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Fishing Report - Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Beach & Estero Bay

Capt. Dave Hanson
May 19, 2007
Fort Myers - Saltwater Fishing Report

Redfish, yellowtail & mangrove snapper, sheepshead, kingfish, amber jacks, bonito, mahi-sighting: Bonita Beach, SW FL

Monday, 5/14, the winds were blowing once again. I advised my anglers, Patrick and Natalie Smith, to fish the bay instead of heading offshore for fear of rough seas out there. We used live shrimp in central Estero Bay to catch keeper mangrove snapper and sheepshead. We had a couple of break-offs that were probably nice reds, but fishing treelines is tough for novice anglers--way too easy to get broken off.

My Tuesday anglers wanted a full-day well offshore, and with 3-5 foot seas building to 4-6 out there, we decided it would be best to defer that trip until we have better conditions.

Wednesday, I headed out to 38 miles on a 260 heading from New Pass with anglers, Dr. Paul Martz and friend Christian. We used live shrimp, sardines and cut bait to catch a dozen yellowtail to 16 inches and a few mangrove snapper to 15 inches. We released a 40 inch kingfish, grouper shorts, with the largest gag just 1/2 inch short of keeper-size, triggerfish, jolthead and whitebone porgies, amberjacks to 22 inches, and three bonito to seven pounds (the bonito were caught on spoons.) We saw two mahi-mahi, each about 3 foot long, jump about 50 feet from the boat.

Thursday, I headed back out again about 37 miles from New Pass, this time with Mike Cole and friend Jason. We caught some nice yellowtail and lane snapper again and kept a few of those for the guy’s dinner, then went catch and release for the rest of the day. We released more snapper, porgies, grunts, triggerfish, bonito to eight pounds, a 26 inch king mackerel, and a 3 foot sharpnose shark. We used shrimp, sardines and squid for bait. The guys had a couple of big kingfish hooked, but had their lines broken before they were boated.

Dr. Paul Martz and friend Christian LeClerc, who fished offshore with me Wednesday, fished the backwaters on Friday. We had good tide conditions in Estero Bay and plenty of live shrimp in the bait well. We caught three keeper redfish, one 21 inches and two at 20 inches each, and a fifteen inch sheepshead. We fished until the tide started coming in too fast and the water got cloudy, but we had already caught our limit of redfish (see photo.)

Saturday morning I f returned to Estero Bay, this time with Dr. Roland Rivera, his dad Raphael Rivera, and friend Dr. John Jay. We caught two keeper redfish, 20” and 21”, a 13” sheepshead, and some keeper mangrove snapper, all on shrimp. We released a small snook, and jumped a small tarpon about 20 inches long.

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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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