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  • The kids are back school and the waters less crowded, summer sure flew
    bye. Less pressure on the water and the fish are biting go figure.
    The beautiful weather will sure keep the fishing action steady, load
    the boat and go get a rod bent.


    The Inshore fishing has been full of action for anglers targeting Snook.
    The Snook continue to gather in our inlets and deep channels. DOA
    C.A.L. 4 inch jerk bait on a 3/8 ounce jig head in glow / gold rush
    belly excellent bait for the linesiders. A DOA Baitbuster in pearl
    /greenback rigged on a jig 3/8 once black jig head, excellent lure
    to entice the snook to strike. If you prefer to live bait, snook
    willingly devour mullet and pin fish placed in there vicinity. Snook
    season opens September 1st so if you would like to keep a
    snook, be sure you have a snook stamp.


    Anglers looking to tango with the silver king, beaches and inside the ICW
    best areas to find the tarpon. Look for rolling fish and present a
    live greenie or mullet on a circle hook and hold on tight. DOA Bait
    Buster in mullet pattern or pearl color, deadly on tarpon. The key
    with tarpon is to present the bait ahead of them leading the fish or
    pod. This allows for a stealthy approach without spooking the tarpon.
    Once a tarpon nears the bait, a little twitch or movement triggers
    the strike. The Tarpon range in size from 10 to 50 pounds. Always
    remember to bow your rod to the king, this is to avoid the break offs
    and hooks pulling out.


    The Docks and seawalls have provided great action. Live baiting these
    areas, great choice for those that are not great casters. Live baits
    can be free lined and provoke predator fish to open water were they
    hone in on the live bait. The Jacks, Snapper, trout and a few red
    fish have been the main predators being caught. These fish have been
    biting when the tide is flowing ambushing bait schools as they look
    for shelter. Early morning and late afternoon has provided the best
    bite as water temperatures are cooler.


    Local freshwater canals and lakes are presenting great action for peacock
    bass using fly and DOA C.A.L. 3 inch shad in candy corn and glow
    holographic colors. Live shiners used for the peacock bass offers non
    stop action for anglers. The peacock bass are very aggressive, sight
    fishing for the peacocks is an adrenaline rush. Anglers witness the
    strike happen front and center, triggering a great battle. Popper
    flies or top water heddon spook jrs great choices for top water
    enthusiasts. Other exotics species are being caught as well while
    targeting the peacock bass. Mayan cichlid, Oscars, and knife fish all
    great catches on light tackle.


    Well that is the report for the past week hope you all enjoyed. Remember
    you cant catch them from the couch, so get out there and get hooked
    up. Tight Lines! Capt. Craig Korczynski, PhlatsInshoreFishing.com,
    561-644-4371

    Comment


    • Wednesday, 7/27, I fished offshore in spots from 20 to 27 miles west of New Pass with Mark Aldridge, kids, Alfie and George, their cousin, Nick, and family friend, Mark Lansarve. Using baitfish and squid, the group caught thirty-one red grouper, including one keeper at 22 inches, one 14-inch yellowtail snapper, and twenty-five keeper lane snapper. They released three sharpnose sharks, all about 3-foot long.

      Friday morning, 7/29, Mike and Patty Tortrup fished with me, 23 miles west of New Pass, using squid for bait. They released twenty red grouper shorts to 19 ½ inches, and boxed the largest ten of twenty-five keeper-sized lane snapper they caught, to 16 inches. They added five 14-inch grunts to the fish box.

      Mike and Tracy Boehm, their fifteen-year-old son, Zak, and his friend, Zachary, fished a catch-and-release trip 23 miles west of New Pass with me Saturday morning. Baited with squid, the group caught and released twenty-five red grouper shorts to 19 ¼ inches along with twenty-six would-be keeper lane snapper.

      Tuesday morning, 8/2, Scott Bury, Scott Lackey, Dean Moore, and Don Law headed offshore with me to 23 miles west of New Pass. They used squid to catch sixteen red grouper, including one 22-inch keeper and shorts to 19 ½ inches. They also caught a half-dozen keeper lane snapper and a couple of grunts. They battled and released a nurse shark estimated at 200 pounds.

      Dave Fawver and his young son, Cooper, fished at the near-shore reefs off Bonita Beach with me on Wednesday morning, 8/3. It was probably calm enough to head further offshore, but it was Cooper’s first experience fishing in the gulf, and Dave thought it best to stay closer in and avoid the risk of sea-sickness. Goliath grouper were numerous at the reefs, which always makes it difficult to catch fish that are reeled in whole! But, using shrimp, the guys caught two keeper mangrove snapper, a keeper lane snapper, three grunts, and a 14-inch flounder. They also got to battle and release a 50-pound goliath grouper, which bit on a baitfish.

      Tyler and Kaitlin Holsinger fished about 12 miles offshore with me on Thursday morning, 8/4, where they battled and released two goliath grouper, 60 pounds and 200 pounds, both of which bit on baitfish. Kaitlin also caught a keeper lane snapper at 15 inches, which bit a shrimp and which was one of the few keepers that were able to escape the predator-goliaths and get to the boat!

      Shawn Christiansen and friend, John, fished a backwaters catch-and-release trip with me on Thursday morning, 8/11. The guys used live shrimp in various spots from Intrepid Waters, south to Wiggins Pass. They released three stingray, two sheepshead, five mangrove snapper, and one crevalle jack.

      It is slow time in SW FL now, with family vacations over, kids back to school, and our seasonal residents still at their northern homes. We also have had a good amount of rain and lots of heat, which tends to keep locals in port. So fishing trips have been few and far between, as is typical for this time of year. I did get out offshore again on Saturday morning, 8/20/16, with Billy and Chelita Sabinson, their young son, Bryce, and family friend, Brian Osterhout. We used squid and cut-bait 22 miles west of New Pass, where the group caught and released twenty-five red grouper to 19 7/8 inches. They also had one big red grouper hooked, but it snapped the line. They kept ten nice lane snapper and seven grunts for a couple of tasty meals.

      The photo shown is of angler Tyler Holesinger releasing a 200-pound goliath grouper, which ate a bait-fish 12 miles west of New Pass on a recent offshore trip.


      You can check out all of our shark and goliath grouper action videos at the following link:
      http://fishbustercharters.com/fishingvideos.html
      Captain Dave Hanson
      Fishbuster Charters, Inc.
      Bonita Beach, FL
      239 947-1688
      fishbuster@comcast.net
      http://www.fishbustercharters.com

      Comment


      • The tropical system, Hermine, which wreaked havoc upon many areas to our north, spared us its worst, but brought high winds and torrential rains for several days, and fishing was out of the question. The ill effects of the storm were gone by Saturday morning, 9/3, but residual rough seas changed Mark Gordon’s plan to fish offshore that morning. He, joined by friends, Josh Shapiro and John Hurst, traded those offshore plans for some backwater fishing in central Estero Bay. Using live shrimp and pinfish, the guys caught five mangrove snapper, a three-pound crevalle jack, and a couple of two-pound stingrays. They had a big redfish or black drum hooked at one point, but it ran under a dock and was lost.

        Bob March was wanting to fight some big fish on Tuesday morning, 9/6, so we headed out about 17 miles to a few goliath grouper hide-outs, where Bob battled and released a 50-pound goliath and an approximate 200-pound goliath, both of which bit on blue runners. Bob also caught and released some lane and mangrove snapper, as well as crevalle jacks, all of which bit on squid.

        Ingo Merz and his two sons fished with me on Wednesday, 9/7, 23 miles west of New Pass, where they used baitfish to land two keeper red grouper at 21 inches and 22 inches. They used squid to catch a mess of keeper lane snapper—about 50 in all--but they released all but ten of those, needing only enough for a couple of family meals. They also released grunts and about thirty red grouper shorts.

        Friday, 9/9 was one of those days on the water when, although you try everything, productive catches were hard to come by. Tim Gustin and his son, Chase, have fished with me several times for various species. This time, having noted the fun goliath trip I took earlier in the week with another party, they thought they might also like to go after those big fish. I went to one of my goliath spots, but we got no bites there. I moved to another spot, and the dolphin showed up to disrupt our fishing. Finally, we gave up on goliaths, and began baiting with squid to go after snapper at a different spot. There, the guys caught twelve keeper lane snapper and a few grunts, and released blue runners. Sea conditions were different from what they had been earlier in the week, with winds having picked up and some pretty rough seas where we fished, 17 miles west of New Pass.

        Wednesday, 9/14, Jim and Liz Llewellyn fished the Gulf with me. We had planned to head out about 20 miles, based upon the NOAA report of two-foot seas. But, once we got out a way, we knew that prediction was incorrect. Seas were rough, and we ventured no further than the reefs off Naples. We were also keeping an eye on a rain storm that had been predicted to move northeast, but was instead lingering over the coastline. So we fished in the driest, least rough location to be found, using squid. The couple released three red grouper shorts, a blue runner, and a 20-inch ladyfish. At one point, a goliath grouper bit on a fish being reeled in, but it was on light tackle and snapped the line. They also caught a trio of 13-inch grunts.

