Saltwater Fishing in SW FL-Naples, Bonita, Ft. Myers Beach

                                  Fishbuster Charters, Bonita Beach, FL

                                               Cap't Dave Hanson

                                        "They hatch 'em--We catch 'em!"

                                        Who Ya Gonna Call? Fishbuster!

copyright: Fishbuster Charters, Inc. (Marti Hanson)
Fishing Report
Sushi at its freshest! (just kidding)
fishbuster@comcast.net
(239) 947-1688 (8AM--8PM daily)


Click on any species link below to view pics of that particular species. Click on recent pics to see a variety of catches over the past three months.
January 1, 2020--June 11, 2021
Long-time friend, Mike Connealy, fished southern Estero Bay with me on Monday, 1/4/21, using live shrimp for bait. We caught five sheepshead to 14 inches, and released two mangrove snapper shorts.

Our friends, Jordan Wolfe, Kyle Kapaneki, and two of their friends fished southern Estero Bay with me on Tuesday morning, 1/5. They used live shrimp to catch four sheepshead to 14 inches, and released two mangrove snapper shorts and two crevalle jacks.

Friends, Lou Thompson, his grandson, Zack, and friend, Jeremy Perlow, fished the backwaters of southern Estero Bay with me on Wednesday, 1/6, where they used live shrimp to catch a bunch of sheepshead. They caught thirteen of those, including three keepers at 13 inches, 14 inches and 19 inches.

Long-time friend, Drew Van Werden and his three young sons fished near-shore with me on Thursday morning, 1/14. The boys had fun using squid to catch a mess of grunts, of which they kept fifteen for family fish-taco night.

Jeff Holzman, Pete Hartwig, and Peter Sorenson fished a catch-and-release trip in southern Estero Bay's backwaters with me on Tuesday morning, 1/26. They used live shrimp to catch and release a 19-inch bluefish, an 18-inch crevalle jack, and eight sheepshead.

My friend, Mike Conneally, fished 36 miles west of New Pass with me on Wednesday, 1/27. We used squid to catch a 13-inch keeper lane snapper, four mangrove snapper, including two 13-inch keepers, a dozen keeper porgies, and eight good-sized grunts. We released a triggerfish short, an 18-inch banded rudder fish, and twenty undersized red grouper to 19 ½ inches.
Rick Thibault and his cousin, Brandon Benning, fished the backwaters of southern Estero Bay, using live shrimp, on Friday, 1/29. They caught and released a 22-inch redfish and a 19-inch seatrout, along with three sheepshead shorts. They boxed two keeper sheepshead at 13 inches and 16 inches.
On Saturday morning, 1/30, old friends John and Holly Lischer and their son, Cruz, fished 19 miles offshore with me, using squid for bait. Though seas were predicted to be calm, they were about three foot, with whitecaps early on.  For some reason, the snapper in my favorite snapper holes were not cooperating, and we caught only a mess of grunts, and boxed twenty o the thirty we caught. We also released four red grouper shorts.

Mark Sine and son, Gabe, fished the backwaters of southern Estero Bay with me on Friday morning, 2/12, where they used live shrimp to catch five sheepshead to 14 inches, two crevalle jacks to 23 inches (released), and a 12-inch keeper mangrove snapper.
Friends, Mike Bochman, John Glass, and Kevin Costello fished Saturday morning, 2/13, with me in southern Estero Bay's backwaters. They used live shrimp to catch five sheepshead, including two keepers at 14 inches each, and a 15-inch pompano.
Mike and Kevin fished the bay with me again, joined by friend, Tom, on Monday, 2/15. Winds were picking up, in advance of a weather front expected to bring some rain, wind and rough seas for the next several days, and there were even whitecaps in the bay! The guys used live shrimp to release fifteen mangrove snapper shorts, along with three sheepshead to 14 inches.
Eight-year-old Mateo Wickus had an excellent time fishing with his dad, Wade Wickus, in southern Estero Bay on Wednesday morning, 2/17. Mateo caught and released a 24-inch redfish, as well as an 18-inch sheepshead, which he boxed. His dad caught a 19-inch sheepshead, also boxed. The father-son team released four short sheepshead, ten mangrove snapper shorts, and two pufferfish.

