Joined: Jun 20, 2009 Posts: 175 Location: Bonita Beach
Posted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:36 am Post subject: SW FL-Bonita Beach: Grouper, snapper, redfish, black drum
Saturday morning, July 1, 2017, I fished 22 miles offshore with Barry Hart, his son, Derrick, and Barry’s grandson, Baylor. The guys used squid to catch 25 keeper lane snapper, and released fifteen red grouper shorts.
I fished the south end of Estero Bay’s backwaters Wednesday morning, 7/5, with Tim Hertaus, his son Bren, and Tim’s brother-in-law, Ryan. The guys used live shrimp to catch two keeper sheepshead at 14 inches and 15 inches, along with eleven mangrove snapper, one of which was a keeper. Along with the mang shorts, the group released an undersized snook and a pair of two-pound stingrays.
David and Carly Bernegger fished south Estero Bay with me on Thursday morning, where they used live shrimp to catch a 20-inch keeper redfish. They had a larger red hooked at one point, but it pulled off the hook and escaped. They also caught two keeper sheepshead at 13 inches and 14 inches, and released three stingray.
I fished 17 miles offshore on Friday morning, 7/7, with Scott and April Pace and their children, Leah and David. Using squid and cut-bait, the family boxed a mess of lane snapper to 14 inches and grunts to 12 inches. They released a half-dozen red grouper shorts.
I was back in southern Estero Bay’s backwaters on Saturday morning, 7/8, where I fished a catch-and-release trip with Steve and Gayle Repetto. The couple used live shrimp to catch a 15-inch black drum, a sheepshead short, a 14-inch sand bream (striped mojarra), and two would-be-keeper redfish at 22 inches and 24 inches.
The first photo shown is of Steve and Gayle Repetto, with a 24-inch redfish, caught on shrimp.
I fished 29 miles west of New pass Monday, 7/10, with long-time customer Larry Jack, his son, David, and friends Ernie Morrison and Tony Russo. The guys used squid and cut-bait to box thirty keeper lane snapper and a half-dozen good-sized grunts. They released twenty-five red grouper shorts to 19 inches.
Larry, David, Ernie, and Tony fished again with me Tuesday morning. 7/11, this time in southern Estero Bay’s backwaters, where they used live shrimp to catch two keeper redfish at 19 inches and 20 inches, and they released three sheepshead shorts, a 24-inch snook, and a 20-inch sailcat.
I headed 22 miles offshore on Friday morning, 7/14, with Larry Hanshaw and his sons, Larry Jr. and Jeff. NOAA had predicted increasing winds and seas of two-to-three feet. It was pretty calm close-in, but out 22 miles conditions were choppy. The guys used squid and cut-bait to catch and release sixteen red grouper shorts to 19 inches. One of the guys had a bigger one hooked, but lost it in the rocks. As for take-home fish, they boxed a mess of two dozen lane snapper keepers and grunts.
With the threat of thunderstorms ever present on Wednesday, 7/19, Sharon Hale and her two sons, Nobel and Ashton, were pleasantly surprised to not encounter a single raindrop while they fished with me 23 miles west of New Pass, using cut-bait and squid. The family caught a keeper red grouper at 22 inches, and they released at least twenty-five red grouper shorts. They boxed eighteen keeper lane snapper and twenty grunts that were mostly around the 12-inch mark.
The second photo shown below is of Doug Shepherd, with a 24-inch red grouper, caught on a pinfish on a recent offshore trip.
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