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. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'


    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.