Long-time friends, the Heimrich family-Jeff and Beth and their children, Tanner and Maddie-fished Estero Bay's southern backwaters with me on Tuesday morning, 2/23. They used live shrimp to tap into some good sheepshead action, and caught seventeen sheepshead, including six keepers ranging 13 inches to 18 inches. They released two crevalle jacks.
Steve and Carrie Butchart fished southern Estero Bay with me on Wednesday, 2/24, and used live shrimp to catch and release a 21-inch seatrout, and to box three keeper sheepshead to 16 inches, along with a 19-inch pompano.

Southern Estero Bay's backwaters were not quite as productive as they had been recently on Friday, 2/26, when friends, Andrew Armato, Mario and Paul, fished using live shrimp. They caught seven sheepshead in all, but only one keeper at 14 inches, and they released two crevalle jacks and a couple of ladyfish.
George Sloan, his son, George Jr, grandson George III, and granddaughters Lily and Allie, fished a catch-and-release, inshore trip with me in southern Estero Bay on Monday, 3/1. They used live shrimp to catch six sheepshead, a sand bream, and two crevalle jacks.

Mike Jackson and his nephew, Aaron, fished 19 miles west of New Pass with me on Tuesday, 3/2, where they used squid to catch a mess of grunts, numbering in the forties, and kept twenty of those for fish taco meals. They released seven red grouper shorts and one 15-inch triggerfish short.

It was windy, with a few raindrops falling in Estero Bay's backwaters when I fished a catch-and-release trip with brothers Paul and Rich Stanek on Wednesday, 3/3. They used live shrimp to catch and release five sheepshead, one mangrove snapper short, and a ladyfish.

Pat Dombrovski and his brother-in-law, Chuck, had initially planned on a full-day offshore excursion on Friday, 3/5, but sea conditions were rough well offshore. They opted for a half-day of near-shore fishing at the reefs off Bonita Beach. They used squid to catch ten sheepshead, including two keepers at 14 inches each. They added to the box five Spanish mackerel, all around 18 inches, along with four grunts. They released three out-of-season gag grouper shorts.

Cameron Collins had planned to fish offshore all day Tuesday, 3/9, but winds and seas prevented that from happening. So he spent the morning in southern Estero Bay's backwaters, where he used shrimp to catch and release a 24-inch redfish, three sheepshead including a 14 inch keeper, and a 12-inch keeper mangrove snapper.
Cameron Collins, who fished with me Tuesday, 3/9, fished again with me on Thursday morning, 3/11, and used live shrimp in southern Estero Bay to catch and release a 20-inch redfish and a half-dozen short sheepshead. He took a nice, 17-inch sheepshead home with him for dinner.
Mike and Lisa Maza, Lisa's dad, Bob Zerneken, and Bob's grandson, Eric, fished a catch-and-release trip in southern Estero Bay's backwaters on Friday, 3/12. The group used live shrimp to catch and release two seatrout at 20 inches and 24 inches, three sheepshead including two legal-size to 13 inches, a 12-inch sand bream, and a 24-inch eel.

Jeff Albers and his two teenaged sons, Alex and Patrick, fished a catch-and-release trip with me in Estero Bay's backwaters on Monday morning, 3/15. They used shrimp to catch seven sheepshead to 17 inches and two crevalle jacks.

Craig and Jan Royal, along with Craig's dad, Ron, fished the backwaters of southern Estero Bay with me on Tuesday, 3/16, where they used shrimp to catch nine sheepshead, including four keepers that all measured about 14 inches.

Paul Martz, his son and three grandsons fished near-shore at the reefs and out to ten miles from New Pass on a windy St. Patrick's Day morning. Seas were pretty sloppy, but the boys braved it, and boxed thirteen grunts for fish tacos. They released ten blue runners, a red grouper short, and four sheepshead shorts.

