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Thread: Florida

  1. #799
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Bonita Beach, FL, United States
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    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.

    Click image for larger version. 

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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.
    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

  2. #798
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Bonita Beach, FL, United States
    Posts
    253

    Cool Tight lines, my friend

    Quote 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

  3. #797

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

  4. #796
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Bonita Beach, FL, United States
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    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.
    Click image for larger version. 

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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.
    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

  5. #795
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Bonita Beach, FL, United States
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    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

  6. #794
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Bonita Beach, FL, United States
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    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

  7. #793
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Bonita Beach, FL, United States
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    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


    Click image for larger version. 

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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

  8. #792
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    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.
    Click image for larger version. 

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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

  9. #791
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Bonita Beach, FL, United States
    Posts
    253

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    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.

    Click image for larger version. 

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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.

    Click image for larger version. 

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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

  10. #790
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Bonita Beach, FL, United States
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    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.
    Click image for larger version. 

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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!
    Click image for larger version. 

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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

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