Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Captain's Corner

Captain's Corner: Divers on trail of gag grouper in Florida's gulf

What's hot: Gulf water is clearest in April and May, and nearly top-to-bottom visibility has been reported from 35 to 60 feet from Sarasota to New Port Richey. Bottom temperatures are finally climbing into the high 60s, and divers are excited about the newly opened season for gag grouper. Gags are the favorite prey of spearfishermen in this area, but the new limit of two per day will have many divers holding out for fish approaching 20 pounds or more. Much smarter than red grouper, these larger gags prefer to roam the sandy areas near ledges, wrecks and artificial reefs. The largest gags have a black fungus on their bellies that accumulates from resting on dark depressions out on sand.

Tactics: Freeshafting extends the range of most large reef spearguns from 12 to 15 feet to nearly double. Besides the accuracy advantage, freeshafts usually stay in a fish with good shot selection because they don't have the resistance of tethered spears. A side-shaft-holder allows a shooter to quickly load a second or third freespear to finish off a big fish.

Chad Carney teaches diving and spearfishing and can be reached at (727) 423-7775 or

Captain's Corner: Divers on trail of gag grouper in Florida's gulf 04/03/09 [Last modified: Friday, April 3, 2009 9:03pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Hard Knocks' effect: Jameis Winston jersey sales surging


    Two weeks into the national publicity of HBO's "Hard Knocks," Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston's No. 3 jerseys are selling well, as he made the biggest leap in this week's jersey report from Dick's Sporting Goods.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston's No. 3 jerseys are selling well. [Getty Images]
  2. Tampa Bay Tech offense gains dimension with addition of RB Treshaun Ward


    TAMPA — The playbook was pretty simple at Tampa Bay Tech. Snap the ball to quarterback Michael Penix and let him throw all over the field.

    Jaquavious Johnson, left, and Treshaun Ward pose for a portrait during practice at Tampa Bay Tech High School in Tampa on Monday, August 21, 2017.
  3. HomeTeam 25: Volleyball rankings for Tampa Bay

    Volleyball Preps

    1. Plant

    Last season: 28-4

    This week: Thursday vs. Bloomingdale

    Plant High outside hitter Camryn Vogler (1) hits the ball over the net past St. Thomas Aquinas outside hitter Kirsten Klos (10) during the Class 8A state volleyball final between Plant High and St. Thomas Aquinas at West Port High School in Ocala, Fla., on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. St. Thomas beat Plant High 3-0.
  4. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Key roster battles


    Greg Auman looks ahead to tonight's third episode of HBO's "Hard Knocks," and talks about key roster battles that could shift with the Bucs' third preseason game Saturday night against the Browns on our …

    Bucs running back Jacquizz Rodgers (32) is hit by middle linebacker Kwon Alexander (58) while running the ball during training camp. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Rays series preview: Who are the Blue Jays?


    Last week, the Rays faced the Blue Jays in the Rogers Centre, dropping three of four. This week, they'll play three games at Tropicana Field. Here's the information you need to know about Toronto before the action kicks off.

    Third baseman Josh Donaldson hit four home runs in as many games against the Rays last week.