Ivey and Laurie Gilmore and their young sons, William and Waller, fished Estero Bay's backwaters Thursday morning, 3/18, using live shrimp. They caught ten sheepshead, including four keepers to 16 inches, and released a crevalle jack.
Friends, Wally Callan, Pete, Dan and Mike, fished southern Estero Bay on Monday morning, 3/22. They used live shrimp to catch ten sheepshead to 14 inches, and also released three sailcats, all between two and three pounds.

Joe Feldman and his teenaged son, Luke, fished catch-and-release trip in southern Estero Bay's backwaters on Tuesday morning, 3/23. Live shrimp yielded them fourteen sheepshead to 14 inches, along with an 18-inch permit.
Long-time friend Mike Connealy, his brother, Paul, and his brother-in-law, Rodney Bromm, fished 36 miles west of New Pass with me on Wednesday, 3/24, and used squid and cut-bait to catch a nice variety of fish. We caught twenty-five red groupers, including a keeper at 22 inches, and one that was nearly keeper-size at just under 20 inches. In addition to the 22-inch grouper, the guys boxed two yellowtail snapper at 13 inches and 14 inches, three porgies that all measured around 14 inches, and twenty grunts all 11 and 12 inches. We released three sandbar sharks, all between seven and eight feet long.
Kyle and Amanda Stiens and their two young children, Luke and Anna, fished the backwaters of southern Estero Bay on Thursday morning, 3/25, using live shrimp. The family caught fifteen sheepshead to 17 inches, including seven keepers. They released a dozen mangrove snapper shorts, along with a 19-inch redfish.
Gerry Farina, joined by Daryl Binning and his young sons, Logan and Lucas, fished near-shore with me on Monday, 3/29, using cut-bait and squid. The boys caught fifteen grunts, and released eight red grouper shorts to 17 inches, along with a 14-inch short triggerfish and a ladyfish.
Kenny Kulas and his young son, Drew, fished 31 miles west of New Pass, using cut-bait and squid for bait, on Tuesday, 3/30. They caught twenty-five red grouper, including a 22-inch keeper. They added four keeper lane snapper and two porgies to the fish box, and released a dozen mangrove snapper shorts, and a half-dozen smaller porgies, along with a 30-inch goliath grouper.

Bjorn and Laurie Green and their daughters, Mia and Elle, fished southern Estero Bay's backwaters on Wednesday morning, 3/31. Using live shrimp, the family caught and released three redfish, two measuring 21 inches and one measuring 24 inches. They also caught five mangrove snapper, including two keepers, and three keeper sheepshead to 15 inches.

Dan and Erin Stangl and their children, Aiden and Molly, fished southern Estero Bay's backwaters on Monday, 4/5. The family used live shrimp to catch six sheepshead to 14 inches, and released a dozen short mangrove snappers, a crevalle jack, and a ladyfish.

Kirk Deneen and a group of family and friends fished 20 miles west of New Pass on Tuesday morning, 4/6. They used squid and cut-bait to box two dozen grunts, and they released eleven red grouper shorts to 18 inches.

Hunter and Dawn Anderson, their son, Wyatt, and their daughter, Macy, fished southern Estero Bay's backwaters on Wednesday morning, 4/7. They used live shrimp to catch fifteen mangrove snapper, including one 11-inch keeper, a dozen sheepshead, including a 15-inch keeper, and two seatrout at 15 inches and 19 inches, which they released.

John Ledman and his father-in-law, Cort, fished southern Estero Bay with me Monday morning, 4/12. They used live shrimp to catch a dozen mangrove snapper, including one keeper. They also released a dozen short sheepshead and a 14-inch seatrout.

Doug Duncan and friends, Gary and Eric, hoped to wrestle with a few goliaths on their offshore excursion to 20 miles west of New Pass on Tuesday morning, 4/13. Although they caught a bunch of blue runners, they never spotted or hooked a goliath. They did, however box some food fish, including ten keeper lane snapper and ten grunts. They released six red grouper shorts. Everything bit on squid or cut-bait.

Dave Gowen and his friend, Fred, fished southern Estero Bay's backwaters on Thursday morning, 4/15. They used live shrimp to box three sand bream, and released six sheepshead shorts, two mangrove snapper shorts, and a two-pound crevalle jack.

