“No oil—No spoil Our Beaches are Clean—Our Waters Pristine”
Friday morning, 10/8, I fished in central Estero Bay with Bill and Jenn Beattie and their four-year-old son, Sam. Sam was excited to be on a boat fishing, and he made the most of it—he caught a dozen fish and had a great time. Catches on live shrimp included keeper-sized mangrove snapper and keeper trout to 15 inches, but Sam chose to release them all.
Saturday morning, Bill Briskin and nine-year-old daughter, Jaclyn, fished offshore in 44 feet with me. The bite was a little slow, but we caught some keeper porgies and keeper yellowtail snapper to 13 inches, on live shrimp. We released red grouper and triggerfish shorts, along with a 60-pound goliath grouper that bit a blue runner.
Bryan Smith, his father-in-law, Tony Haas, and friend, Craig Simpson were supposed to fish with me this past Wednesday but rough conditions that day, with four-to-six foot seas offshore, put a crimp on those plans. We rescheduled for Sunday, which was a beautiful morning offshore in calm seas. The catch-of-the-morning was a 41-inch, 18-pound cobia, which bit a shrimp. We also used live shrimp to catch about forty yellowtail snapper, fifteen of which were keepers to 14 inches. We also caught a few keeper mangrove snapper, porgies, porkfish and grunts. We released red grouper shorts, gag grouper to 19 inches and three goliath grouper, two at forty pounds each and one at 80 pounds.
Bryan, Tony and Craig fished with me again on Monday, this time joined by Bryan’s wife, Tammy, and two young daughters, Maggie and Mandy. We used live shrimp in 44 feet to catch a bunch of keeper whitebone porgies, all about 14 inches, a keeper yellowtail snapper, porkfish, grunts and a 13 ˝ inch hogfish. We released short triggerfish and red grouper.
Tuesday morning was a bit sloppier offshore, with the winds picking up from the weather system approaching causing some 3-foot seas. I fished with Steve Martis and his dad, Bob, in 45 feet, west of New Pass. We released lots of short red grouper, and we caught keeper whitebone porgies, lane snapper and mangrove snapper, grunts and porkfish. We kept about a dozen fish out of about 40 that we brought to the boat.
Wednesday morning, we awoke to heavy rain in the area, but most of it cleared out by about 8 AM. Seas were calm, and I headed offshore to about 42 feet with Jim Corbett and Joe DiAmbrosio. We used live shrimp to catch two nice hogfish at 14 inches and 14 1/2 inches. We also caught keeper yellowtail snapper, keeper mangrove snapper, porkfish, grunts, and a 25-inch Spanish mackerel. We released red and gag grouper shorts to 19 inches.
Thursday still presented a good chance of rain, but we lucked out and never got wet, fishing in 40 feet and also in closer at the reefs, where I took Chris and Tamala DeChaine and friends, Jeremy and Stephanie. We caught and released 16-inch triggerfish, a half dozen keeper-sized mangrove snapper, an 18-inch red grouper short, and a 60-pound goliath grouper. The group was planning to leave Saturday morning and had no time to cook fish, so we released even the keepers.
Friday morning, I fished Estero Bay with Joe & Sherry Tomley and their sons, Chris, thirteen, and Eric, ten. The boys were both experienced anglers, having fished the lakes up north, but this was their first time fishing in SW FL. Eric caught a nice 24 ˝ inch redfish under the mangroves. The family also caught two keeper trout at 16 inches and 16 ˝ inches, a 13-inch sheepshead, mangrove snapper, and a 22-inch Spanish mackerel. We released some smaller trout.