Make us your home page
Instagram

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: Gag grouper still in gulf

Bill Hardman

Bill Hardman

Gag grouper are still being seen and sometimes successfully speared in the gulf. Most have moved just under the thermoclines and seem to love the little cooler water. Last week the thermoclines started about 70 feet from the surface in depths out to 110. In depths of 150-210 the thermocline started about 130 feet from the surface. We needed at least a 3mm shorty or a full 1mm wet suit to comfortably dive. On a dive to 180 feet, the surface was 88 degrees and the first thermocline at 70 feet dropped the temperature to 77. It was 72 on the bottom at 180 feet. In depths under 110, the bottom thermocline made for bad visibility, but the bottom thermocline in 150 and deeper had good bottom visibility. In all these depths, gags are roaming but cautious. Keeper-size red grouper start in about 75 feet, and the bigger "fire truck" ones start showing in about 120 feet. Red snapper season is closed for recreational harvest, but for the first time in my lifetime, we found reds in depths as shallow as 65 feet just north of Johns Pass. Along with the protected red snapper were mangrove snapper, which are legal to take.

Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 344-3483 and captainbillhardman@gmail.com.

Captain's Corner: Gag grouper still in gulf 07/18/16 [Last modified: Monday, July 18, 2016 6:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning Strikes! podcast: Preseason storylines to watch

    Blogs

    In this episode of our Lightning Strikes podcast, Joe Smith and columnist Tom Jones set up the preseason with storylines to watch, as well as expectations for the season. Will defenseman Mikhail …

    Will defenseman Mikhail Sergachev make the Lightning?
  2. Florida Gators announce 2018 football schedule

    Blogs

    The Florida Gators announced their 2018 football schedule Tuesday, including an early SEC game against Kentucky and a matchup against Colorado State, which was part of coach Jim McElwain's buyout from the Rams.

  3. For starters: Rays vs. Cubs in Joe Maddon's return to Trop

    Blogs

    Joe Maddon's return to the Trop will be the main story tonight, but there is still a baseball game to be played, between a Cubs team surging toward another division title with six straight wins and a Rays team struggling to keep alive a longshot bid for the second AL wildcard spot.

    RHP Chris Archer will be on …

    Joe Maddon returns to Tropicana Field tonight for the first time since leaving the Rays to become manager of the Cubs.
  4. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs could run into their nemesis

    Bucs

    Greg Auman finishes wrapping up the Bucs' win against the Chicago Bears and looks ahead to Sunday's game at Minnesota, where Tampa Bay could run into nemesis Case Keenum, in our latest Cannon Fodder …

    Bucs outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) sacks Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) during a 2016 game. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  5. Strange case: Bucs could face nemesis Case Keenum again

    Bucs

    Who, you might wonder, will be the first NFL quarterback to beat Jameis Winston three times?

    Case Keenum of the Minnesota Vikings drops back to pass in the first half Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. [Getty Images]