        Thursday morning, 9/15, Michael Arnero and his girlfriend, Karen Tirella, fished Estero Bay’s backwaters with me, along the islands east of New Pass, using live shrimp. The couple caught two keeper redfish at 19 inches and 20 inches and three keeper mangrove snapper. One big red and one big snook got caught under the bushes and got away from Karen. But she did catch and release a 19-inch snook.
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        Joe Hogue, son Adam Hogue, and son-in-law, Dave Piper, fished 35 miles west of New Pass with me on Saturday, using squid for bait. The guys caught two keeper red grouper at 22 inches and 23 inches, and also boxed three keeper mangrove snapper to 16 inches and three yellowtail snapper to 15 inches, along with four porgies and a dozen grunts in the 13 to 14-inch range. They released lots and lots of red grouper shorts to 19 ½ inches, along with a few mangrove and yellowtail shorts. They also released a 30-inch sharpnose shark. Either goliath grouper or shark ate and ran with a couple of fish, but the guys ended up with plenty in the cooler.
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        Monday, 9/19, Michael Arnero and his girlfriend, Karen Tirella, who had fished Estero Bay with me on Thursday, decided to do the same, this time joined by Michael’s brother, Mario. We did our best to fish the best tide, but the tide was not as favorable as it had been on Thursday, when we caught keeper redfish. The group ended up with four keeper mangrove snapper, and they released a dozen mang-shorts, along with a puffer fish, all of which bit on shrimp. We ventured out a bit to fish along the beach for a while, and released two black-tip sharks, each about 3-foot long.

        Four students visiting our area fished the backwaters with me on Thursday morning, 9/22. George Wecken, Peter Havander, and friends, Paul and Jacob, used live shrimp in Little Hickory Bay and also along Bonita Beach to catch a variety of fish. Catches included a 19-inch keeper redfish, a 17-inch keeper black drum, a flounder, and a whiting. George had either a big black drum or a sheepshead hooked a couple of times, but it popped the line just short of boating it. The guys released a two-foot bonnethead shark and a 2-pound stingray.


        You can check out all of our shark and goliath grouper action videos at the following link:
        http://fishbustercharters.com/fishingvideos.html
        Captain Dave Hanson
        Fishbuster Charters, Inc.
        Bonita Beach, FL
        239 947-1688
        fishbuster@comcast.net
        http://www.fishbustercharters.com

        Comment


        • September comes to and end but the end triggered the start, of an excellent
          mullet run in south Florida.


          The Inshore fishing is fantastic all through the Icw, do to the abundance
          of mullet that has migrated to our area. The Snook fishing is
          fantastic along sea walls, mangrove shorelines and bridges. Early
          morning and late afternoon is the best time for great Snook action.
          DOA bait busters in green back and mullet color patterns, provide
          anglers with explosive reaction strikes as lures are worked near bait
          pods. Live baits will also keep your rod bent, but the trick is to
          make you bait stand out form the others by using weight or altering
          the mullet by cutting the tail or different hook sets on the bait.
          The Snook have been averaging 2 to 20 pounds.


          The Tarpon fishing is excellent, along mangrove shorelines and channel
          drop offs. The Tarpon can be located as they roll on the surface and
          bust bait pods with a vengeance. Top water heddon spook jr in bone or
          okee shad color and DOA C.A.L. 4 inch jerk bait in pearl or glow and
          gold rush belly excellent artificial baits for the silver king. A
          live mullet free lined near rolling fish will definitely get the drag
          screaming. The Tarpon are averaging 5 to 50 pounds.


          The seawalls and docks are great areas for locating Jacks for those
          anglers in search of a tug a war. The Jacks are schooled up,
          ambushing bait schools as they migrate down shorelines. The Jacks
          will hammer any live bait and DOA C.A.L. 4 inch jerk bait in pearl
          that crosses there path. The average size of the Jacks has been 1 to
          20 pounds.


          Well that is the fishing report for the past week, hope you all enjoyed.
          Remember you cant catch them from the couch so get out there and get
          hooked up. Tight Lines! Capt. Craig Korczynski
          PhlatsInshoreFishing.com,561-644-4371

          Comment


          • Hannah Merter, her parents, John and Tammy, and her boyfriend, Lance, fished near-shore with me on Thursday morning, 9/29. We dodged rainstorms most of the morning, running about fifteen miles to various close-in spots. The group used squid to catch fourteen keeper lane snapper and a half-dozen grunts. They released ten smaller grunts, along with two bonnethead sharks, one 30 inches and one 40 inches.

            Jamie Fishbeck spent a morning fishing the backwaters with me on Friday, 9/30, with live shrimp for bait. He landed two keeper redfish, one at 20 inches and one especially nice one at nearly 27 inches. He released five sheepshead shorts, one just-keeper mangrove snapper, a pair of two-pound stingrays, and a 2 ½-pound crevalle jack.

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            Doug Duncan and friends, Eric and Randy, would have liked to battle some goliath grouper on Monday, 10/3. Usually, goliaths are fairly easy to locate, but there were no bites at any of my favorite goliath spots. We finally gave up on goliaths, and fished for snapper, and the guys caught four keeper lanes, along with a few grunts, which all bit on squid. It was a tough day on the water, with lots of wind and waves, and with lots of small dead fish on the surface about six to seven miles offshore. Fortunately, the wind direction is such that any red tide would be blowing out to sea. There had been an outbreak of red tide to our north, around Englewood, and it was thought to be moving toward us.

            Kim Fischer took her mother, Shirley Tyson, on an inshore, catch-and-release fishing trip with me on Tuesday, 10/11. Kim and Shirley had originally planned to fish offshore on Monday, but seas were too rough, and I was available Tuesday, so we awaited a possible calming then. That calming never came, however, so we decided to fish inshore on Tuesday. Baited with live shrimp, we fished the south end of Estero Bay, where the ladies caught a 21-inch redfish, three sheepshead to 17 inches, two mangrove snapper, and four stingray that were all about two pounds.

            Tony Stinson and friends, Brad and Jackie had planned to fish offshore with me on Wednesday, 10/12, but with winds still howling and small-craft advisories in effect offshore, they traded those plans for some inshore fishing at the south end of Estero Bay. The group used live shrimp to attract an active sheepshead bite. They caught seven keeper sheepshead to 15 inches, and released a half-dozen shorts.

            Friday morning, 10/14, Darwin Brown took his young grandson, Trey, fishing in south Estero Bay with me, where live shrimp yielded seven sheepshead including a keeper, along with a keeper mangrove snapper, two short snook, a spadefish, and one short redfish. Something big bit at one point—most likely a black drum—but it cut the knot right at the hook, and got away.

            Friday, 10/21, I spent the morning fishing the backwaters of south Estero Bay with Keith Foreman and his friends, Ken and Kirsten Bailey. Using live shrimp, the group caught four keeper sheepshead ranging 13 to 16 inches, a 13-inch sand bream, and a 22-inch Spanish mackerel. Spanish mackerel are not typically caught in the bay, but this one must have wandered in. The group also released lots of short mangrove snapper—there was a school of about 150 of those under a tree on one of the mangrove islands. They released three crevalle jacks, all of which were about two pounds, along with a couple of 3-pound stingray.

            My planned offshore trip for Saturday was blown out by small craft advisories and four-to-six-foot seas

            Tuesday morning, 10/25, Jeff and Nicole Krajewski fished south Estero Bay’s backwaters with me, using live shrimp. The couple caught seven keeper sheepshead to 15 inches, and release five shorts. They also caught a keeper mangrove snapper at 12 inches, along with a 16-inch black drum.

            I spent a windy Wednesday morning, 10/26, fishing Estero Bay with Marie and Bill McSkimming, and their family members, Rose and Michael. Using live shrimp, the group caught four keeper sheepshead to 14 inches, and released five sheepshead shorts, a 17-inch redfish, and two two-pound stingray.

            A steady 25-knot wind blew across Estero Bay Thursday morning, 10/27, when I fished the southern end of the bay in as many wind-sheltered spots as I could find, with Doug Strempek and Katherine Braun. The couple caught eighteen sheepshead in all, including eight would-be-keepers to 16 inches, though we released all of them, along with a couple of crevalle jacks. Katherine bragged that she out-fished Doug, but it was a tight contest!

            I fished another catch-and-release trip in Estero Bay on Friday morning, 10/28. Mike Henson released five sheepshead to 13 inches and a sand bream, all of which bit on shrimp.

            You can check out all of our shark and goliath grouper action videos at the following link:
            http://fishbustercharters.com/fishingvideos.html
            Captain Dave Hanson
            Fishbuster Charters, Inc.
            Bonita Beach, FL
            239 947-1688
            fishbuster@comcast.net
            http://www.fishbustercharters.com

            Comment


            • Seasonableweather and east winds prevail in south Florida, humidity has been
              low making for excellent fishing weather. Hopefully fall keeps this
              trend and the fish keep putting a bend in the anglers rods.


              The Snook fishing great in the back bays and canals, using live baits
              like greenies and mullet on circle hooks free lined near structure
              and and channel edges. Artificial lures like DOA C.A.L. 4 inch jerk
              baits in pearl and Holographic glow rigged on a 5/0 hooked rigged
              Texas style excellent for working shallow water and mangrove edges.
              Jig heads in 1/8 ounce great tactic for deeper holes and drop offs
              for snook. The Snook are active early morning and evening fro best
              results. The average size of the Snook has been 2 to 15 pounds.


              The Tarpon fishing is another option for anglers looking for drag
              screaming action. The Palm Beach inlet and back bays are full of
              Tarpon willing to take a live shrimp free lined with the tide. DOA
              C.A.L. 3 inch shad in pearl and glow gold rush belly rigged on a 3/8
              ounce jig head excellent weapon for the silver king. When targeting
              the Tarpon fish the outgoing tide for best results. The average size
              of the Tarpon has been 5 to 50 pounds.



              The Jacks are also prevalent in the local area, these fish are very
              aggressive and will take just about anything you have to offer them.
              Sheepshead, Snapper, Gag Grouper, black drum and Lady fish will also
              put a bend in your rod, the key is to find bait and you will find the
              fish.


              Well that is the fishing report for the past week, hope you all enjoyed.
              Remember you cant catch them from the couch, so get out there and get
              hooked up. Tight Lines! Capt Craig Korczynski
              PhlatsInshoreFishing.com, 561-644-4371

              Comment


              • I had quite the active morning of fishing the south end of Estero Bay on Wednesday morning, 11/2, with Dave Mercer, friend Rod Knudson, and Rod’s ten-year-old grandson, Gavin Knudson. The trio, who were fishing a catch-and-release trip using live shrimp, landed ten would-be-keeper black drum: a 21-inch, 24-inch, 25-inch, 26-inch, 28-inch, three 30-inch and two 31-inch. The guys also released a 20-inch bonefish, a 12-inch mutton snapper, a short sheepshead, a sand bream, and two 11-inch mangrove snapper.

