SW FL-Bonita Beach: Grouper, Snapper & Sharks
Capt. Dave Hanson
June 16, 2014
Bonita Beach - Saltwater Fishing Report
Tuesday, 5/27, I headed offshore to fish 25 miles west of New Pass with Conrad and Ellie Cherry, their son, Kevin, and Kevin's young daughter, Katie. We used pinfish for grouper, and the group caught and released twenty five of those, three of which were short of legal size by just ¼ inch. Using live shrimp, we caught a mess of keeper lane snapper—twenty of those to 13 inches, along with a 13-inch mangrove snapper and a few grunts to 14 inches. The group also released two 30-inch sharp-nose sharks and an 8-foot nurse shark, which was pretty exciting and exhausting!
Wednesday morning, 5/28, I fished near-shore, about eleven miles west of New Pass with Patrick and Natalie Smith, son Andrew, daughter Chelsea, and friend Kyle. The group had some fun with sharks, catching and releasing an approximate 200-pound nurse shark, a 4-foot sandbar shark, and a 3-foot sharp-nose shark. They also boxed a 21-inch red grouper, eight grunts, and a couple of keeper lane snapper. They released lots of red grouper and lane snapper shorts, along with ladyfish and crevalle jack.
Gene Crottle and nephews Zach, Sammy, Austin and Nicco fished with me Thursday morning, 5/29, just ahead of the storms that rolled in that afternoon. Unfortunately, the spot I had in mind to fish was already blanketed with thunderstorms, so we ended up fishing about 19 miles west of New Pass. The guys used live shrimp to catch twenty-two porgies to 13 inches and seven grunts. They released yellowtail snapper shorts, smaller porgies and lots of red grouper shorts, along with a 35-inch sandbar shark and a 30-inch sharp-nose shark.
I was off the water for several days, with family visiting for my grandson's graduation. After that event, we had a few days of rainy conditions, followed by the typical June lull, between our seasonal residents heading back north and our family vacationers arriving.
Paul and Debbie Szeplenski, twelve-year-old son Ryan, and ten-year-old daughter, Evie, fished 12 miles from shore with me on Tuesday morning, 6/10. The group used live shrimp to catch and release three sharp-nose sharks and two sandbar sharks, all of which measured just over three-foot. They released a couple of short mangrove snapper. They also released fifteen red grouper shorts, but landed a keeper red grouper also, at 20 ½ inches. That one bit a pinfish. They added to the fish box five keeper lane snapper and a few grunts.
Saturday, 6/14, I fished in spots between 20 and 29 miles offshore with long-time customer, Paul McConnell, his son Andrew, and friend, Ron. The guys caught three keeper red grouper at 21 inches, 24 inches and 26 inches, all on pinfish. They also caught twenty-five red grouper shorts on shrimp, and released those along with fifteen yellowtail snapper shorts, a couple of mangrove snapper shorts, grunts, and a 30-inch sharp-nose shark. The group also caught twenty-five keeper-sized lane snapper, but chose to release all but a dozen of those, as they already had plenty of fish in the box.
The photo shown is of angler, Hans Fox with a 28-inch red grouper, one of two limits of red grouper caught on pinfish that day, on a recent offshore trip.
You can check out all of our shark and goliath grouper action videos at the following link.
Bonita Beach Fishing Forecast:
Seas look pretty calm and winds pretty light for the next several days. Just look out for intense heat and afternoon thunderstorms.
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