Kent Dahlgren, his daughter, Allie, and her friend, Megan, fished a catch-and-release trip in southern Estero Bay's backwaters Friday morning, 4/16. They used live shrimp to catch a dozen sheepshead, eighteen small mangrove snapper, and a pufferfish.
Jared and Sara Kaufman and their children, Kylie, Josiah, and Titus, fished a catch-and-release trip in southern Estero Bay's backwaters on Tuesday morning, 4/27. The family used live shrimp to catch and release twenty-five mangrove snapper shorts, seven sheepshead, including two keeper-size, a 15-inch snook, and a 15-inch seatrout.

Travis and Jessica Conner fished a catch-and-release trip in southern Estero Bay on Monday morning, 5/3. The couple used live shrimp to release four would-be-keeper mangrove snapper, along with twenty additional mangrove snapper shorts. They also released a half dozen sheepshead, a sand bream, and a small snook.

Dave Carr and Al Baxon fished 18 miles west of New Pass in some rough seas on Wednesday morning, 5/5. They used squid to catch and release a dozen red grouper shorts to 18 inches. They boxed fifteen grunts and two keeper lane snapper.

John and Shannon Latham, son Ian, and daughter, Elle, fished 19 miles west of New Pass on Tuesday, 5/11. They used squid to box a dozen nice-sized grunts, along with three keeper lane snapper. They released fourteen red grouper shorts.

Friends, Tom Wolf, Jim Burke, Tim Kayes, and randy Ogden, fished 19 miles west of New Pass, using cut-bait and squid for bait, on Wednesday morning, 5/12. The guys had a productive morning catching both sport-fish and food-fish. They boxed a 13-inch, keeper yellowtail snapper, three keeper lane snapper, and seventeen grunts. They released two yellowtail shorts, three lane snapper shorts, and two odd looking pufferfish-not the usual ones seen around here. One of those puffers was pursued by a twelve-foot hammerhead shark-the puffer escaped alive, and we got a look at the huge hammerhead, but it all went down too fast to get a photo. Jim also battled, caught and released a 38-inch shark. And the guys also released a nine-foot nurse shark.
The bite in southern Estero Bay was pretty slow on Friday, 5/14, when John Phillips, his son, Johnny, and friends, Colin and Manuel, did their best to catch anything that would bite. There was some red tide in the bay, along with a dump of fresh water from a rain storm that came through the previous night. In any case, regardless of cause, fishing was tough. The guys caught and released a few mangrove snapper shorts before calling it a morning.

Jack Willis and his girlfriend, Maddie Bruner, fished a catch-and-release trip in southern Estero Bay, using live shrimp, on a very windy Friday morning, 5/21. The tide was a lot higher than it was on my last bay trip, and the wind direction kept the red tide away from us. It was a productive morning, and the couple released twenty-four small mangrove snapper, four sheepshead, a 14-inch striped mojarra, and a 21-inch redfish.

Matt Hickox and his son, Jackson, fished southern Estero Bay's backwaters on Friday morning, 5/28, and used live shrimp to catch thirteen mangrove snapper, including five keepers to 12 inches. They also released one mojarra, a short snook, a crevalle jack, and ten short sheepshead.

Jason and Eileen Whitaker and their friends, Brent and Angie, fished on a drizzly Friday mroning in southern Estero Bay Friday, 6/4, using live shrimp. They boxed four keeper mangrove snapper, and released two short sheepshead.
Ian Flora and his son, Ian fished southern Estero Bay's backwaters on Tuesday morning, 6/8, using live shrimp. They caught a total of twenty mangrove snapper, including four keepers at 12 inches. They released two short sheepshead, a small snook, and two sailcats that were both about 17 inches.
Joe Namath and his son, Jonathan, fished southern Estero Bay's backwaters on Wednesday morning, 6/9. They used live shrimp to catch and release fifteen mangrove snapper shorts and four short sheepshead
Dave and Jennifer Jones and their son, Creighton, fished a catch-and-release trip in Estero Bay's backwaters on Friday morning, 6/11. They used live shrimp to catch and release six sheepshead, a dozen mangrove snapper, and a crevalle jack.