                Friday, 11/4, was the first day in several weeks that was calm enough to head offshore. With winds predicted to howl again by the following day, it was a short window of opportunity for Dick Wilson and John Vest, who fished with me 22 miles west of New Pass. The guys caught two keeper red grouper, one just over 21 inches and one just over 22 inches. They also caught a 6-pound bonito, and lost two other bonitos that broke the line. We added to the box twenty keeper lane snapper to 12 inches, and released short lanes and short red grouper. We used pinfish for the grouper; shrimp and squid for the rest.

                Brothers, Joe and Mark Shamroske fished south Estero Bay’s backwaters with me Monday morning, 11/7. The guys had an active morning of catch-and-release fishing, using live shrimp. Black drum were biting well, and the guys caught eight of those, including some big ones to 34 inches. They also caught a 15-inch sheepshead.

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                The black drum were out in force again on Wednesday morning, 11/9, when I fished Estero Bay with Ralph Percasio, his son, Sal, and Ralph’s brother, Steve. But, even though we clearly saw thirty-some drum as large as 35 inches, none of them would take a bait. The difference in the bite this day was probably due to the fact that the tide was super slow—high enough, but hardly moving. The guys did catch and release five sheepshead, a sand bream, and two mangrove snapper.

                Thursday morning, 11/10, winds calmed down quite a bit, and I was able to get 22 miles offshore with Ashton Lockhart and Joey Beach. Joey caught a 22-inch, keeper red grouper, which bit on a small grunt. Using shrimp, the guys caught eight grunts and eight keeper lane snapper. They released numerous red grouper shorts.

                Friday, 11/11, I headed offshore 27 miles from New Pass with brothers, Mike and Patrick Connealy. With squid for bait, the guys caught a keeper 25-inch red grouper, along with fifteen keeper lane snapper to 16 inches. They released ten large grunts and a 15-inch triggerfish, along with lots of red grouper shorts.

                Ronald and Audrey Secrest, their son and daughter-in-law, Craig and Sue, and their two grandsons, T.J. and Parker, fished 17 miles offshore with me Saturday morning, using squid for bait. The family caught two keeper red grouper at 21 inches and 23 inches, along with fifteen keeper lane snapper to 12 inches, and a dozen grunts to 13 inches. They chose to release twenty-six additional grunts.

                Christina Tinucci, her mom, Andrea Tinnuci, and Christina’s boyfriend, Sean O’Malley, fished the south end of Estero Bay’s backwaters with me on Wednesday morning, 11/16. The group caught eight black drum ranging in size from 15 inches to 27 inches. They kept seven of the smaller ones, which are good to eat, and released the larger ones, along with five sheepshead shorts. Christina also landed a nice, 26-inch redfish. Everything bit on live shrimp.

                Seas offshore were rougher than predicted on Thursday morning, 11/17, when I headed out 20 miles west of New Pass to fish with Chris and Debbie Ledley, Bill Conklin, and friends, Mike and Bill. It calmed down some a little later in the day, and the group used squid to catch a 21-inch, keeper red grouper, along with fifteen keeper lane snapper and a dozen grunts. A goliath grouper that was in excess of 200 pounds provided an exhausting and fun battle, when it bit on a pinfish.

                I had a gulf trip planned for Monday, 11/21, but the cold-front that came through kicked up seas offshore, and foiled those plans.

                By Tuesday morning, 11/22, seas had begun to calm down, and I was able to get offshore 20 miles to fish with Donald Rokas and his son-in-law, Jeff Ralson. It was still windy, and it was sloppy heading out, but it calmed down nicely about mid-morning. The guys caught fourteen red grouper, including two keepers at 21 inches and 25 inches, which bit on small grunts. They added to the fish box a dozen keeper lane snapper to 14 inches, along with twenty grunts, and released an equal number of grunts. The snapper and grunts bit on squid.

                Wednesday morning, 11/23, I headed back out to 20 miles offshore with Jerry Farina and his family, including two young children. The family caught and released sixteen red grouper shorts to 19 7/8 inches, just 1/8 inch below legal keeper size. But the group got to box plenty of fish, including half a dozen lane snapper keepers and ten grunts. They released thirty additional grunts, having no need for that many fish. We had four cobia around the boat, only one of which bit on our squid bait. It measured 27 inches, and we released it.

                After a day off for Thanksgiving, I headed offshore on Friday morning, 11/25 to fish 19 miles west of New Pass with Jake Widner and his dad, Mike. Using squid, the guys caught and released seven red grouper shorts to 19 ½ inches. They boxed four keeper lane snapper, fifteen of the twenty-five grunts they caught to 13 inches, a 12-inch porgy, and a 13-inch porkfish.

                Saturday morning, 11/26, I fished 22 miles west of New Pass with Jim Jensen, and his son and daughter, Eric and Stephanie. The family used live shrimp and frozen squid to catch and release ten red grouper shorts to 18 inches, and to box ten of the twenty-five grunts they caught, along with three keeper lane snapper.

                Monday morning, 11/28, was windy, but I had an inshore trip planned, so we managed okay fishing in south Estero Bay, using live shrimp. Dave and Wendy Boehm caught four keeper sheepshead to 14 inches, and released nine short ones. They also released two puffer-fish and one crevalle jack.

                Long-time winter customers, Ernie and Millie Metusiak, fished south Estero Bay with me on Tuesday morning, 11/29, where they used live shrimp to box five keeper sheepshead to 14 inches. They released a dozen sheepshead shorts, along with one ladyfish.


                You can check out all of our shark and goliath grouper action videos at the following link:
                http://fishbustercharters.com/fishingvideos.html


                The photo shown is of Joe Shamroske with a 34-inch black drum, one of many drum caught on shrimp in Estero Bay this month.
                Captain Dave Hanson
                Fishbuster Charters, Inc.
                Bonita Beach, FL
                239 947-1688
                fishbuster@comcast.net
                http://www.fishbustercharters.com

                Comment


                • The cool fronts are starting to reach south Florida , water temperature
                  are slowly declining. The key to inshore fishing now is work baits
                  slow and fish mid day when temperatures are at its warmest.


                  Snook season comes to a close December 15. The snook seem to know this, as they stack up
                  along docks and mangrove shorelines. Live baits and DOA shrimp and
                  C.A.L 3 inch shad entice strikes. The back country is full of life,
                  snook can be found in deep holes schooled up as cool fronts pass. Fat
                  snook and common snook both are being caught as anglers work the
                  bottom. Double digit numbers of fish are being caught during half day
                  trips. Four species of snook are being caught, making for the perfect
                  snook slam.

                  Tarpon can be targeted day or night. Live baits
                  drifted with current on outgoing tide, you will be bowing to the
                  silver king. Smaller tarpon can be seen rolling in bays and local
                  residential canals. The juvenile tarpon offer more acrobatic leaps,
                  but if bigger fish are on your list, inlets and deep channels offer
                  fish in the 50 to 100 pound class range. Jigging DOA C.A.L. 4 icnh
                  jerk baits and DOA shrimp entice tarpon to strike. If fly fishing is
                  your passion small deceivers and shrimp patterns get the drag
                  screaming.

                  The local grass flats are holding plenty of jacks,
                  ladies and pompano. Jigs tipped with shrimp or a docs goofy jig and
                  your are in business. Work areas were pot holes and drop offs exist.
                  When fishing the flats use wind to your advantage try to use trolling
                  motor as least as possible, so fish don’t spook.


                  Freshwater side, large mouth bass fishing has been phenomenal, bait schools are
                  holding near drop offs and grass lines. Large mouth bass are keying
                  in on these schools. Use DOA C.A.L. 4 inch jerk baits, spoons, crank
                  baits and flies like deceivers and clousers all get the job done.
                  Anglers can expect double digit numbers of fish in just a few
                  hours,working the bait schools. Peacock bass fishing still great even
                  as cool weather penetrates. The larger peacocks are holding along sea
                  walls and pipes. DOA 2 inch shrimp and jerk baits entice these
                  beauties to strike. Live shiners will have drag screaming all day for
                  anglers. Average size of the peacock is 2 to 4 pounds.

                  Well that is the fishing report for the past week hope you all enjoyed. Remember you cant catch them from the couch, so get out there and get
                  hooked up. Tight lines! Capt. Craig Korczynski,
                  phlatsinshorefishing.com,
                  561-644-4371

                  Comment


                  • Friday morning, 12/2, predictions were for two-to-four foot seas offshore. Bob Eckle and friend, Ken weren’t fazed by that, since they are both hardy, avid anglers. It was pretty rough out there for the first half of the morning, then calmed a bit after the wind shifted. The guys had a good time using squid to catch twenty-five red grouper shorts, twenty-five grunts, and four porgies. They kept four grunts and one porgy for dinner, and released the rest.

                    Steve Tippman, his sons, Adam and Josh, and his grandson, Liam, had planned to spend a full-day fishing offshore to celebrate Liam’s eleventh birthday on Saturday, 12/3. With winds howling over-night, we awoke to a small-craft caution, with seas of two-to-four within 20 miles of shore, and rougher beyond 20 miles. So the boys decided to do a half-day of fishing as far out as we could get without getting into the roughest of seas. We settled on a spot about 17 miles west of New Pass, where the guys used squid to catch and release twenty red grouper shorts, two 13-inch out-of-season, short triggerfish, and a puffer-fish. They also caught twenty-five grunts to 13 inches, and kept the fifteen largest of those, along with three 13-inch porgies, the largest of the five porgies they caught. So, all-in-all, it was a fun day of fishing, a nice birthday celebration for Liam, and a fish dinner in the planning!

