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SW FL-Bonita Beach: August Grouper & Snapper Fishing Good

Capt. Dave Hanson
September 2, 2013
Bonita Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report

Monday morning, 8/12/13, father and son anglers Bruce and Mike Epstein fished with me 22 miles west of New Pass, where they used pinfish for grouper fishing and live shrimp for snappers. The guys did well, catching four keeper red grouper, one at 21 inches, two at 26 inches, and one at 27 inches. They also caught five keeper yellowtail snapper to 13 inches, a half dozen keeper mangrove snapper to 13 inches, and ten keeper lane snapper. They released lots of red grouper shorts and fifteen lane snapper shorts.

Pat Cunningham had enough family members visiting to constitute a six-person trip offshore on Wednesday, 8/14/13. The family fished 22 miles west of New Pass, using live shrimp. Catches included twenty-five keeper lane snapper, ten grunts, and a couple of whitebone porgies. The group released all but three of the grunts, along with red grouper shorts to 18 inches, blue runners and crevalle jacks.

Thursday morning, 8/15, with a few light sprinkles of rain falling, I fished inshore in Estero Bay with the Ponnozo family: Grandpa Jack, Dad John, eleven-year-old son Alex, and younger son, Jake. The guys were celebrating Jake's eighth birthday with a catch-and-release trip. They used live shrimp to catch two keeper-sized redfish at 18 inches and 24 inches, six sheepshead to 15 inches, twenty mangrove snapper shorts, a 15-inch snook, a 13-inch black drum, and a two-pound stingray. They released all.

I had planned an offshore trip for Friday morning, 8/16, but rain over the gulf and sloppy seas conditions weren't optimal for the family who had planned to go. They opted to defer their trip. The weekend of 8/17/13 (and into the following week) was characterized by an early rain pattern, with some heavy rain and T-storms each day, usually beginning sometime around noon to the 2PM hour. Pair those conditions with the slow season that officially began in mid-August, once kids returned to school and families quit vacationing, and it is a prescription for a short fishing report!

We expect scattered trips throughout the rest of August and September, and will be gearing up in October for the return of our seasonal residents, which typically happens in mid-to-end October. Meanwhile, we will post whatever reports we have, and, as always, thanks for reading!

Labor Day weekend provided a little fishing action amidst slow season. I fished Saturday, 8/31, with Tim & Kathy Pedley and their friends, David & Arlee Kachenski and son, Matthew. We headed out in calm seas to 18 miles west of New Pass, but winds and seas picked up by late morning, and made for a rougher ride in than we had going out. The group used live shrimp to catch and release twenty-five red grouper shorts to 19 inches. They also caught fifteen lane snapper, ten of which were keepers, and ten mangrove snapper, four of which were keepers, measuring about 12 inches each.

The photo shown is of angler, Ken Karstedt with a 28-inch red grouper, one of four keeper red grouper he and his group caught on pinfish on a recent offshore trip.

Click to Enlarge Photo

You can check out all of our shark and goliath grouper action videos at the following link:


Bonita Beach Fishing Forecast:

Seas are predicted to be calm, at one foot offshore, though the reality has differed from the forecast recently by a foot or two. Still, offshore fishing should be good this week, and summer tides in the bays will allow for some good fishing, especially with snook season just re-opening.

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Private guided saltwater fishing trips, inshore and offshore, around Ft. Myers, Naples and Bonita Beach. Native guide with over 30 years local experience. Good species variety. Reasonable rates. Half and full-day trips offered. We book well in advance throughout the winter months, and slightly in advance during the summer months. Families welcome, and anglers of all ages and experience levels will have a good time.

Contact Info:

Fishbuster Charters, Inc.
Bonita Beach
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
Phone: 239-947-1688
Alt. Phone: 239-947-1688
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