Stormy weather began setting in on Monday, 4/27, with lots of moisture over the gulf. By the time Tuesday rolled around, there were scattered showers over much of the area, but Mike Boden and I managed a morning of bay fishing, with just a few drizzles, and returned to the dock just before the heavy rains began. Mike used live shrimp in central Estero Bay to catch a trio of redfish, two of which were keepers at 18 ½ and 19 ½ inches. He lost a much bigger one that broke the line boat-side. He released four stingray to 4 pounds.
Heavy thunderstorms rolled through the area over-night Tuesday. Seas offshore were rough on Wednesday, and my scheduled trip decided to defer to a later date, rather than change plans and fish inshore, especially with weather remaining unsettled at best. Thursday brought even windier conditions, with wind gusts of 25 knots, along with scattered rain. I remained in port.
Friday morning, 5/1, seas offshore were still in the 3-4 foot range. I fished inshore on a catch-and-release-trip with Mike Christophulous and his nephew, Kent. The guys used live shrimp to release two would-be-keeper mangrove snapper to 12 inches, along with a dozen short snapper. They also released two stingray, one of which was a hefty battle, at nearly 20 pounds.
Winds remained strong and seas remained choppy on Saturday, 5/2. Gene and Woshimi Issacs fished with live shrimp in central Estero Bay with me, in somewhat muddy conditions that were far from ideal. But the couple had a good time catching and releasing fifteen mangrove snapper shorts, one keeper-sized in the bunch, along with eight sheepshead shorts.