                    Monday morning, 12/5, winds blew pretty hard and it was choppy heading out to twenty miles west of New Pass. But my long-time customers and hardy anglers, Mike Connealy and his son, Clint, didn’t mind a little chop. They used squid to catch sixteen red grouper, including a keeper at 23 inches, along with thirty grunts to 14 inches, of which they kept six, and five porgies to 13 inches, of which they kept two. They also caught a 13-inch margate.

                    Tuesday, 12/6, I had planned an offshore trip with four guys who were looking forward to it. But Mother Nature threw us a loop, as a front came through, bringing high winds and seas and small craft advisories. The water was pretty much sucked out of the bay with the approach of that front, so fishing good options were pretty much nil, and we cancelled the trip.

                    By Wednesday morning, 12/7, winds had died down and, though there was a residual swell when I headed offshore that morning, seas were pretty calm, even 27 miles out. Mike Connealy, who had fished with me Monday, fished again, this time with friend, Sherri Scharff. Using baitfish, Sherri landed two keeper red grouper at 21 inches and 23 inches. The anglers also used squid to catch and release 25 additional red grouper that fell short of keeper size, to 18 inches, along with twenty grunts to 14 inches that they chose to release, and one out-of-season triggerfish that measured 14 ½ inches. As for the fish box, along with the two keeper grouper, they added brace of 11-inch keeper lane snapper. We were cut off by big sharks a couple of times, but couldn’t make out what kind they were.

                    Thursday morning, 12/8, was a drizzly, windy one. I fished the backwaters of south Estero Bay with Paul Farrell and his cousin, Brian. Using live shrimp, the guys caught and released a 28-inch black drum, along with a couple of sheepshead shorts and a mangrove snapper short. There were lots of drum around the boat, but most were being finicky and not biting.

                    Friday morning, 12/9, another windy one, I fished a catch-and-release trip with Joe Hahn in south Estero Bay, where we released a total of thirty-two fish, including lots of sheepshead, three spade fish, a brace of 18-inch black drum, a mangrove snapper, a 13-inch mutton snapper, a few pufferfish, and a couple of ladyfish. Everything bit on live shrimp.

                    Monday morning, 12/12, I was glad to see calm seas in the forecast and light winds out the window, after a pretty blustery weekend had passed. I headed offshore with long-time customers, brothers Robin and Irv Latham. Using squid, the guys caught twenty grunts to 13 inches and kept the largest ten of those. They also caught four keeper lane snapper and might have caught more of those in that spot, had the barracuda not shown up. At our next spot, we released eight red grouper shorts to 19 ½ inches, just a bit shy of keeper size, before the goliath grouper showed up there. By that time it was time to head in, so we surrendered to the big sea predators, having enough fish in the box to meet the Latham family’s needs.

                    Tom Rylander, joined by his son and two family friends, Rich and Bob, fished 20 miles west of New Pass with me on Tuesday morning, 12/13/16, using squid for bait. The guys caught a 23-inch keeper red grouper, and released a half-dozen red grouper shorts. They added to the fish box fifteen of the thirty grunts they caught, to 14 inches, along with six keeper lane snapper. They released two out-of-season triggerfish at 12 inches and 15 inches.

                    You can check out all of our shark and goliath grouper action videos at the following link:
                    http://fishbustercharters.com/fishingvideos.html

                    The photo shown is of Jeff Ralson with a 25-inch red grouper, caught on squid on a recent offshore trip.
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                    The photo shown is of Sean O’Malley with a 22-inch black drum caught on shrimp on a recent inshore trip.
                    Click image for larger version

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                    Captain Dave Hanson
                    Fishbuster Charters, Inc.
                    Bonita Beach, FL
                    239 947-1688
                    fishbuster@comcast.net
                    http://www.fishbustercharters.com

                    Comment


                    • Monday, 12/19, seas were calm, and I fished in spots between 17 and 28 miles west of New Pass with Josh and Mikelle Schmitt and their friends, Laura and Evan Kemp. Using squid, the group caught fifty-four lane snapper in all, twenty-five of which were nice keepers at 13 to 14 inches, and went into the fish box. They added a 16-inch whitebone porgy and a few grunts. They released, ten yellowtail snapper shorts, one 12-inch triggerfish, thirty red grouper shorts, and two 45-inch sandbar sharks.

                      Tuesday morning, 12/20, was foggy until around 11AM, but that didn’t stop me from getting 17 miles offshore with Shannon McGee and his thirteen-year-old son, Nicholas, who had never fished offshore before. Using squid, the guys released fifteen red grouper shorts to 18 inches, along with all but six of a mess of grunts they caught. Added to the grunts they kept were seven keeper lane snapper, the makings of a pretty good fish dinner!

                      Although temperatures were predicted to be unseasonably warm all week, Wednesday morning, 12/21, arrived with total cloud cover and some wind and, without the sun to warm things up, it remained chilly in southern Estero Bay, where I fished with Joe Watton, his sister-in-law, Regina Theobald, and Regina’s daughter, Emily Hansard. Using live shrimp, the trio caught six black drum ranging in size from 16 inches to 22 inches. They kept a couple of the smaller ones, which are good to eat (the big ones are prone to worms) and released the rest, along with a couple of small sheepshead and two crevalle jacks.

                      Thursday, 12/22, Marissa Gesell, her parents, Lily and Rick Gesell, and her fiancé, Simon, fished 20 miles offshore with me using squid and cut-bait. Marissa landed a keeper red grouper at 22 inches, and the group added ten keeper lane snapper to the fish box. They released a few grunts.

                      Friday morning, 12/23, was a windy one in southern Estero Bay, where I fished the backwaters with Claire Reilly, her mom and dad, Mary Pat and Paul, and her sister, Nora. The black drum bite wasn’t as active as it was the last time I fished there, but the family caught two of those, including one keeper, along with some sheepshead and crevalle jacks, all on live shrimp. They lost two larger fish when the hook pulled free, most likely drum.

                      I was off the water for a few days, with family visiting for the Christmas holiday, but I returned to fish offshore on Tuesday, 12/27, with Bob and Martha Graham, their daughter Jennifer Ness, and their twelve-year-old granddaughter, Katie Ness. The group caught eleven red grouper, including one keeper at 21 inches, along with a dozen keeper lane snapper to 11 inches and a few grunts. Everything bit on squid or cut-bait, 18 miles west of New Pass.

                      Wednesday morning, 12/28, Bob Eckle, his sons, Nick and Jason, and their friend, Clayton Sekel, fished southern Estero Bay’s backwaters with me, using shrimp for bait. Nick landed a beauty of a redfish at just under 30 inches. The group also caught three black drum, including one keeper at 17 inches. They released four sheepshead shorts, two crevalle jacks, and a five-pound stingray.

                      Rich Driscoll, his son, Jack, and friends, Steve, Emma, and Sadie Calhoun fished 22 miles west of New Pass with me Thursday morning, 12/29, using squid for bait. The group caught a mess of 25 keeper lane snapper, of which they kept a dozen to 16 inches. They chose to release the rest of those, along with a dozen red grouper shorts to 18 inches.

                      Ten-year-old Owen Grimes had a good time catching and releasing in southern Estero Bay, where he fished with his dad, Gavin, and his grandpa, Gary, on a windy, chilly morning Friday, 12/30. Using live shrimp, the family released eight black drum, ranging from a pair that were 18 inches to the largest, at 29 inches. Owen reeled in a 28-inch drum himself, which was a lot of fun for him. We also released four sheepshead shorts, as well as puffer-fish.
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                      The photo shown is of Gary Grimes with a 29-inch black drum, caught on shrimp in Estero Bay on a recent inshore trip.


                      Winds and seas were decreasing Saturday, but there were residual seas of up to four feet offshore, so Vicki Dilane, her son, Malcolm, and her daughter, Rachel, decided to fish inshore in southern Estero Bay with me on the final day of 2016. The family spent the morning catching black drum and sheepshead, mostly, all on live shrimp. They caught five drum, ranging 17 inches to 23 inches. They kept the smaller drum for dinner and released the large ones, along with four sheepshead shorts and a 13-inch mutton snapper.

                      Jim Madsen, his daughter, Stacy, and his son and daughter-in-law, Nick and Hillary, were the first party of the new year to fish with me. We fished 22 miles west of New Pass on Monday, 1/2/17, using live squid. The family boxed twenty-five keeper lane snapper to 13 inches, along with a dozen grunts. They released twelve red grouper shorts.

                      Edward and Lorrie Tritt and their daughter, Sarah, fished in calm seas with me twenty miles west of New Pass on Tuesday morning, 1/3. The lane snapper bite was good on squid, and the family caught thirty keeper lanes to 13 inches, and released twenty smaller ones. They also caught sixteen red grouper, including a very nice keeper at 26 inches, which bit on a baitfish. We also had an 8-foot hammerhead shark on for a while, until it snapped the line, so there was plenty of action, excitement, sore arms, and food-fish in the box!
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                      The photo shown is of Edward Tritt with a 26-inch red grouper, caught on a baitfish20 miles west of New Pass on a recent offshore trip.


                      Leo Walsh, his son-in-law, Bob, and his grandson, Sam, fished near-shore with me on Wednesday morning, 1/4. We had planned to head out further in what was predicted to be calm seas, but a small weather-front came through, bringing some wind, drizzles and rougher seas, so we ended up fishing about seven miles off Naples Beach, where the guys used squid to box a mess of grunts and a keeper porgy. They released quite a few, out-of-season gag grouper shorts to 20 inches. They headed home with plans for a dinner of fish tacos!

