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What a Catch! Captain Dave’s fishing report

By Capt. Dave Hanson - | Aug 5, 2021

Young angler Becket Bodner with a spadefish, one of four he and his family caught on shrimp in southern Estero Bay on a recent inshore Fishbuster Charter. PHOTO PROVIDED

Carson Trania, his dad Robert, and Carson’s girlfriend, Alyssa Chetti, fished 20 miles west of New Pass on Thursday morning, July 22. They used cut-bait and squid to catch and release 15 red grouper shorts to 19 inches, two lane snapper shorts, and four yellowtail snapper shorts. They boxed four keeper-sized lane snapper and 20 grunts.

Captain Dave’s Fishing Tips

Fishing tip #1: Fish habitats are largely determined by the dietary preferences of each species. Knowing which fish prefer which habitats can improve your chances of targeting species and of catching fish. Offshore, grouper and snapper prefer elevated structure–even slight elevations will hold these species because crabs and smaller fish inhabit structure. In sandy areas where sea-fans and soft coral, such as gorgonians, are present around holey limestone bottom, red grouper, yellowtail snapper, lane snapper, and porgies tend to congregate. Live shrimp and dead bait are both effective for these fish. Keep your line tight and free of all slack to increase your hook-up rate for soft bites. The slower the current, the lighter the weight needed to reach the bottom: Such a presentation also looks more natural to picky eaters.

Fishing tip #2: This week’s tip is for those who fish from shore: You don’t have to have a boat to catch fish! Fishing by the passes or the bridges can be very productive. The biggest challenge is to keep your bait out where you want it. The current will tend to drag bait back in toward the shore. Egg sinkers roll along the bottom so they are not well-suited for this type of fishing. Instead, try pyramid weight. Start by creating a double line with a two foot spider hitch or a bimini-twist. Alternately, you can use a three-way swivel. If you use the double-line method, cut one side of the loop 1/3 shorter than the other side. Tie the weight to the longer end and the hook on the shorter end. Braided line works best if you choose to use the swivel method. Be careful not to knock the bait off when you cast your line. A lob-cast works best with live bait–Just toss it out and let it sink. Holding the rod-tip up and keeping your line out of the water as best you can will help you feel the bites you get.