SW FL-Bonita Beach-Super-Snook Bites Two Hooks

2015-07-18 14:06:12
Bonita Beach, Florida - Saltwater Fishing Report
Estero Bay flats and west of New Pass to 30 miles, gulf

Joe George and his two sons, Eric and Brad, fished 23 miles west of New Pass with me on Monday morning, 7/6. The catch-of-the-morning was a 27-inch red grouper, which bit a baitfish. The guys also caught a dozen keeper-sized lane snapper, which they chose to release, along with yellowtail and mangrove snapper shorts and eight red grouper shorts.

Wednesday morning's tide in the backwaters wasn't optimal, when I fished in lower Hickory Bay, Fish Trap Bay, and central Estero Bay with John and Dauma Glennon, but the couple did catch a 14-inch permit to keep, along with a 12-inch keeper mangrove snapper, on shrimp. They released a dozen mangrove snapper shorts, along with three stingray.

Thursday morning, 7/9, though NOAA had predicted seas less than two feet, it was a little sloppy heading offshore, probably due to the strong thunderstorms of the previous night. So, I stayed 10-12 miles from shore with Jack Carey, his fourteen-year-old grandson, Jack, and Jack's fourteen-year-old friend, Beck. The boys used live shrimp to catch and release red grouper shorts and grunts. As for keepers, they landed fourteen lane snapper to 13 inches, and planned to have those for dinner.

Larry Jack, who usually fishes with me a couple days each summer, was joined by friend, Ernie Morrison on Monday morning, 7/13, when we fished the east wall of Estero Bay. I netted a bunch of whitebaits on the way out, and we caught everything on those. The guys caught two limits of keeper mangrove snapper to 12 inches. They released two crevalle jacks, each about two pounds, along with a redfish short. They both got a chance to catch and release the same big snook—first it bit Ernie's bait, ran with that, then bit Larry's bait, and both hooks in its mouth! It was a fun battle for both guys, over slot at 39 inches, and out of season anyway.

Larry and Ernie had planned to fish offshore with me on Tuesday, but with scattered storms across the gulf, they decided to do another morning in the backwaters. They used shrimp and whitebaits to fish lower Hickory Bay, where they caught a keeper mangrove snapper, released a few short mangs, and caught two redfish to 18 ˝ inches.

Wednesday morning, 7/15, Dennis Blais and friends fished offshore with me. NOAA had predicted two-foot seas, but there were a lot of storms over the gulf, kicking up seas and making for pretty rough conditions. We managed to get out only about seven miles, and came in just a bit early, due to rain. But the group brought home a mess of keeper mangrove snapper to 15 inches and grunts, which bit live shrimp. They released five red grouper shorts.

After a night of heavy thunderstorms, Thursday morning, 7/16, the rains quit in our area around 8AM, and I headed out shortly afterwards to fish Estero Bay's backwaters with Mark and Pam Solloway and their two sons, Jared and Shane. The family used live shrimp to catch ten keeper mangrove snapper to 11 inches.

The photo shown is of anglers Larry Jack and Ernie Morrison, with a 39-inch snook, caught on a whitebait and released in Estero Bay on a recent inshore trip. This snook bit Ernie's hook first, ran with it, then came back and bit Larry's bait, so they both caught the same fish!

You can check out all of our shark and goliath grouper action videos at the following link.


Fish Species: grouper, snapper, shark, goliaths, mackerel, permit,redfish, sheepshead, snook
Bait Used: live shrimp & bait-fish
Tackle Used: spinning
Method Used: bottom fishing
Water Depth: 1-3 ft. bayside; to 60 ft, gulf
Water Temperature: 90
Wind Direction: variable
Wind Speed: variable
39-inch snook bit two hooks with whitebaits
39-inch snook bit two hooks with whitebaits

Dave Hanson

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.

Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Dave Hanson