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Quarterly Fishing Report

Capt. Dave Hanson
November 30, 2021
Bonita Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report

Amy Charlson treated her sons and their friends to a near-shore, catch-and-release excursion on Tuesday morning, 8/3. It was rough going out to the near-shore reefs, about five miles off Bonita Beach, with numerous showers in the area. The boys used cut-bait and squid to catch and release eighteen grunts to 14 inches and four red grouper shorts.

Andy Wawrzyniak and his fiancé, Daria McCracken, fished a catch-and-release trip in southern Estero Bay on Friday morning, 8/13. The couple released eighteen mangrove snapper. We spotted several snook, but they were being finicky, not biting on shrimp, nor shiners.

Jeriah and Amory Whitcraft fished 19 miles west of New Pass on Monday morning, 8/23. They used squid and cut-bait to catch a large number and variety of fish. The couple released six red grouper shorts to 19 inches, a 16-inch gag grouper, seven yellowtail snapper shorts, a 13-inch rudderfish, two triggerfish shorts at 12 inches and 14 inches, a 25-inch ladyfish, and a 13-inch grouper that was either a strawberry grouper or a speckled hind. They caught twenty grunts of which they elected to keep six, and also boxed a 25-inch Spanish mackerel and six keeper lane snapper.

Peter Halunen and his son, Clayton, fished 21 miles west of New Pass with me on Thursday, 9/30. Seas were rough, as the winds had picked up over-night and throughout the morning, but the guys did well, using squid and cut-bait. They boxed seven keeper lane snapper and nine grunts. They released six red grouper shorts, two blue runners, a 13-inch triggerfish, and a 30-pound goliath grouper.

Jim Madsen and his cousin, Bill DeWitt, fished southern Estero Bay's backwaters with me on Friday, 10/1, where they used live shrimp to catch fourteen mangrove snapper, including two keepers at 12 inches each. They released three sheepshead to 11 ½ inches, a 14-inch crevalle jack, and a 15-inch snook.

Josh Krentzman and his three young sons fished at the near-shore reefs off Bonita Beach with me on Friday morning, 10/8. The boys, ten-year-old Henry, seven-year-old Sam, and five-year-old Alex, used live shrimp to catch a variety of fish. The family released fifteen mangrove snapper shorts to 11 ¾ inches, three lane snapper shorts, several blue runners, and four porkfish to 11 inches, along with one red grouper short. They boxed eleven of twenty-five grunts to 13 inches. The barracuda were abundant at the reefs, and bit off potential catches of sheepshead, mangrove snapper, and grunts. One of those ‘cudas also got hooked and released, and the boys got to see that 28-incher up close.

Michael and Teresa Humm fished southern Estero Bay's backwaters with me on Saturday morning, 10/9. They used live shrimp to catch a dozen mangrove snapper, including two 11-inch keepers. They added a 13-inch sheepshead to the box. We got broken off by a big snook before we could get him to the boat for a photo, and we released a 16-inch baby snook.

Chris McClean and Joe Krusinski fished southern Estero Bay's backwaters with me on Monday morning, 10/11. They used live shrimp to catch nine mangrove snapper, including three keepers. They caught thirteen sheepshead, including one 15-inch keeper. They released a 17-inch snook.

Gregory Craig, his fourteen-year-old grandson, Tyberias, and family friend, Steve, traded in their offshore plans to fish southern Estero Bay's backwaters on Monday morning, 10/18. A cool front that moved through the area Sunday evening brought high winds and rough seas to the gulf, so inshore was our best bet. The guys used live shrimp to catch eight sheepshead, including three keepers at 13 to 14 inches. They also caught ten mangrove snapper, including four keepers, all of which were about 12 inches. They released a redfish short, along with two small mutton snappers.

Mike and Bethany Lischer and their two young children, Michael and Abagail, fished southern Estero Bay's backwaters on Tuesday morning. They used live shrimp to catch sixteen sheepshead, including four keepers that ranged from 14 inches to 17 inches. They also released a small permit.

Two father-son teams, Jerome and Caden Adams and Brad and Matthew Zaun, fished the reefs off Bonita Beach on a near-shore Fishbuster Charter Friday morning, 10/22. We used a combination of baits, including shrimp, squid, cut-bait and baitfish. The guys boxed a dozen grunts that measured 12 to 14 inches, and released twelve smaller ones. They added a keeper porgy to the box. Releases included a shark that cut the line boatside, two blue runners, two small porkfish, and a 44-inch barracuda that made Caden's day!

Jeff Johnson, Cathy Balas, and Cathy's son, Don Balas, fished southern Estero Bay's backwaters with me on Tuesday morning, 11/9. They used live shrimp to catch nine sheepshead, including five keepers in the 14-to-15-inch range.

Long-time customer, Mike Connealy, and his brother, Paul, fished 30 miles west of New Pass with me on Friday morning, 11/12. It was drizzly part of our time offshore, but seas were calm and fishing was good. Unfortunately, current regulations prohibit keeping much of what we caught, but we still managed to box some legal food-fish. Those included a dozen grunts and three porgies. The reluctant releases were five would-be –keeper red grouper to 23 inches, along with twenty-one short red grouper, as well as a dozen would-be-keeper lane snapper to 16 inches. We used squid for the snapper, grunts and porgies, and bait-fish for the grouper.

Mike Connealy fished with me again on Tuesday morning, 11/16, this time in southern Estero Bay's backwaters, where we used live shrimp to catch four keeper sheepshead that were all around 14 inches and a brace of 16-inch seatrout.

Richard Sheff fished in southern Estero Bay with me on Wednesday morning, 11/17. He used shrimp to catch eight sheepshead, including two keepers at 16 inches and 17 inches. He released a crevalle jack and two small permit.

Jessica List treated her seven-year-old son, David, to an inshore fishing trip on Saturday morning, 11/20. They used shrimp in southern Estero Bay to catch and release fourteen sheepshead shorts and an 11-inch sand bream. They boxed a couple of 11-inch mangrove snapper.

James Fares fished a catch-and-release trip in southern Estero Bay's backwaters on Monday, 11/22. He used live shrimp to release fourteen sheepshead to 14 inches, a 12-inch mangrove snapper, a 12-inch permit, two crevalle jacks, and a pufferfish.

Jeff Polkinghorne fished the backwaters of southern Estero Bay on Wednesday morning, 11/24. He used live shrimp to catch nineteen sheepshead, including four keepers ranging from 13 inches to 16 inches. He released a brace of 16-inch snook and an 18-inch redfish.

Erwin and Millie Matusiak fished the backwaters of southern Estero Bay Tuesday morning, 11/30. The couple used live shrimp to catch and box a 16-inch seatrout, a 15-inch sheepshead, and six keeper mangrove snapper between 11 and 12 inches.
You can view our fishing action videos at http://fishbustercharters.com/fishingvideos.html

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Bonita Beach Fishing Forecast:

Trout, redfish, and sheepshead are good bets in the bay on favorable tides, along with some keeper mangrove snapper. Redfish and snook must be released. Off shore offers a good variety of food fish, and seas should be calm for most of this week.

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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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