Fishbuster Charters Captain Dave Hanson reported, Although, after a windy, rough weekend, seas were calming to two-to-four feet on Monday, my planned gulf-trip canceled, as they thought seas would still be too rough. So I missed that day on the water. But, I got back offshore on Tuesday, 2/28, with Kari Vilamaa, George Dyer, Paul Kikendall, and Don Holsinger.
We headed out of New Pass to fish in 45 feet, using live shrimp. Another one of the big sandbar sharks that have been abundant lately provided us with a fun battle; this one was about 175 pounds. The group also caught three keeper mangrove snapper to 15 inches, a brace of 23-inch Spanish mackerel, some large blue-striped grunts, and a couple of 14-inch whitebone porgies. They released one hogfish-short, a 17-inch red grouper, and two gag grouper that would have been keepers, if not for closed season, at 23 inches and 24 inches.
Frequent customers Jim McGrath and Bill Conklin fished offshore with me on Wednesday morning, in 33 feet, fourteen miles west of New Pass. The guys fought and released a 75-pound goliath grouper, then set about catching some food-fish, using live shrimp. They caught five nice sheepshead to 17 inches,four whitebone porgy keepers, and a mess of grunts. They released lots of smaller sheepshead, blue runners, lizard-fish and puffer-fish.
Thursday, Ron Musick, Eddie Alfonse, John Ebbrecht, Hank Sherkowski and Larry Mottice fished with me, 36 miles west of New Pass. The group caught twenty nice whitebone porgies to 17 inches, two keeper triggerfish and a brace of 16-inch mangrove snapper. They released a 19-inch red grouper. A battle with a seven-foot sandbar shark got everyone excited, and left a couple of anglers with sore arms!
Friday morning, Chuck Nebes and son, Steve, fished Estero bay with me, using live shrimp. We did well with redfish, and caught six of those, four of which were keepers at about 20 inches each. We also caught a 15-inch sheepshead, and released two snook, a couple of crevalle jacks, and five stingrays that were all about 5 pounds.
Saturday morning, the Dargis family took a chance on beating the time-line for a predicted weather front approaching our area. We knew the winds and seas would be picking up during the course of the day, though we weren't sure just when. We decided to head to the near-shore reefs and see how conditions were there. We had 4-5 foot seas by 11AM, even just 6 miles off the beach, so we headed bak to shore about then. But, by that time, Leon and his four adult sons, Brett, Kurt, Andrew and Bob, had caught six nice sheepshead to 19 inches, a 17-inch hogfish, and a 16-inch sea-trout. The guys released two gag grouper, a lot of smaller shepshead, and a few small mangrove snapper. Everything was caught on live shrimp.
The two photos shown are as follow:
1.) Angler Dan Bow, with an 18-inch mangrove snapper , caught on shrimp on a recent offshore Fishbuster Charter. Mangrove snapper have been abundant and large this season.
2.) Young angler Kade Faga with a 19-inch trout, caught on shrimp in Estero Bay, on a recent inshore Fishbuster Charter."
Captain Dave Hanson
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