SW FL-Bonita Beach: Fishing Awesome Offshore!
<p>Tuesday morning, 7/30/13, I headed 22 miles off Naples with Brian Ritter and his daughter, Danni, joined by their friends Bill Sands and his daughter, Alissa. We used live shrimp to catch twenty keeper lane snapper along with one keeper yellowtail snapper at 14 inches. Danni used a pinfish to land a keeper red grouper at 24 inches. The group released lots of red grouper shorts and triggerfish shorts.
Wednesday morning, 7/31, Jeramie Sollman and his two sons, Tyler, age eleven, and Mitchell, age thirteen, fished a catch-and-release-trip with me at offshore spots ranging 17 to 22 miles off Naples, in depths of 36 to 45 feet. The trio caught two hogfish to 14 inches, ten mangrove snapper to 13 inches, thirty lane snapper to 14 inches, yellowtail shorts, seven 11-12-inch porgies, one gag grouper short at 18 inches, and a half dozen red grouper shorts to 19 ½ inches. They used shrimp for everything, except for the larger red grouper, which bit pinfish.
Carl and Christine Vellenga and seven-year-old son, Jake, fished about 13 miles west of New Pass with me on Thursday morning, 8/1. Seas weren't as calm as they had been earlier in the week, so we didn't venture too far offshore. The family used live shrimp to catch three Spanish mackerel to 24 inches and a 13-inch whitebone porgy. They released seven red grouper shorts to 17 inches and a 12-inch hogfish.
Saturday, 8/3, I had a great day of fishing with Dr. Alejandro Miranda Sousa, his parents, Raul and Carmen, Dr. Victor Luna, and Dr. Meir Daller and young son, Brenden. We fished 28 miles west of New Pass, using live shrimp for all our catches, except for the groupers, which bit pinfish. The group caught six keeper red grouper, one measuring 21 inches, one at 23 1/2 inches, two at 24 inches, one at 26 1/2 inches, and one at 28 inches. They released twenty smaller red grouper to 19 7/8 inches. Added to the fish box were three 13-inch yellowtail snapper, two 13-inch mangrove snapper, a half-dozen whitebone porgies to 15 inches, , four 12-inch grunts, and ten 11-inch lane snapper out of the twenty-five keeper-sized lanes caught. Carmen battled a 4-foot sharp-nose shark, which she victoriously posed with, then released!
Tuesday, 8/6, I fished 26 miles west of New Pass with Douglass Crane, son-in-law, Tony Abrantes, and Tony's ten-year-old son, Tonito Abrantes. The trio used grunts to land four keeper red grouper, one at 21 inches, two at 24 inches, and one at 28 inches. They used live shrimp to catch two keeper lane snapper at 12 inches and 14 inches, three keeper mangrove snapper to 13 inches, and six whitebone porgies to 14 inches. They released lots of red grouper and lane snapper shorts, along with a bonnethead shark.
Seas were a little rougher than they have been on Thursday, 8/8, when I headed out to fish with A.J. Laprete, his young son, Joe Laprete, Joe's friend, Paul Schnadig, and family friend, Joe Bianco. We fished near-shore in 30 feet, due to 15 knot winds and rougher seas further offshore. The group used live shrimp to catch a 17-inch hogfish, eight whitebone porgies, three porkfish, and a triggerfish. They released a dozen red grouper shorts and fifteen mangrove snapper shorts.
Dave Carey, daughter Brianna Carey, and Brianna's boyfriend, Patrick Legge, fished in central Estero Bay with me on Friday morning. The trio used live shrimp to catch three sheepshead, including two keepers at 13 inches and 18 inches, a 14-inch black drum, and six keeper mangrove snapper, along with a 20-inch redfish.
Saturday, Carlos and Jennifer Cavernego had hoped to fish for a full day offshore for grouper. But the winds picked up, starting on Friday, and the seas that were predicted to be about two feet were actually four feet (plus) just 18 miles offshore. So we didn't venture further than that, and we cut the trip down to a half-day. The morning was productive, despite the rough conditions. The couple used live shrimp to catch fifteen keeper lane snappers, two keeper yellowtail snapper (13 inches) a 14-inch whitebone porgy, and a 24-inch Spanish mackerel.
The photo shown is of angler Raul Sousa, with a 28-inch red grouper, one of six keeper red grouper caught on bait-fish on a recent offshore trip.
You can check out all of our shark and goliath grouper action videos at the following link:
28-inch red grouper
About The Author: Captain Dave Hanson
Company: Fish Buster Charters
Area Reporting: Bonita Beach
Bio: Captain Dave Hanson is a native of southwest Florida. He has been fishing local waters since childhood, and has been fishing professionally for over fifteen years. He is Coast Guard licensed, and is a member in good standing of the Bonita Springs Chamber of Commerce. He has been featured in several national fishing magazines, and he also appears weekly in the fishing reports sections of the Bonita, Ft. Myers, Ft. Myers Beach, and Naples, FL newspapers.