                      John Fuglsang, his grandchildren, Julia and Jimmy Novy, and two of their friends, Lindsay and Kevin, fished 20 miles west of New Pass with me on Thursday morning, 1/5, using squid and cut-bait. The group had great success with lane snapper, catching twenty-five keeper-sized lanes to 13 inches, but choosing to release ten of those. They also caught a mess of twenty-five grunts to 12 inches, and also released ten of those. They released two out-of-season triggerfish, one at 15 inches, and the other a short, at 12 inches. They also released twenty-eight red grouper shorts to 18 inches. The kids were keeping count of all the fish caught, and were proud of their total of eighty!

                      Friday, 1/6, I spent the day fishing in spots from 20 to 28 miles west of New Pass with John Rankin, Norm Grieves, and brothers, Peter and Tommy Tan. Seas were a little choppy early on, but calmed down nicely later. The fog was a different story—it was pretty dense until mid-morning. Despite all that, the guys caught a bunch of fish, including thirty lane snapper keepers to 17 inches, twenty-six red grouper, including one keeper at 22 inches, a keeper, 13-inch mangrove snapper, and a dozen grunts, all around 13 inches. The grouper bit on pinfish, and everything else was caught on squid and cut-bait.

                      Saturday, 1/7, brought a rainy, windy day, ahead of a cold front that would plunge temps into the 40's. I remained in port.

                      You can check out all of our shark and goliath grouper action videos at the following link:
                      http://fishbustercharters.com/fishingvideos.html
                      Captain Dave Hanson
                      Fishbuster Charters, Inc.
                      Bonita Beach, FL
                      239 947-1688
                      fishbuster@comcast.net
                      http://www.fishbustercharters.com

                      Comment


                      • A strong cold front came through our area the weekend of 1/7, bringing blustery winds, cold temps, and high seas. Dave Carr and his friend, John Kinkaid, had hoped to fish offshore Monday, 1/9, but seas were high and small craft advisories were in effect. The tide in the backwaters was far from optimal, but the guys decided to try some backwater fishing, rather than cancel. We fished with live shrimp in southern Estero Bay, where the guys caught six sheepshead, including two keepers at 13 inches and 15 inches. Along with the four short sheepshead, they also released a small flounder and a stingray.


                        Glenn Wright fished in southern Estero Bay’s backwaters with me on Tuesday morning, 1/10, where he used live shrimp to catch six black drum to 22 inches, along with a half dozen sheepshead shorts. He kept one 15-inch drum for his dinner, and released all the rest.

                        Chad Moening took his daughter, Sydney Bonnell and her friend, Madeline Damico backwater fishing in south Estero Bay with me on Thursday, 1/12. The group used live shrimp to catch fourteen black drum, eight of which were keepers to 19 inches, along with eleven sheepshead, three of which were keepers at 16 to 17 inches each. They added to the fish box a nice 17-inch trout. The photo shown is of Madeline Damico with a 17-inch sheepshead, caught on shrimp in Estero Bay on a inshore recent trip.

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                        Four brothers, Dan, Randy, Roman and Ryan Jahnke fished 36 miles offshore with me on Thursday, 1/19, where they caught nearly 60 red grouper, but only one of them was keeper size at 22 inches. They also released six nice, but out-of-season, triggerfish to 17 inches, along with one mangrove snapper short and an 8-foot sandbar shark that showed up for battle at the end of the day. In addition to the keeper grouper, the guys boxed fifteen grunts to 16 inches and a dozen porgies in the 13-14-inch range. Everything was caught on squid and cut-bait.

                        The Jahnke brothers, who had fished with me Thursday, had also reserved Friday, 1/20, initially to fish in the bay. But, after having such a good time fishing the gulf the day before, they decided to head offshore again. This time, we fished closer in, about 22 miles west of New Pass, hunting for lane snapper. We found them! The guys caught twenty-five keeper lanes, along with one keeper red grouper at 21 inches and a half-dozen grunts, all on cut-bait and squid.

                        The nasty weather that swept through the south over the weekend arrived here overnight Sunday into Monday, 1/23. Gusty winds and seas of 12-18 feet offshore were good reasons to remain in port. It was still too rough on Tuesday, 1/24, to get my scheduled offshore trip out.

                        By Thursday, 1/26, the day began with calmer seas, but they began to pick up pretty quickly, ahead of another weather front arriving. So I only went as far as 17 miles west of New Pass with frequent customers, Mike Connealy and his daughter, Paige. They had their sights set on a fish-fry, and they managed to catch the makings for that, with fifteen keeper lane snapper and a half dozen grunts, caught on squid. They released six red grouper shorts.

                        Joe Evans and three of his friends braved some rougher than ideal seas Friday morning, 1/27 to fish 17 miles west of New Pass with me. The group caught twenty-one keeper lane snapper, along with ta brace of 14-inch mangrove snapper and a half dozen grunts, all on squid. They released two shorter mangrove snapper, along with some red grouper shorts.

                        The photo shown below is of John Rankin with a 17-inch lane snapper, caught on squid on a recent offshore trip.

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                        You can check out all of our shark and goliath grouper action videos at the following link:
                        http://fishbustercharters.com/fishingvideos.html
                        Captain Dave Hanson
                        Fishbuster Charters, Inc.
                        Bonita Beach, FL
                        239 947-1688
                        fishbuster@comcast.net
                        http://www.fishbustercharters.com

                        Comment


                        • Seas were choppy Saturday morning, 1/28, when brothers, Nick, Andy, and Ken Eckle, fished with me 17 miles west of New Pass, using squid for bait. The guys decided to brave some rougher than ideal conditions offshore, rather than fish the backwater in the extreme low tide that accompanied a cold front that arrived over-night.The guys caught fifteen keeper lane snapper and a half dozen grunts, and released a few red grouper shorts.

                          I was off the water for a few days, but headed 22 miles offshore in nice conditions on Friday, 2/3, to fish with Scott Matchette, his son, Aiden, and friend, Will. The guys used squid to catch fifteen lane snapper keepers, including some really nice ones at 15 inches. They also caught a mess of grunts, but chose to keep only a few of those. They released 23 red grouper shorts, and were about to give up on landing a keeper grouper but, with a bait fish rigged up, they landed a keeper at almost 24 inches.

                          Mike and Mary Campbell fished 17 miles west of New Pass with me on Saturday morning, 2/4, using squid for bait. They were after some food-fish, and they achieved their goal, with fifteen keeper lane snapper and a mess of grunts. They kept a dozen of the 25 grunts they caught. We also landed a very unusual catch: An 11-inch black seas bass, which we photographed and released. That was only the second one of those I have ever caught in local waters.

                          Seas were choppier than predicted Monday morning, 2/6, when I headed 17 miles offshore with Pat Cunningham and friends, Mitzy and Dave. The group used squid to box a dozen keeper lane snapper and a half dozen grunts. They released red grouper shorts.

                          I fished inshore in southern Estero Bay with long-time customers, Bill and Terri Tank on a windy Friday morning, 2/10. Using live shrimp, the couple caught and released eight black drum to 20 inches, a crevalle jack, a stingray, and a sheepshead short. They kept a 20-inch redfish and an 11-inch mangrove snapper for dinner.

                          The wind laid down nicely overnight Friday, and I was able to get offshore Saturday morning, 2/11, to fish with John Rabe, his son, Mike, and Mike’s son, Ryan. We fished spots from 17 to 22 miles west of New Pass, using squid, and baitfish. The guys landed two keeper red grouper on baitfish, one 22 inches and one 25 inches. Squid yielded twenty keeper lane snapper, which we added to the fish box.
                          The photo shown is of young angler Ryan Rabe with a 25-inch red grouper, the larger of two keeper red grouper he and his family caught on squid 22 miles west of New Pass.
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                          Monday morning, 2/13, I fished offshore 17 to 22 miles west of New Pass with long-time customers, Bill and Nicki Conklin and their friends, Mark and Julia. Using squid for bait, the group caught twenty-five keeper lane snapper to 14 inches, and released fifteen red grouper shorts.

                          Seas were calm on Tuesday morning, 2/14, which allowed me to get 24 miles offshore with Ralph Marino and his friends, Bud Mulchy and Ron and Debbie. The group fished with live squid, and caught twenty-four red grouper, including one keeper at 23 inches. They also caught twenty-five keeper lane snapper to 15 inches and a half-dozen grunts to 14 inches. They released two remoras.

                          The timing on a weather front predicted to bring high winds and seas for Wednesday, 2/15, was for late afternoon, so Paul Russell, his son-in-law, Jeff Hoffman, and Jeff’s two sons, Jeff, Jr., and Dillon decided to head offshore with me to fish as long as conditions would allow. It was sloppy heading out, first thing in the morning, so we tried fishing the near-shore reefs for a while, but the action was slow there. A little later, winds calmed enough that we could head out further, and we fished between 17 and 26 miles west of New Pass, using squid and cut-bait. The guys caught twenty-five lane snapper, and kept fifteen of those to 17 inches. They also caught a half dozen grunts to 14 inches, and two keeper porgies. They released twenty-six red grouper shorts, along with a 14-inch black sea bass, which is the second black sea bass I have seen caught this week.

                          By Thursday morning, 2/16, winds were howling, and seas were four-to-six feet offshore. I canceled my gulf trip for that day.

                          You can check out all of our shark and goliath grouper action videos at the following link:
                          http://fishbustercharters.com/fishingvideos.html
                          Captain Dave Hanson
                          Fishbuster Charters, Inc.
                          Bonita Beach, FL
                          239 947-1688
                          fishbuster@comcast.net
                          http://www.fishbustercharters.com

                          Comment


                          • Long-time customer Kari Vilamaa, along with three of his friends, George, Don, and Dick, fished 22 miles west of New Pass with me on Friday, 2/17. The guys used squid to catch a mess of keeper lane snapper, and kept forty of those, releasing an additional twenty. They also boxed a 13-inch keeper mangrove snapper and a 15-inch jolthead porgy. They released two red grouper shorts and two mangrove snapper shorts.


