely, with a 29-inch gag grouper, caught on a pinfish, on a recent offshore trip.

You can check out all of our shark and goliath grouper action videos at the following link:

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