SW FL-Bonita Beach: rain, rain, go away--got some snapper anyway
Monday morning, 7/20, I headed offshore, 22 miles west of New Pass, with Patrick and Jessica Goodman and friends Ally Janson and Blake Cissell. The group used live shrimp and bait-fish to catch a nice variety of fish, including twenty-five red grouper shorts to 19 inches, which we released, along with a short yellowtail snapper and seven mangrove snapper shorts to 11 ˝ inches. As for keepers, we boxed a 14-inch yellowtail snapper, a 15-inch porgy, six keeper lane snapper, a dozen grunts, and a nice, 17-inch hogfish.
Thursday morning, 7/23, Jeff Blanton and his son, Joel, fished Estero Bay's shoreline by the water tower with me. The guys used live shrimp to catch seven keeper mangrove snapper to 11 ˝ inches and one 15-inch permit.
Friday, 7/24, through Monday, 7/27 were complete wash-outs, as a low pressure system stalled over our area, producing lots of rain, heavy thunderstorms an rough conditions. I had planned to fish twice over those days, but had to cancel both trips.
Wednesday morning, 7/29, we were still dodging a few scattered showers, when I fished in Estero Bay's backwaters, north of Broadway Channel, with Bill Parks, son, Eric, and seven-year-old granddaughter, Olivia. The family had a good time using live shrimp top catch twenty mangrove snapper, including five keepers to 11 inches.
Thursday morning brought more AM-rains, some in the form of heavy squalls, and the offshore trip planned for that day rescheduled for the following week.
On Friday, 7/31, we finished out the month with some drier conditions, but with heavy surf and rip currents, and conditions not safe or pleasant for heading offshore with the family of six that had planned to go. We cancelled that trip also.
The photo shown is of angler Ally Jansen, with a 17-inch hogfish, caught on shrimp on a recent offshore trip.
You can check out all of our shark and goliath grouper action videos at the following link.
17-inch hogfish, on shrimp
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.