                            Saturday, 2/18, I headed 28 miles offshore with long-time customers, father and son, Mark and Patrick Dwyer. This time, Mark also brought his brother and sister-in-law along, Bruce and Kathleen. Using squid and cut-bait, the family caught over fifty lane snapper, and kept thirty-five of those. They added to the fish box two 14-inch keeper mangrove snapper, one porgy (of half a dozen caught) and a 24-inch keeper red grouper. They released twenty-four red grouper shorts.

                            Jeff and Beth Heinrich and their children, Maddie and Tanner, are part of an extended family of folks who have all fished with me for many years. Monday, 2/20 offered up some perfect conditions for their offshore trip, so we ventured out nearly 29 miles, with squid and cut-bait to feed the fish. The family caught two keeper red grouper at 21 inches and 23 inches, and released nearly fifty red grouper shorts. They also caught twenty-four keeper lane snapper to 15 inches, and fifteen grunts, of which they kept five. The kids also enjoyed examining and releasing a blowfish that Maddie caught.
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                            The photo shown is of young angler, Maddie Heinrich, with a 23-inch keeper red grouper, caught on squid on an offshore trip 2/20/17.




                            Seas were not nearly as calm on Tuesday 2/21 as they were the previous day. But, eight-year-old, Lucci Beattie toughed it out with his dad, Peter, his grandfather, Bruce, and family friends, Eric and George. We fished with squid and cut-bait, 22 miles west of New Pass, and caught twenty-five lane snapper keepers and ten grunts. The group released fifteen red grouper shorts.

                            Tim Clifford and his two sons, Johnny and Chris, were rained out of their planned fishing trip on Wednesday, 2/22 but, fortunately, I had a cancellation for the following day, so the Cliffords fished lower Hickory Bay’s backwaters with me Thursday morning, 2/23, using shrimp for bait on their catch-and-release trip.. The guys released nine black drum to 20 inches, along with a crevalle jack.

                            As winds and seas continued to be substantial on Friday, 2/24, Sue Augustine and her young daughter, Alana, traded their offshore fishing plans for a catch-and-release trip in southern Estero Bay’s backwaters, where they used live shrimp to release a 15-inch seatrout, a half dozen mangrove snapper shorts and two stingray.

                            Saturday morning, 2/25, seas were pretty calm heading offshore with Quentin and Jill Connealy and Jill’s mom, Linda Connot, all from Nebraska. Mid-morning, some fog rolled through, it got chillier, and seas picked up, but we were able to snapper fish about 16 miles west of New Pass, where the group used squid to box fifteen keeper lane snapper and a few grunts. They released a 22-inch Spanish mackerel and a 15-inch bluefish.

                            Monday morning, 2/27, was a windy one, and I fished a catch-and-release trip in southern Estero Bay‘s backwaters with Mike Woods and his friend, Scott. The guys released five black drum, five sheepshead shorts, two crevalle jacks, a stingray, and a sand bream, all of which bit on live shrimp.

                            Offshore action was steady Tuesday, 2/28, when I fished various spots out to 35 miles with Mike McCarthy and his step-dad, Ken. We caught more red grouper than we could count, but they were all shorts, many of them 19 ½ inches, just short of keeper size. The guys did catch plenty of keeper food-fish, though, including lane snapper, big grunts to 15 inches, and porgies. They released fifteen yellowtail snapper shorts and a few mangrove snapper shorts. Everything bit on squid and cut-bait. Once the table-fare was taken care of, the guys had fun battling a couple of goliath grouper until they ran off.

                            Seas were sloppy heading offshore Wednesday morning, 3/1, so I ventured only 17 miles with Robin Latham, Dave Ricardi, and Ricky Cross. The guys had fun catching and releasing fifteen red grouper shorts to 18 inches, and managed to fill the fish box with a mix of lane snapper and grunts, all caught on squid and cut-bait.

                            Seas calmed down nicely for my offshore trip on Thursday, 3/2, although conditions are predicted to deteriorate over-night. But John and Holly Lischer and son, Kruz, had a perfect window of opportunity to fish 36 miles offshore, using squid, cut-bait, and baitfish. The family hauled in three keeper red grouper, two at 22-inches and one at 21 inches. They added twenty-five additional food-fish to the box—lane snapper and grunts to 16 inches—and released a few red grouper shorts. With plenty of table-fare caught, Kruz decided he’d like to battle a big fish, so we moved to one of my goliath grouper holes, where he battled one to the surface that was over 400 pounds. Kruz might have wanted a dose of Advil with his fish dinner that night!

                            Winds blew hard on Friday, 3/3, when I fished southern Estero Bay’s backwaters with Paul Stanek and his friends, Rich and Jill. The group used live shrimp to catch two keeper mangrove snapper at 12 inches and a black drum at 15 inches. They released half a dozen smaller drum, along with a 24-inch lady fish and three stingray, all about two pounds.

                            Winds howled throughout the weekend, producing rough seas offshore and dead-low tides in the backwaters. I remained in port.

                            You can check out all of our shark and goliath grouper action videos at the following link:
                            http://fishbustercharters.com/fishingvideos.html


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                            The photo shown is of Bill Tank with a 20-inch, keeper redfish, caught on shrimp on a recent inshore trip.
                            Captain Dave Hanson
                            Fishbuster Charters, Inc.
                            Bonita Beach, FL
                            239 947-1688
                            fishbuster@comcast.net
                            http://www.fishbustercharters.com

                            Comment


                            • The winds that had been blowing hard for the past several days continued into Monday and Tuesday, 3/6 and 3/7, with gusts still at 20 knots and seas offshore still too choppy for my fishing party, Shawn Enoch and his parents, Janie and Monty. So we fished south Estero Bay’s backwaters instead of heading offshore. The group caught two sand bream, five sheepshead that included one keeper at 13 inches, and a half-dozen black drum short, all on live shrimp.

                              Seas were calm Wednesday but, unfortunately, my fishing client for that day took ill, and we had to cancel the trip. Thursday, 3/9, seas were still calm, though they picked up in the afternoon, while I fished 26 miles west of New Pass with Ken Spaulding and his friends, Dave, DeeDee, Lee, and Wayne. The group caught and released over thirty red grouper up to 19 7/8 inches, just 1/8 inch short of keeper size. But, even if not keepers, they had fun reeling them in on light tackle. As for food-fish, the lane snapper were biting like crazy, and the group boxed thirty of 70-plus keeper-sized lanes. They added a few nice grunts to the fish box for some variety. We used squid and cut-bait.

                              Friday morning, 3/10, calm seas greeted us once again, and I headed offshore 22 miles with Pat Dombrovski and his son, Noah. The guys used cut-bait and squid to catch two keeper red grouper at 21 inches and 22 inches, and released a dozen red grouper shorts. They also caught twenty-five keeper lane snapper to 14 inches and a half-dozen grunts. They released a 15-inch, out-of-season triggerfish.

                              Monday, 3/13, I headed 22 miles offshore with Janice Penland, her grandchildren, Joe and Samantha, and their friends, Mackenzie and Kabon. The group used squid and cut-bait to box twenty keeper lane snapper to 14 inches, and they released an equal number of those. They also released sixteen red grouper shorts to 18 inches.

                              As a weather front approached in the over-night hours, the winds and seas picked up and, by Tuesday morning, 3/14, there were wind gusts approaching 30 mph, along with big waves and small craft advisories offshore. Nate Binder and his friend, Reno, had planned to fish offshore but I had to advise them otherwise. So we headed into the backwaters of southern Estero Bay, seeking good fishing holes and protection from the wind. First cast yielded a 24-inch redfish, followed quickly by another bite that took the bait, but not the hook, and got away. A 14-nch sheepshead was added to the box, and the guys released one short sheepshead short, one black drum short, and a 6-pound, 19-inch crevalle jack. Everything bit on live shrimp.

                              With slightly decreased but still hefty winds blowing Wednesday morning, 3/15, I fished the backwaters of southern Estero Bay with Bill and Terri Tank, who used live shrimp to catch five keeper sheepshead to 14 inches. They released three mangrove snapper shorts.

                              Overnight temperatures dropped to 43 degrees in in Bonita Beach, and I spent a chilly, windy, but productive morning on Thursday, 3/16, fishing in south Estero Bay with Michael Want and his thirteen-year-old son, Kevin, who had also fished with me last March. The guys used live shrimp to catch twelve keeper-sized sheepshead to 16 inches, which they chose to release.

                              Friday, 3/17, Mark and Sherri Gahl and their son, Zach, spent St. Paddy’s Day fishing southern Estero Bay’s backwaters with me, using live shrimp. They caught nine sheepshead, including six keepers to 17 inches, and released a few mangrove snapper shorts.

                              Jim Danfort, Sr. and son, Jim Danfort, Jr. fished 23 miles west of New Pass with me on Saturday, 3/18, using squid, cut-bait and pinfish. They caught two keeper red grouper on pinfish, one 22 inches and one 25 inches. Lane snapper were biting well, and the guys added to the fish box thirty keeper lane snapper to 15 inches.
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                              The photo shown is of Jim Danfort with a 25-inch red grouper, caught on a pinfish 23 miles west of New Pass on n offshore trip 3/18/17.


                              Monday, 3/20, seas were too rough offshore for my planned trip, and those guys rescheduled. Chuck Spears and his son, Jason, fished a catch-and-release trip in Estero Bay with me on Tuesday, 3/21, using live shrimp. They guys released six sheepshead to 13 inches, a small crevalle jack, a 15-inch whiting, and seven mangrove snapper shorts.

