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Blue Water Stories Thread, SW FL-Bonita Beach Offshore: Shark, Snapper, Grouper, Porgies, Cobia in TribeNwater Fishing Stories; Normal 0 false false false oNotPromoteQF/> EN-US X-NONE X-NONE ontGrowAutofit/> ontFlipMirrorIndents/> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; ...
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Old 02-05-2018, 09:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Bonita Beach, FL, United States
Posts: 349
Shark SW FL-Bonita Beach Offshore: Shark, Snapper, Grouper, Porgies, Cobia

After a few days of cold temperatures, high winds, and rough seas, causing me to cancel a couple of trips, Saturday, 1/20/18, was finally calm enough to get offshore. I fished in spots from 18 to 28 miles west of New Pass with Joe Hahn and his friends, Bob, Mike, David, and George. The guys used cut-bait and squid to catch and release a bluefish, twenty-some red grouper shorts to 18 inches, as well as five sharks, consisting of four blacktips and one sharpnose, all of which were around the 40-inch mark. We also had a huge shark (variety unknown) grab a piece of cut-bait, run, and break off, exploding the water around us. As for dinner, the guys boxed eighteen keeper lane snapper.

Monday morning, 1/22, I fished 22 miles west of New Pass with Frank Dwyer and his son-in-law, Ryan. The guys used cut-bait and squid to catch and release twenty-six red grouper shorts, and to cull ten keeper lane snapper to 13 inches, along with a half-dozen 13 to 14-inch grunts.

Tuesday morning, 1/23, I headed out in a light drizzle with Drew VanWerden and his two young sons. Seas were calm, and we headed out 22 miles, but the rain persisted, at one point turning into a heavy shower. We had enough wet-weather gear to keep us dry, and the boys didnít mind fishing in the rain and in the fog that followed. They used squid and cut-bait to catch and release a 17-inch cobia, twenty-one red grouper shorts to 18 inches, and lots of grunts to 12 inches. The lane snapper were biting well, and the guys caught twenty-seven keeper lanes to 13-inches.

Winds picked up ahead of another cool front moving into the area, and that produced some choppy sea conditions on Wednesday, 1/24. But, long-time customers and hardy father-son anglers Larry and Chris Baumgartner werenít intimidated! They fished 22 miles west of New Pass with me in a stiff 20-to-25 knot wind most of the morning, and used squid and cut-bait to catch a variety of fish. They lost one big grouper that swam to the bottom and cut the line, and they released red grouper shorts, an 18-inch gag grouper, and a 14-inch scamp grouper. They also caught five mangrove snapper, three of which were keepers ranging 13 inches to 15 inches. They caught over twenty grunts, and boxed a few of the largest of those, along with four porgies in the 13-to-14-inch range.

The next couple of days were too rough to fish offshore, and I fished the backwaters instead. Details of all my inshore trips, along with a pic, can be viewed in my inshore forum's report.

Monday, 1/29, I awoke to light rain and fog, with another cold front expected to arrive over-night and into Tuesday. Seas were choppy first thing in the morning, and it remained misty after the fog lifted, but seas calmed a little by mid-morning. I began fishing at the near-shore reefs with Lee Larsens and his friends, Carey, Jerry, and Rick, but there was very little action there. So, as seas calmed down a bit, we ventured out further to about fifteen miles offshore. Fishing was tough everywhere, and I canít recall the last time I saw such slow action at several of my typically productive spots. The guys used squid and cut-bait to catch and release two whitings, a few blue runners, one red grouper short, and a few grunts.

With small craft advisories issued for Tuesday, 1/30, and predictions for seas of four-to-six feet, I canceled my planned offshore trip, which had already been rescheduled from the previous weekís rough weather!

By Thursday, 2/1, seas were finally calm enough to get out about 23 miles west of New Pass, where I fished with frequent customers, Ron Musick, Richard Arnett, and Eddie Alfonso. There were tons of little bait fish everywhere, and lots of undersized fish biting, but the guys were able to box some food-fish, consisting of three keeper lane snapper, a 13-inch mangrove snapper, two porgies, and a few nice-sized grunts. They released twenty-plus red grouper shorts and four mangrove snapper shorts. Everything bit on squid and cut-bait.

Friday morning, 2/2, seas were calm when I fished a catch-and-release trip 19 miles west of New Pass with William Connors, Mike Connors, and friends Dan, Mark, and Pat. The guys used squid and cut bait to catch and release twenty-four red grouper shorts, a mess of grunts, and mangrove snapper to 16 inches. The photo shown is of Mike Connors with a 16-inch mangrove snapper, caught on squid on his offshore trip 2/2/18.





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