I received a call from a returning customer on Sunday, and luckily enough for both of us, we were able to schedule an early half day trip the next morning. I met Gus and his son at the ramp at Lover’s Key just as the sun was breaking the horizon. Glass calm conditions greeted us as we got up on plane and headed out of Big Carlos Pass to look for bait. A pod of dolphins sidetracked us for a few minutes with some good antics before we made the rest of the run to the beach. A small swell was crashing along the shoreline as we hunted bait along the beach in the somewhat murky water. With no bait seen at first, I could tell my crew was getting antsy after about 10 minutes or so with nothing to be had. I kept seeing activity ahead of us, and kept on until I finally saw the telltale raindrops left from the quarry we were after. One throw of the net and we had more than enough nice sized whitebait and greenies bouncing off the deck, where my partners for the day quickly scooped them into the livewell. With the livewell packed with 4 dozen shrimp and a ton of livies we were now ready for the hunt. As we headed into the back of Estero Bay with the now nicely flooding tide, we saw a fog bank to the north. Then as we rounded an island the fog met us, reducing the visibility to almost nothing in an instant. I love that eery feeling I get as the fog envelops us and you get an intense feeling of isolation and wonder, as to what is around you. We started fishing in the fog without a bite at the first point, but as we unhook the baits, and give them their freedom, one disappears in a nice boil right at the side of the boat. So we pin some more baits on the 1/0 circle hooks and start to work the area with the trolling motor as the fog starts to burn away. Dad starts the day off with a drag screaming fish that is trying to get around a point before I even know he’s hooked up. With a little coaching he got good leverage on the fish and turned it just before it got under a protruding mangrove root on the point. The battle continued for a few minutes with some nice jumps, and a couple of good runs before we were able to get the just under slot snook into the net for a quick unhooking and pictures, before I revived her and sent her on her way.
We got a couple more small snook in that same area before we moved on to a nearby oyster bar.
Dad struck first again with a decent little redfish in the slot that turned out to be the only fish caught there.

With the traffic starting to build in the bay, we ran north a ways to find some secluded shorelines to continue our hunt for fish. And that is where young Jack decided to show us he can get fish to the boat as well. He proceeded to pull 3 nice redfish, 2 of which were near the top of the slot, out of the dense cover we were fishing in a row.
It was great to see him grinning ear to ear as he let us know he couldn’t wait to share the news of his awesome catches, and the fact that he was bringing home dinner. The redfish bite continued fairly well with a few redfish released and a couple kept for dinner, along with a few more small snook. At the last spot of the day Gus was able to horse another decent snook just under the slot, out from under the overhanging trees and son Jack caught a short redfish to add to his total.

To end the day, a manatee showed us his tail and waved at us, as we headed back to the ramp after another great fishing trip in Estero Bay.