                              Wednesday, 3/22, I had another catch-and-release trip in south Estero Bay’s backwaters, this time with Dan and Amber Swanson, who landed eleven black drum to 25 inches, a 13-inch sand bream, and a spade fish, all on live shrimp, and all released, after a few photos.
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                              The photo shown is of Amber Swanson with a 25-inch black drum, caught on shrimp in Estero Bay on an in shore trip 3/22/17.


                              Friday’s windy morning found me back in the backwaters, this time with father and son, Jim and Brad Large, who used live shrimp to catch eleven black drum to 23 inches, a 13-inch sheepshead, and a sand bream. They released eight of the drum and the sand bream, and boxed the rest of their catches.

                              You can check out all of our shark and goliath grouper action videos at the following link:
                              http://fishbustercharters.com/fishingvideos.html
                              Captain Dave Hanson
                              Fishbuster Charters, Inc.
                              Bonita Beach, FL
                              239 947-1688
                              fishbuster@comcast.net
                              http://www.fishbustercharters.com

                              Comment


                              • Five-year-old Ben Dwyer had a great time fishing with his dad, Sean, and his grandpa, Mike, in the backwaters of southern Estero Bay on Saturday morning, 3/25/17. Using live shrimp, the guys caught a total of twelve black drum ranging from 14 inches to 22 inches, and Ben caught three of those by himself, a 14-inch, a 17 inch and a 22-inch. They boxed three of the smaller keepers, which are good to eat, and released the rest. Ben also caught an 18-inch sheepshead by himself, which he added to the fish box.

                                Monday morning, 3/27, I fished a near-shore, catch-and-release trip with the Russ MiIler family. We began at the reefs off Bonita Beach, but action was slow there, so we moved to some other spots about six miles off the beach, where the family used live shrimp to catch a 14-inch pompano, a 24-inch guitarfish, a dozen blue runners, twenty whitings to 14 inches, and some lane snapper shorts.

                                Tuesday, 3/28, I headed 22 miles west of New Pass to fish with long time customer, Mike Connealy, and his friend, Ken Kulus, along with Ken’s son and daughter, Zach and. Abbey. The group had a very productive morning of fishing, using squid and pinfish. They caught five red grouper, including a nice 25-inch keeper, along with over fifty keeper-sized lane snapper to 15 inches. They kept eighteen of those lanes, along with the keeper grouper, and released the rest.
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                                The photo shown is of Abbey Kulus, with a 25-inch red grouper, caught on a pinfish.




                                Wednesday, 3/29, was another calm day on the gulf, and I headed out of New Pass to fish 22 miles offshore with long time customer, Frank Partee, his son, John, and Frank’s grandchildren, Dave, Michael, and Jack. The family used squid and pinfish to catch twenty-seven red grouper, including two keepers at 21 inches and 23 inches, and shorts to 19 ½ inches that were released. They also boxed twenty-three keeper lane snapper to 13 inches, and released lots more lanes. The larger keeper red grouper bit a pinfish, and was a fun battle on light spinning tackle.

                                Thursday, 3/30, I spent a windy morning fishing in a pretty low tide in Estero Bay, just south of Mound Key, with Clay and Katie Hall and Katie's brother, Jeff. The family used live shrimp to box three keeper sheepshead, all of which were 15 inches, and to release a half-dozen mangrove snapper shorts.

                                Friday, 3/31, long time customers and hardy anglers, Lee Larsen, Bud Glazier, and Tom Batchellor were joined by their friend, Alan, to fish 17 miles offshore with me, just ahead of a windy front that was beginning to make seas kind of sloppy by the time we headed back to shore. The guys boxed a keeper red grouper at 21 inches, and released ten red grouper shorts. They added fifteen keeper lane snapper to the fish box, and released two bluefish and some grunts. As we were reeling in a lane snapper, a big king mackerel hit it, then let go. We hooked the chewed-up lane on a heavier pole and cast it out again, this time catching the king, which was 45 inches long. We photographed it at the water’s surface and released it.

                                Joe Lehner, his cousin, Ken, and both their young daughters, Emma and London, fished in southern Estero Bay’s backwaters with me on Saturday morning, 4/1/17. The family used live shrimp to catch an 18-inch black drum and three keeper sheepshead, all around 13 inches. They released a 20-inch snook and a 2-pound stingray.

                                Estero Bay’s action was a little slow on Monday morning, 4/3. When I fished its southern end with Brad Miller. Brad had hoped to fish offshore, but seas of three-to-five feet in the gulf forced a change of plans. Using live shrimp, Brad caught five mangrove snapper, two sheepshead, and a 3-pound jack crevalle, which he released.

                                Lee and Karen Bach, joined by friend, Tony Mymo and his son, Anthony, fished southern Estero Bay with me on a windy morning Tuesday, 4/4. The group used live shrimp to catch nine black drum to 24-inches, keeping three of those that were 16 inches, since those are the best size to eat. They released the rest of the drum, along with one sheepshead short, two 20-inch snook, and two mangrove snapper shorts.

                                It was another gusty morning in the backwaters of southern Estero Bay on Wednesday, 4/5, when Leo Walsh and his friend, Jerry, used live shrimp to catch four sheepshead, including two keepers, and released two mangrove snapper shorts and two stingray.

                                The winds weren’t too much calmer on Thursday morning, 4/6, in southern Estero Bay, and Leeds Hutchinson and son, Bill, had to dodge a couple of rain showers with me, but their catch-and-release trip was productive, with three black drum, a sheepshead, a half-dozen mangrove snapper and 29-inch redfish released, after biting on live shrimp.
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                                The photo shown is of Bill Hutchinson, with a 29-inch bull redfish, caught on shrimp and released.

                                On Friday morning, 4/7, when I returned to southern Estero Bay to fish with Ray Ford, his son, Brian, and their friend, Stu, the winds persisted, but from a different direction, which pushed the water out of the bay and made for a very low tide. So the fishing was not as productive as it had been the previous day in favorable tide conditions. The guys caught and released three black drum, two sheepshead, two mangrove snapper, and four spadefish.

                                Saturday morning, 4/8, I fished the backwaters of Estero Day with Don Parsons, his dad, Bob, and another family member, Alan. The waters were muddy and the tide low, so conditions were not optimal, but the guys used live shrimp to catch and release spadefish, black drum, and crevalle jack.

                                You can check out all of our shark and goliath grouper action videos at the following link:
                                http://fishbustercharters.com/fishingvideos.html
                                Captain Dave Hanson
                                Fishbuster Charters, Inc.
                                Bonita Beach, FL
                                239 947-1688
                                fishbuster@comcast.net
                                http://www.fishbustercharters.com

                                Comment


                                • Monday morning, 4/10, seas were a little choppy and sloppy, after a very windy weekend. But, hardy anglers John King, his sons, Chris and Dan, Dan’s girlfriend, Nora, and the boys’ grandfather, Dick, withstood conditions to fish fifteen miles west of New Pass with me. The family used squid to catch a keeper red grouper at 21 inches, twenty-five keeper lane snapper, and a dozen grunts. They released lots of red grouper shorts.

                                  Mark and Monica Kusterer and their two young daughters, Jillian and Amanda, fished 15 miles offshore with me on Tuesday morning, 4/11, using squid for bait. They released fifteen red grouper shorts to 18 inches, and boxed ten keeper lane snapper and a dozen grunts. It was the girls’ first fishing experience, and I think they are sold on the sport!

                                  Seas were easily three-to-four foot Wednesday morning, 4/12, though they calmed down toward the noon hour. Roy Mittman and his son, Zach, have braved choppy waters with me before, and they don’t mind a bit of chop in order to get to the fish. So we headed out 22 miles from New Pass to fish with squid and cut bait. The guys caught a brace of 21-inch, keeper red grouper, and added twenty-five keeper lane snapper and a half-dozen 12-13-inch grunts to the box too. They released lots of red grouper shorts. A huge shark—either a tiger or a hammerhead would be my guess—grabbed a fish on the line, spun the drag, and ran 300 yards of 100 lb. Power-Pro line off the pole before finally cutting the line on a crab trap. The best view we got of the monster was way below the surface, and it was tough to discern what type of shark it was.

                                  Thursday morning, 4/13, I fished a catch-and-release trip in southern Estero Bay with Robert and Diane Murphey, and their two young grandchildren, Elena and Colin. The kids had a good time catching and releasing sheepshead, crevalle jack, and mangrove snapper.

                                  Friday, 4/14, I spent the morning fishing 22 miles offshore with the Bockhorst family: Bob, his son, Don, and Don’s adult children, David, Kevin, and Kristen. The family used squid and cut-bait, and managed to get some big game excitement, as well as plenty of food-fish. A fifty-inch blacknose shark provided a fun battle and, shortly after we released that beast, a big sandbar shark grabbed one line and tangled it with all the others, eventually cutting all the lines and escaping. Calmer catches included two dozen keeper lane snapper and a dozen grunts. The family released thirty red grouper shorts to 19 inches.

                                  Winds and seas increased Saturday, 4/15, but my young, hardy anglers toughed it out to fish 22 miles west of New Pass with squid and cut-bait. They caught a 21-inch, keeper red grouper, and released at least forty red grouper shorts to 19 inches. A couple of bigger ones were hooked and lost. The guys added thirty keeper lane snapper to the fish box, and released one undersized triggerfish.

                                  Monday morning, 4/17, I headed offshore 22 miles with Sean & Jennifer Ball and family/friends Jared, Jack, Kevin, and another Jack. The group used squid and cut-bait to box thirty keeper lane snapper and to release a dozen red grouper shorts to 18 inches. The dolphins seemed to be everywhere that morning, so we had to pull anchor and change spots several times.

                                  Seas were predicted to be calm on Tuesday morning, 4/18, when I headed offshore with Jack Miller, Leo Walsh, and their friends, Tim and Alan. Though winds were stronger than predicted and seas a little choppy, the guys managed okay, fishing in spots 17 miles and 20 miles from New Pass. They used squid to box a dozen grunts and eleven keeper lane snapper. They released fifteen red grouper shorts.

