FLORIDA: Using Shrimp We Caught & Released Keeper–Sized Redfish

Winds have been blowing hard and seas have been rough for a while. Those conditions tend to curtail offshore fishing. But on Wednesday, 10/26/11, I had a group of guys who wanted to fish the bay. We timed our trip to coincide with the best tide conditions, and it paid off. Don Kalmey, Karl Russ, Terry Thomas and Kent Gregory caught seven redfish, five of them keepers at 19 to 21 inches. The group also caught ten sheepshead, two of which were keepers at 14 inches. They also released ladyfish, puffer fish and crevalle jacks. All were caught on shrimp, fishing around the islands in Estero Bay.

We had high winds and rain again for part of this week, but I did get out fishing in the backwaters on Friday, 11/4/11, on a catch-and-release trip with Rod Knudson and Dave Mercer. we had a great morning of fishing, just ahead of a windy, cool front moving through the area. We caught eight redfish, six of them keeper-size, though we released all. We also released fifteen sheepshead to 16 inches and two stingrays. We used live shrimp for all, fishing the islands of Estero Bay.

Monday morning, 11/7, I fished with long-time customers Steve Spitzer and Jalissa Reever. With four-to-six foot seas offshore, we scrapped our gulf plans and decided to fish Estero Bay instead. We did well with redfish on shrimp, catching eight of those, five of which were keepers to 20 inches. We also caught nine sheepshead, including five keepers to 14 inches. We released a 16-inch black drum.

Wednesday morning, 11/9, I had a short morning of fishing Estero Bay with Paul Oleff, who had to be back in time for an appointment. But the abbreviated time out there didn’t stop us from catching eight redfish, five of which were keepers at 19 1/2 inches each. We also caught five keeper sheepshead to 15 inches, all on shrimp.

Friday morning, 11/11, I fished a catch-and-release trip in Estero Bay with Terry Lischer, her adult son, Mike Lischer, Jeff Heinrich, and Jeff’s 4 ½ year-old daughter, Maddie. A brisk northwest wind of about 25 knots blew all morning, so we fished the spots that we could stay best sheltered from the wind. Using shrimp, we caught and released a keeper–sized redfish, along with several sheepshead, some small mangrove snapper, and four stingrays.

Capt. Dave Hanson
Fishbuster Charters
P: 239-947-1688

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