It’s slow season here in SW FL, and also rainy season, so fishing trips are less frequent, but still productive for gamfish and food fish.
On Tuesday morning, 6/5, I fished the backwaters of southern Estero Bay with Rick and Patty Mason. They used live shrimp to catch four keeper mangrove snappers and released eight short mangs. Patty also released a 24-inch crevalle jack, and got broken off a couple of times by larger fish.
Friday morning, 6/8, I fished with brothers Ashton and Noah Lockhart and their friend, Joey Beech, in southern Estero Bay. The guys used live shrimp to box a 22-inch redfish, a 14-inch sheepshead, and a keeper mangrove snapper. They released a few short mangs and a 16-inch crevalle jack.
Photo: Joey Beech with a 22-inch redfish.
Logan and Keely Foley fished offshore with me, 22 miles west of New Pass, on Sunday, 6/10. The couple used cut-bait and squid to catch a dozen keeper lane snapper to 13 inches. They released two mangrove snapper shorts, twenty-six red grouper shorts to 18 inches, and ten sharpnose sharks, all 35 to 40 inches long.
Peter Halunen and son, Clayton, fished 24 miles west of New Pass with me on Monday morning, 6/11. We had to head out a couple miles further to get away from the abundant, fish-stealing sharpnose sharks! We used cut-bait and squid to catch and release ten of those, all between 35 and 40 inches long. The guys also released over thirty red grouper shorts to 18 inches, along with one short mangrove snapper. They were able to load the fish box with fifteen lane snapper and a few grunts, and released six additional lanes that were short of keeper size.
Gregg Runge and his son, Jacob, fished in spots ranging from 25 to 36 miles west of New Pass with me on Wednesday, 6/13. The guys wrestled and released a 9-foot sandbar shark that bit on a blue runner. They also caught and released a few more blue runners, including one big one at 4 pounds. A nice king mackerel followed that, at 29 inches. Red grouper were biting well, but all were short of keeper size, so we released about thirty of those, which bit on cut-bait and squid. The guys caught a dozen yellowtail snapper, including one 14-inch keeper. They added to the fish box eight keeper vermillion snapper and fifteen keeper lane snapper to 15 inches. They released twenty additional lanes that were smaller keepers since they had no need for that many fish. They also boxed eight of the eleven porgies they caught.
Photo: Jacob Runge with a 29-inch kingfish.
Mike and Sheryl Polite, joined by their daughter and son-in-law, Anna and Brady Marburger, fished is southern Estero Bays backwaters with me on Thursday morning, 6/21. The family used live and frozen shrimp to box three keeper sheepshead to 16 inches, along with two keeper mangrove snapper, out of twenty snappers that bit. They released 16-inch crevalle jack and an 18-inch snook.
The next time I got out fishing was on Tuesday, 6/26, with Mike Piascik and his two sons, John and Chris. We fished in spots 18 to 22 miles west of New Pass, using squid and cut-bait. The guys boxed fourteen keeper lane snapper to 14 inches, along with a dozen good-sized grunts. They released fifteen red grouper shorts to 17 inches, and battled two sharpnose sharks and a big sandbar shark.
On Wednesday morning, 6/27, I fished offshore, 20 miles west of New Pass with Alan Chud and Nigel Hollidge. The guys used cut-bait and squid to catch and release fifteen red grouper shorts to 18 inches. They also got into some Spanish mackerel, and boxed seven of those, all around 24 inches long. They added to the box ten keeper lane snapper to 12inches, and released eight additional lanes that they had no need for.
Saturday morning, 6/30, I fished offshore with Sherri Kemp, her son, Lane, and his girlfriend, Haley. We started out fishing about 18 miles west of New Pass, but the dolphin showed up to compete with us for fish, so we moved out to 22 miles, where the family used cut-bait and squid to box twenty keeper lane snapper. They also released fifteen red grouper shorts to 19 inches.
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