Sunday, July 22, 2018
Outdoors

Captain’s Corner: When weather calms, spearfishermen should target amberjack

Amberjack season opened Jan. 1 and as soon as the seas calm, many anglers and spearfishermen will be heading west into the Gulf of Mexico in search of these fish. The 2017 season was dramatically short, only left open by the Marine Fisheries Council for two months. The quick closure had many pining for their next chance to go after amberjack. Before the opening of this season, our divers found amberjack of decent size in depths as shallow as 70 feet. Since then, offshore water temperatures have surely moved more of the bigger amberjack into shallower water. The nasty offshore weather since the beginning of the year has kept many divers on land rather than running offshore. As soon as the gulf calms down, head out for amberjack over wrecks in depths of 70-80 feet. The bigger amberjack will be farther offshore, but bumpy seas will keep most divers checking out closer spots first. This is a good time for divers to rerig their spearguns. Amberjack are extremely strong fish and a fair size one will challenge you and any weak point on your speargun. A barely worn spearfishing line or bent crimp will give way once a powerful amberjack is pulling at the end of your line shaft. Be ready for a ride.

Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 344-3483 and [email protected]

Comments

Captainís Corner: Fishing slows in North Pinellas

The fishing has been slowing a bit in North Pinellas County. Low midday tides are very warm, causing most fish to be lethargic, searching for a drop off or edge of the flat to avoid the hot water. Redfishing has been tougher this past week. There are...
Published: 07/19/18
Updated: 07/21/18

Captainís Corner: With red snapper season ending, new targets emerge

With red snapper season coming to an end it is time to start focusing on other summertime species that will be making their way into our area. Offshore in depths of 120-150 feet, huge schools of small Spanish sardines are spending most of their time ...
Published: 07/19/18
Updated: 07/20/18

Captainís Corner: Early morning or late-night fishing your best bets during summer

We are deep into the dog days of summer, and it shows. Fishing early mornings and late evenings are your best bet for solid action. Tossing artificials around bait schools as the sun rises has produced some nice trout catches. Some fish have been in ...
Published: 07/18/18
Updated: 07/19/18

Captainís Corner: Finding fish on bottom structure of gulf

Finding fish on the bottom structure of the Gulf of Mexico this summer has been up and down for our spearfishermen. In late spring and early summer, the fish migrated to their normal areas, then they changed up. Grouper stayed in the shallow water lo...
Published: 07/18/18

Captainís Corner: Warm water brings algae blooms

Itís been a hot summer. This week water temps crept up to sweltering 90 degrees at the surface inshore. We saw 88 degrees on the surface temps offshore. The deeper the water, the cooler the water temps were found, especially toward the bottom. Wit...
Published: 07/16/18

Captainís Corner: Fishing docks and bridges at night is good way to beat summertime heat

The summertime heat and humidity are in full swing. Get out early to avoid the heat and the afternoon thunderstorms. Water temperatures are anywhere from 88 to 93 degrees. With water temperatures that high, youíll be able to spend only the first few ...
Published: 07/13/18
Updated: 07/15/18

Captainís Corner: Donít forget about the ponds for fishing

Saltwater gets all of our attention, but when driving to and from work or visiting a friend, keep an eye out for a pond that looks fishy. There are many productive ponds that have bass and panfish, some even have snook and baby tarpon, both of which ...
Published: 07/12/18
Updated: 07/14/18

Captainís Corner: Welcome to summertime kingfish season

We now have a summertime kingfish season. In the past weíve basically given up on kingfish at the end of May because the feeling was they had migrated to the northern gulf to spawn, not returning until mid-October. Weíve targeted kingfish this year i...
Published: 07/11/18
Updated: 07/12/18

Captainís Corner: Spanish mackerel push back into bay

Large Spanish mackerel have pushed into the bay as of the most recent full moon. Many of these pelagics are in the 6-pound range, and recent catches of 8-pound mackerel have not been uncommon. A medium action rod with a 4000 series reel spooled with ...
Published: 07/11/18

Captainís Corner: Pinellas south beaches strong for snook

Snook fishing along the south beaches of Pinellas County has been amazing. Large schools are hanging in the swash channels formed by wave motion right off the beach. The water clarity changes daily, depending on the wind direction. If the wind is out...
Published: 07/08/18
Updated: 07/13/18