SSW FL-Bonita Beach: Offshore Great for grouper, Snapper, Shark & More
<p>Ryan Hall, Matt Hoffman, Greg Wetzel, and Tom Brackmann headed 25 miles offshore with me on Monday, 6/8, hoping to catch some grouper. The guys did well, catching twenty-eight red grouper in all, three of which were keepers at 24 inches each. Those larger grouper bit on bait-fish, while live shrimp lured some smaller ones, along with grunts, porgies, lane snapper and yellowtail snapper. The guys added one nice-sized lane to the fish box, and released the rest, along with two 40-inch sharp-nose sharks.
Tuesday, 6/9, Adam Bennett and son, Max, fished offshore with me in spots ranging from 23 to 29 miles west of New Pass. We used bait-fish to catch three keeper red grouper that were all around 21 inches, and a slightly smaller keeper at 20 ˝ inches bit on a live shrimp. In addition to the four keepers, the guys caught thirty red grouper shorts, which they released. They added a dozen keeper lane snapper to the fish box. They released a 30-inch sharp-nose shark, two goliath grouper, one about 25 pounds and one just under 200 pounds, as well as a 15-inch triggerfish, fifteen yellowtail snapper shorts, ten mangrove snapper shorts, and a few grunts.
Seas were rougher than predicted Saturday morning, 6/13, when I headed out with Joe Hogue, his son Adam, and son-in-law, Dave. We braved the seas to get out twenty miles from New Pass. The guys caught a 23-inch, keeper red grouper on a baitfish, and released twenty-five red grouper shorts. Using shrimp, they added a few more fish to the box, including eight 15-inch porgies, a dozen keeper lane snapper to 12 inches, nine 11-13-inch grunts, and a nice hogfish at 18 inches.
David and Susan James and their son, Matthew, and daughter, Katerina, fished offshore with me Tuesday, 6/16, in spots ranging from 12 to 20 miles west of New Pass. The family caught three keeper red grouper, including a brace of 20 1/2-inch and one 22 inch. They released twenty additional red grouper to 18 inches, along with some grunts, yellowtail snapper and mangrove snapper shorts. They also boxed ten keeper lane snapper, and released five lane shorts. The larger red grouper bit on baitfish, while everything else was caught on live shrimp.
Brian and Julie Clark, who have fished with me several times, were joined by their friends Arthur and Dana Ashby for an offshore trip on Wednesday, 6/17. We fished in various spots out to 25 miles west of New Pass, and the group had a few fun sport-fishing experiences, along with catching a good variety of table-fare. A 24-inch red grouper keeper that bit on a pinfish went into the fish box, along with shrimp-eaters that included a 13-inch mangrove snapper, a dozen lane snapper keepers to 12 inches, two porgies 13 and 14 inches, two porkfish keepers, and a dozen 12-inch grunts. We released twenty-five red grouper shorts, a few yellowtail snapper shorts, and two triggerfish to 15 inches. As for big game, the group battled and released three sharpnose sharks, all about 35 inches, as well as a 40-pound goliath grouper.
Thomas Kane and fiancé Monica Alarcon, joined by Thomas's son Edward, Thomas's brother and sister-in-law, Kevin and Kim Palmer, and their daughter, Morgan, fished all day with me on Thursday, 6/18, in spots ranging from 20 to 29 miles west of New Pass. The group had a great time catching a variety of sport-fish and food-fish. One keeper red grouper at just under 24 inches bit on a pinfish, and made it into the fish box, joined by a 13-inch mangrove snapper, a 13-inch yellowtail snapper, and two dozen lane snapper to 14 inches that all bit live shrimp. The group battled and released ten sharpnose sharks and one bonnethead shark, all between 38 and 45 inches long. They also released thirty red grouper shorts, a few mangrove and yellowtail snapper shorts, and a few grunts to 13 inches.
Peter Halunen and his son, Clayton, fished calm seas 22 miles west of New Pass with me on Saturday morning, 6/20. Using live shrimp, the guys caught a 21-inch keeper red grouper and nineteen nice lane keepers to 17 ˝ inches, with four of those being in the 17-inch range and another half dozen in the 15 inch range, They caught and released a 40-inch blacknose shark, along with lots of red grouper shorts and mangrove, lane and yellowtail snapper shorts.
The photo shown is of angler, Peter Halunen with a 17 ˝-inch lane snapper, caught on shrimp Saturday.
You can check out all of our shark and goliath grouper action videos at the following link.
17 1/2-inch lane snapper
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.