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Captain's Focus

Joe Greco, who's been living in Ft. Myers, Fl. for 23 years after spending his working life in Edison, used the electric motor on his small boat to locate redfish (red drum) while fishing Saturday out of Gulf Star Marina. The weather was ideal as Crazy Alberto Knie of Estero, Fl., Luis Gonzalez from Homestead, Fl., and I cast jigs into mangroves to catch three redfish from 21 to 23 1/4 inches while Knie also released a short snook and a spotted sea trout on a D.O.A. C. A. L. jig. Anglers in Florida are allowed a single redfish per day in a slot range from 18 to 27 inches. Though the bite was modest, conditions were good -- with clear waters on flats that are often muddy at this time of year due to strong winds. Small red drum are excellent eating fish, as Gonzalez and my daughter Cyndi proved the last two nights, both fried and steamed. Tank Matraxia of Lyndhurst had a successful trip into the back country out of Islamorada, Florida Keys on Saturday as he boated a few large sea trout while his adult daughters Danielle and Natalie caught some of just about every species except tarpon caught from those shallow waters. Matraxia did an offshore trip out of there yesterday and trolled up lots of blackfin tuna. The one dolphin hooked turned out to be an inch short at 19 inches. Drops on a deep wreck produced a 15-pound out of season grouper that was released along with a 10-pound African pompano. A couple of sailfish were spotted, but wouldn't hit live baits cast to them. The weather was excellent, with light winds both days.

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