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Lots of rain, but fishing good when you can go

Capt. Dave Hanson
August 9, 2019
Bonita Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report

On Wednesday morning, 7/3/19, I fished miles west of New Pass with Dwayne McCoy and his family and friends. Although seas were predicted to be less than two feet, that was not the case until it was nearly time to head in from our -day excursion. But we made it out to 23 miles, hoping for action similar to the last time I'd fished offshore, about a week prior to this trip. Fishing was slow, though, and we didn't get many keepers. The guys boxed three grunts and three keeper lane snapper. They released a bunch of squirrel-fish, three triggerfish (out-of-season), five red grouper shorts, and a 3-foot blacknose shark. The spot where we caught the lanes might have been good for more of those, had the dolphins not decided to invade our fishing grounds! Everything bit on cut-bait and squid.

The bite was not much better when I returned offshore on Friday, 7/5. I fished with Peter and Christina Halunen, their son, Clayton, and Clayton's girlfriend, Isabella. We only ventured out 17 miles from New Pass because seas were a little choppy and there was a visible threat of rain coming from further offshore. Using squid and cut-bait, the group caught and released three lane snapper shorts and three mangrove snapper shorts. We also a reeled in and released a live squid, which had grabbed a piece of cut-bait. Fishing offshore about a week ago, I was encouraged by the improved action and variety of catches, but recent trips have not yielded those results. Fishing action cycles, as all anglers know, and water temps are extremely warm right now.

Jake Heft and five of his friends fished 19 miles west of New Pass with me on Monday, 7/15, using cut-bait and squid. The guys boxed a 14-inch whiting, a 14-inch silver trout, four keeper lane snapper, and a 14-inch grunt. They released eight red grouper shorts and a 4-foot blacknose shark.

Ken Harrison, Jeff Norton, Rich Flaherty, and John Lovezzola fished the backwaters of southern Estero Bay with me on Saturday, 7/20, and had very good success using live shrimp for bait. The guys caught three keeper black drum at 15 inches, 16 inches, and 19 inches, released three redfish (due to a moratorium on harvesting reds) that included two at 18 inches and one at nearly 22 inches, two keeper sheepshead at 13 inches, a sand bream, and three keeper mangrove snapper to 12 inches.

Thursday morning, 8/1, I fished southern Estero Bay's backwaters with the Thompson family: Brian and Cynthia and their son and daughter-in-law, Tristen and Kristen. They fished a catch-and-release trip, using live shrimp, and caught a nice variety. They released a 21-inch redfish, two black drum at 15 inches and 19 inches (see photo), six sheepshead to 12 inches, a sand bream, and a 17-inch snook.

Click to Enlarge Photo

Friday, 8/9, I fished 18 miles west of New Pass with Craig baker and three of his friends. The guys used cut-bait and squid to catch four mangrove snapper, including one keeper and six keeper lane snapper. They released a dozen juvenile red snapper and a pair of 12-inch triggerfish. We spotted two cobias, but they weren't the least bit interested in our bait.

You can view our fishing action videos at http://fishbustercharters.com/fishingvideos.html

Bonita Beach Fishing Forecast:

Rain chances are predicted to be lower for the next few days, and winds relatively calm, so fishing should be good, both offshore and inshore. Remember to hydrate--it is super hot!

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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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