Starting off in the wind
Thursday morning was windy and it was tough anchoring on my target spots, but we managed to get out 22 miles and anchor-up for some snapper fishing.
Marshall Swain, joined by friends, John, Paul and Jim, used live shrimp to catch a dozen nice mangrove snapper keepers to 16 inches, along with a 14-inch lane snapper. They added a half dozen porgies to 14 inches and a few grunts to the box, and released some red grouper shorts.
Angler Larry Baumgartner shows off a 23-inch red grouper, caught on a baitfish 15 miles west of New Pass, both while on recent offshore Fishbuster Charters.
Keeping busy on the reels
Friday brought very gusty conditions, and prohibited my taking the family of six who had scheduled an offshore trip. By Saturday morning, winds had subsided considerably, and I headed offshore to fish with Gary Hested and his two teen-aged grandsons, Kade and Nathan Faga. Seas were still on the rough side, but we made it out 22 miles, where the family used live shrimp with good success.
They caught five keeper-sized sheepshead to 17 inches, kept the largest three of those, releasing the other two.
The group also caught porgies to 18 inches, along with 20 grunts, choosing to keep just a few of each.
Added to the box were four mangrove snapper to 15 inches, the largest of the seven keeper-sized mangs caught. The group also released nine red grouper to 19-7/8 inches, just 1/8-inch short of keeper-size, along with some yellowtail snapper shorts and a 20-inch gag grouper.
Tim Baker and friend, Barry, fished inshore with me Monday, using live shrimp in lower Big Hickory Bay. The guys caught three keeper sheepshead at 16 inches, 14 inches, and 13 inches, releasing six sheepshead shorts, along with a dozen mangrove snapper shorts and four stingray to seven pounds.
More great inshore catches
Bill and Teri Tank fished inshore, using live shrimp in lower Hickory Bay with me Tuesday morning, once the early rains cleared out. They hit the trout just right, and limited out on those, with eight keepers ranging 16 to18.5 inches, releasing three additional trout, three would-be-keeper mangrove snapper to 11 inches, and a half dozen sheepshead to 14 inches.
Starting off in the wind
Derrick Axell planned to celebrate his son, Evan's, 14th birthday with a full day of fishing offshore Wednesday, but an approaching weather front that was preceded by four-to-six-foot seas precluded that.
We decided upon a half-day of inshore fishing in lower Hickory Bay, with plans to return to the dock before any severe weather arrived. So, we fished with live shrimp in very windy conditions, but did well with sea trout.
The guys caught 10 keeper trout to 18.5 inches, and released two of them, per mandated limits. They added to the box a brace of 16-inch pompano, along with two keeper sheepshead at 13 and 14 inches.