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SW FL-Bonita beach: Snapper bite is hot; red tide is a bumme

East Cape to Englewood

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SW FL-Bonita beach: Snapper bite is hot; red tide is a bumme

Postby fishbuster » Sat Apr 28, 2018 12:47 pm

:toast: Red tide has been lurking around our area for weeks now, but had not impacted fishing until this week--Fishing offshore is still great, when seas are calm enough. But bay fishing right now is pretty much off the table until this red tide dissipates.

We have been in a windy pattern for a good while around here, but seas were only supposed to be two-to-three feet on Thursday, 4/12, when I headed offshore with frequent fishers, Ron Musick, Eddie Alfonso, and Richard Arnett. The actual seas were three to four and a half feet most of the day, though it calmed down nicely in the late afternoon. The guys used cut bait and squid in spots ranging from 12 miles to 22 miles west of New Pass to catch sixteen lane snapper, including six keepers, along with a mess of grunts. They released a dozen red grouper shorts to 19 inches, along with a 13-inch triggerfish. The highlight of the day was when a 10-foot tiger shark bit on a blue runner, and ran Eddie around the boat to the point of exhaustion, before finally breaking the line!

Saturday morning, 4/14, seas were still choppy, so a near-shore trip sounded best for Ted and Marla Bachrach and their young daughter Kate, along with Jeff High and his young son, Sebastian. We fished about 12 miles west of New Pass, using cut-bait and squid. The group loaded up on grunts, boxing eighteen of those to 12 inches. Marla was lucky enough to catch a nice, 18-inch flounder to add to the box. The group released a few squirrelfish. They also got to see a tiger shark, estimated at about eight feet long—It bit a small grouper that was being reeled in, but light tackle was no match for that big boy! We tried hooking a blue runner on a heavy pole, but the tiger shark showed no interest in that, choosing to attack the small grouper we were reeling up instead. He finally broke the line and headed out. The kids also got to see some leaping dolphin, so they were happy with the fishing and the sightseeing. The photo shown below is of Marla Bachrach with the 18-inch flounder she caught.


Seas finally calmed sown after a few days of small craft advisories and cancelled trips, and I fished in spots 22 to 24 miles west of New Pass on Wednesday, 4/18, with Brad Cornell and Tony Stincon. The lane snapper bite was on, and the guys used squid and cut-bait to catch 40-some keeper-sized lanes, but released about ten of those, since they had no need for that many fish. They also released twenty-two red grouper shorts to 18 inches, a 20-inch gag grouper, and one true black grouper. They also battled and released a 40-inch blacknose shark.

The lane snapper were still biting well on Thursday, 4/19, when I fished 22 miles west of New Pass with John Abernathy and his son, Ryan. They boxed two dozen lanes to 14 inches, which bit on squid and cut-bait. They released several red grouper shorts and blue runners.

On Friday, 4/21, John and Ryan Abernathy brought Ryan’s sister, Becky along to fish a catch-and-release trip in the backwaters of southern Estero Bay. The tide was going out all morning, and there was a good bit of red tide in the Wiggins Pass area. The family used live shrimp to catch and release two crevalle jacks, each about 3 pounds, along with a black drum and three sheepshead.

After a few days off the water, as busy season winds down, I fished offshore 22 miles from New Pass on Tuesday, 4/24, with Roy Mittman and Scott Fritz. Using squid and cut-bait, the guys boxed nineteen keeper lane snapper to 16 inches, and released fifteen red grouper shorts.

Ron Musick, Eddie Alfonso, and friends Michael, Lou, and Lou’s dad, Bill, fished 35 miles west of New Pass with me on a nice, calm day, Thursday, 4/26. The guys caught a cooler full of snapper, using squid for bait. They boxed forty+ lane snapper keepers, fifteen vermillion snapper keepers, five yellowtail snapper keepers that were all around 13 inches, and one 13-inch mangrove snapper keeper. They added a half dozen nice- sized grunts to the box, all around 14 inches. They also released thirty-some red grouper shorts, and Eddie battled and released an 8-foot sandbar shark.

The photo shown is of Larry Pflederer with a 17-inch sheepshead, caught on shrimp in Estero Bay on a recent inshore Fishbuster Charter.


You can view our fishing action videos at http://fishbustercharters.com/fishing%20videos.html
Captain Dave Hanson
Fishbuster Charters, Inc.
Bonita Beach, FL
(239) 947-1688
[email protected]
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