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SUBJECT: SW FL-Bonita Beach: Summer Fishing Heating Up-Kings Here!

Submitted by Captain Dave Hanson ( from FLORIDA on

First of all, our hearts go out to our fellow fisherman and all the residents of the Gulf coast who have been impacted by the BP oil spill. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you, and we feel fortunate to have escaped this crisis on our shores here in SW FL. We also want all our potential customers to know:

“No oil—No spoil
Our Beaches are Clean—Our Waters Pristine”

Now to our fishing report:

I fished in 43 feet out of New Pass Wednesday, 6/2, with Clay Hall and his two young children, four-year-old Mary and six-year-old Carlton. We caught three nice king mackerel, measuring 43 inches, 42 inches and 28 inches. We got those by free-lining shrimp behind the boat with a short piece of wire. We released grouper shorts, grunts and porgies, and we had a 4-foot barracuda cut off one of our grouper reel-ins.

Tuesday morning, 6/8, I fished in 42 feet with Billy-Bob Farinks, wife Jessica, and son, Levi, from Arkansas. We used live shrimp to catch a dozen keeper whitebone porgies to 14 inches a 20-inch Spanish mackerel, and a keeper mangrove snapper. We released smaller snapper, many undersized triggerfish, red grouper shorts to 15 inches and gag grouper shorts to 20 inches. We had two kings on, but they broke off, despite steel leader, after biting blue runners. We nearly had an unwelcome passenger when a huge eagle-ray jumped, nearly boarding the boat!

Dennis Paige and son, Mike, spent the day fishing with me Thursday, about 38 miles out of New Pass. We began in about 65 feet, and everything at that spot had big teeth—shark, barracudas, kingfish and bluefish. We caught and released a 4 ˝ foot shark that I think might have been a bull-shark. All the snapper and bluefish we caught were eaten by toothy predators before we could get them to the boat. So we headed out to 73 feet, where we caught and released twenty-five amberjacks, possibly lesser amberjacks, to 25 inches. We also released triggerfish shorts and grouper shorts to 19 inches. We caught and chose to release four king mackerel, two of which pegged my thirty-pound Boga-Grip, and two others that measured about 40 inches. As for table-fare, we caught five keeper lane snapper, four keeper yellowtail snapper, and two keeper mangrove snapper. We used live shrimp and cut bait for all.

Saturday, 6/12, I fished Estero Bay’s backwaters with Gary and Gina Freels and twelve-year-old son, Cole. We had a good morning of fishing with live shrimp. Cole caught a 15-inch flounder and Gina caught a 19-inch redfish. The trio also caught eleven keeper mangrove snapper.

Ralph and Vicki Mulholland, along with friends, Rich and Rose McLaughlin, fished inshore with me Monday morning, 6/14. Fishing along the mangrove shoreline and oyster bars in Estero Bay, we caught fifteen mangrove snapper, eight of which were keepers. We released the shorts, along with two small snook, a small sheepshead, and a ladyfish.


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