Fishing ReportsSouthwest

Bonita Beach

Fishbuster Charters’ Captain Dave Hanson reported,”Tuesday morning, 7/15, thunder was rumbling by about 6AM, but the weather forecasters reported that there were only a few scattered thunderstorms, moving northeast, and that the one that was in north Naples and the Bonita area would soon be gone. So, I went ahead and got bait and readied my boat for repeat customer Larry Jack and his friend, Ernie, who wanted to fish a full day offshore.


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Angler Robbie Menendez with a 4-foot sandbar shark, caught on shrimp and released 11 miles west of New Pass on a recent near-shore Fishbuster Charter. Photo: Capt. Dave Hanson

We left the dock shortly after a heavy storm had moved through, hoping that was the end of–and radar didn’t look too bad. But, we ended up dodging storms a good bit of the morning and early afternoon, and we shortened our excursion from our planned full day. Still, the fishing was good about 22 miles offshore, and the guys boated a keeper, 24-inch red grouper, nine lane snapper keepers to 13 inches, and six keeper mangrove snapper to 14 inches. We released a dozen red groupers that were just a hair short of 20 inches, along with some smaller ones. The grouper all bit on pinfish, and the snapper on live shrimp. The guys planned to fish with me again the following morning, this time in the backwaters.
So, Wednesday morning, 7/16, Larry Jack and Ernie Morrison fished Estero Bay’s backwaters, using live shrimp. There was still plenty of moisture around, but we didn’t get poured on, as we did when we had fished offshore the day before. The guys caught a keeper redfish at 18 inches, a 13-inch keeper sheepshead, and nine keeper mangrove snapper. They released four short sheepshead and a 3 ½-pound crevalle jack.

Friday morning, 7/18, was rain-free, unlike the previous morning, which had been full of rain clouds and rough conditions offshore. I had advised Tom Bodell that Friday would be the better of the two days to arrange the near-shore, catch-and-release excursion he wanted for himself, his two young sons A.J. and Alex, and his brother, Bryan Bodell. We headed out to fish in spots 10-12 miles west of New Pass, using live shrimp for bait. The group caught and released fifteen red grouper shorts to 18 inches, fifteen lane snappers (six of which were keeper-size, though we released them all), two crevalle jacks, a 14-inch pompano, and a 38-inch blacknose shark.

Saturday, 7/19, I fished offshore with Nelson Ventura and five of his friends. We fished in spots ranging from 12 to 36 miles offshore. The guys used pinfish for grouper bait and shrimp for everything else. They caught a keeper red grouper at 24 inches, ten keeper porgies to 17 inches, fifteen keeper lane snapper to 16 inches, and half a dozen 13-inch grunts. They released twenty-five red grouper shorts to 19 ¾ inches, lots of short porgies, and a 38-inch blacknose shark.”

Contact Info:
Fishbuster Charters, Inc.
Bonita Beach, FL
Captain Dave Hanson
Marti Hanson, Manager
239 947-1688