                                  Bill Bredbenner and his fiancé, Teresa, fished Estero Bay’s backwaters with me on Wednesday morning, 4/19. Conditions were not optimal, with hefty winds, low tides and some muddy waters, but the couple used live shrimp to catch and release mangrove snapper and a crevalle jack.

                                  Seas were choppy again on my offshore trip Thursday morning, 4/20, when I fished 20 miles west of New Pass with Terry O’Neil, his son, and two grandchildren. The family used squid to box fifteen keeper lane snapper and a mess of grunts. They released twenty-one red grouper shorts to 18 inches.

                                  A catch-and-release trip in Estero Bay Friday, 4/21, with Matt Birnie and his young son, Frasier, yielded four sheepshead and a spadefish, caught on live shrimp.

                                  The overcast conditions on Saturday morning, 4/22, seemed to give the inshore fishing a boost. I fished southern Estero Bay’s backwaters with John Abernathy and his son, Ryan, and the pair caught nineteen fish all together, which beat any previous action in the bay recently. Catches, all on live shrimp, included two black drum to 20 inches, an 18-inch whiting, four mangrove snapper shorts, and a dozen sheepshead shorts.

                                  You can check out all of our shark and goliath grouper action videos at the following link:
                                  http://fishbustercharters.com/fishingvideos.html

                                  The photo shown is of Aiden Matchette , with a 24-inch red grouper, caught on a pinfish 24 miles west of New Pass on a recent offshore trip.
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                                  The photo shown is of Karen Bach, with a 24-inch black drum, caught on shrimp on a recent inshore trip.
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                                  Captain Dave Hanson
                                  Fishbuster Charters, Inc.
                                  Bonita Beach, FL
                                  239 947-1688
                                  fishbuster@comcast.net
                                  http://www.fishbustercharters.com

                                  Comment


                                  • It's still cold here in NJ. Your posts are warming me up!
                                    I follow NJ fishing at http://njsaltfish.com

                                    Comment


                                    • Tight lines, my friend

                                      Originally posted by justsalt View Post
                                      It's still cold here in NJ. Your posts are warming me up!
                                      Glad to be of service! The winds are what is killing us here, rather than the temps. Had to cancel an offshore trip yesterday, with 3-to5 foot seas out there! Hang in there--summer is around the corner
                                      Captain Dave Hanson
                                      Fishbuster Charters, Inc.
                                      Bonita Beach, FL
                                      239 947-1688
                                      fishbuster@comcast.net
                                      http://www.fishbustercharters.com

                                      Comment


                                      • Monday morning, 4/24/17, winds were howling, as they had been for several days and, with small craft advisories offshore, the Stevens family, Mike & Michelle and young sons, Ryan and Jonah, traded offshore plans for a backwater trip in southern Estero Bay. The family used live shrimp to catch six sheepshead to 18 inches, along with a spadefish, two puffer fish (a southern spiny puffer and an oyster-cruncher puffer), and a 3-pound stingray.

                                        Wednesday, 4/26, seas were choppier than predicted heading out of New Pass, but they did calm down later in the morning. Bruce Debuke treated his son and three grandsons to an excursion 17 miles offshore, where the family used cut-bait and squid to box two dozen keeper lane snapper and a few grunts. They released eleven red grouper shorts to 18 inches, and experienced two sharpnose shark battles before releasing one 35-inch and one 40-inch.

                                        Friday, 4/28, though NOAA had predicted two-foot seas out to 60 miles, seas were much rougher than that at spots 22 and 24 miles west of New Pass, where I fished with Roland Roth and his friend, Doug. The lane snappers bit well on squid until the dolphin showed up, so we boxed a dozen lanes and moved on. The guys added a few 13-inch grunts to the box, and released five red grouper shorts, before calling it a morning.

                                        After rough seas and gusty winds over the weekend and into Monday and Tuesday, I finally got to take an offshore trip on Wednesday, 5/3, and seas were pretty calm even 26 miles west of New Pass, where I fished with Mark Vale and his friend, Dave. The guys limited out on keeper lane snapper to 16 inches, keeping forty of the largest and releasing lots more. They also released twenty-five red grouper shorts to 19 inches, along with a four-foot barracuda, caught on the big pole, and a 40-inch sharpnose shark, caught on a light spinning rod. Everything bit on squid and cut-bait.

                                        Randy and Beth Bartz and their friend, Rick Barstow, had planned to fish offshore with me a week ago, but they had to reschedule for Monday, 5/8, since the previous Monday’s winds and seas were prohibitive. We were able to head out 29 miles from New Pass, and used cut-bait and squid for bait. The group caught a keeper red grouper at 21 inches and released thirty-five red grouper shorts to 18 inches. They added to the fish box thirty lane snapper keepers to 15 inches, a 15-inch mangrove snapper, and three grunts. They also released a 35-inch blacknose shark, and battled a big hammerhead that bit on light tackle until he broke off.

                                        Seas were calm on Tuesday, 5/9, when I headed out 25 miles from New Pass with long-time customer, Dick Wilson, and our mutual friend, Captain John Vest. We used pinfish, squid, shrimp and cut-bait for a nice mess of fish that included a keeper 21-inch red grouper, twenty keeper lane snapper, two yellowtail snapper keepers, and a few nice sized grunts that were about 14 inches. We released lots of red grouper shorts to 19 inches, thirteen yellowtail shorts, and three sharpnose sharks that were all around three foot long.


                                        You can check out all of our shark and goliath grouper action videos at the following link:
                                        http://fishbustercharters.com/fishingvideos.html



                                        The photo shown below is of Nate Binder, with a 24-inch redfish, caught on shrimp on a recent inshore trip.

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                                        The photo shown below is of Turner Holthaus, with a 21-inch red grouper, caught on squid on a recent offshore trip.
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                                        Captain Dave Hanson
                                        Fishbuster Charters, Inc.
                                        Bonita Beach, FL
                                        239 947-1688
                                        fishbuster@comcast.net
                                        http://www.fishbustercharters.com

                                        Comment


                                        • Monday, 5/15, I headed out to spots fifteen and seventeen miles west of New Pass with Dave and Debra Brinkmann and family. Using both squid and cut-bait, the family boxed twenty-one keeper fish, consisting of lane snapper and grunts. They released fifteen red grouper shorts, along with a 30-inch sharpnose shark.

                                          Brian Hale and friends, Julie and Emily, fished south Estero Bay with me on Tuesday morning, 5/16. They used live shrimp to catch and release several stingray, the largest of which was 15 pounds. They also released six sheepshead shorts and one mangrove snapper short. They kept one 12-inch mangrove snapper and two sand bream. Julie had a big snook hooked, which looked about 25 inches when it jumped, but it threw the hook and got away.

                                          Wednesday, 5/17, winds picked up and so did the seas. I fished offshore with Vince Rosetti and his son, Mike. The guys did well, especially considering we were only 17 miles out, and in rough conditions. They boxed a 24-inch red grouper, ten keeper lane snapper, and a few good-sized grunts. They released twenty red grouper shorts to 18 inches, along with three sharpnose sharks, all of which were in the 30 to 35 inch range.

                                          Friday, 5/19, winds were steady at 15 knots, with gusts to 25 knots. Clint Malikowski and his wife, Ashley, weren’t intimidated by choppy seas, and we made it out 15 miles from New Pass. The catch of the day was Ashley’s 36-inch cobia, which bit on cut bait. She also had a large shark hooked at one point, but it popped the line. The couple used squid to catch keeper lane snapper, grunts, and a soapfish.

                                          Below is a photo of Ashley Nord-Malikowski with her 36-inch cobia:
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                                          The departure of our winter residents, paired with some rough and windy conditions the week of 5/22 made for some time in port. I got out again on Friday, 5/26, after several days of big winds, heavy surf, and some much needed rain. Seas were just beginning to calm down, but were still 3 feet, when I headed offshore 17 miles with John Cory and family. Using squid and cut-bait, the group boxed twenty keeper lane snapper to 15 inches and some grunts. They battled and released three sharpnose sharks, which were all around 35 inches long. They also released a few red grouper shorts.

                                          Monday, 5/29, I fished in spots 22 to 25 miles west of New Pass with long- time customers, Doug Shepherd and his son, Wade. The guys used squid, cut-bait and baitfish for a productive day of fishing. They boxed a 24-inch red grouper, and released twenty-five red grouper shorts. They added to the box thirty keeper lane snapper, the largest of which were 17 ½ inches. They also caught a few grunts, as well as four porgies that included whitebone, jolthead, and silver varieties. They had fun battling and releasing five sharpnose sharks to 40 inches.

                                          Steve Cooke, his son Kolhan, and Kolhan’s girlfriend, Lauren, along with friends Phil and his son, Mason, fished with me Tuesday, 5/30, in various spots 17 to 22 miles west of New Pass, using squid and cut-bait. They caught a total of twenty-six keeper lane snapper and nine grunts. They released fifteen red grouper shorts to 19 inches.

                                          Seas were calm on Thursday, 6/1, when I headed out to fish in spots 20 to 25 miles west of New Pass with long-time customers, Brian and Julie Clark, accompanied by their friend, Rob. The group used cut-bait and squid to box twenty-five keeper lane snapper to 16 inches, along with a half-dozen nice sized grunts. The red grouper were biting, but the twenty that we caught and released were short of keeper size, some by just 1/8 of an inch—ouch! The group also fought and released three sharpnose sharks that were all about 40 inches long.

                                          You can check out all of our shark and goliath grouper action videos at the following link:
                                          http://fishbustercharters.com/fishingvideos.html
                                          Captain Dave Hanson
                                          Fishbuster Charters, Inc.
                                          Bonita Beach, FL
                                          239 947-1688
                                          fishbuster@comcast.net
                                          http://www.fishbustercharters.com

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