Saturday, March 17, 2018

Captains corner: Gag grouper wary of spear-bearing divers

What's hot: Gag grouper are plentiful on shallow water ledges. Since the season opened July 1, and when the weather permitted, spearfishermen have speared their two-bag limit in short order. Most of the fish are in water of 45 feet or less and range from 5 to 10 pounds, with the occasional 15- to 20-pounder. The even-bigger gags have moved to their summer deep-water haunts (130 to 220 feet).

Tips: Gag grouper are wary and harder than most fish to approach. Unlike their red grouper cousins, they learn quick and stay just outside the effective range of most line-shaft spear guns. Experienced gulf gag spearfishermen use "freeshafting" to get a little more range and better accuracy out of their spear equipment. The older gags will only give you a second to identify them and make a rapid accurate shot before they turn and disappear. Learn to quickly spot gags hiding under schools of bait. When the bait starts to separate in front of you, be ready to make an accurate shot.

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]


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Published: 03/16/18

Captainís Corner: Big trout moving out of the shallows

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Published: 03/14/18
Updated: 03/15/18

Captainís Corner: Temperature changes affect fly fishing

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Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/14/18

Captainís Corner: Warming trend increasing activity over grass flats

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Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/13/18
Captainís Corner: Favorable water temperatures approaching

Captainís Corner: Favorable water temperatures approaching

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Published: 03/11/18
Updated: 03/12/18

Captainís Corner: Spring fishing is getting close

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Published: 03/10/18
Updated: 03/11/18

Captainís Corner: Trout return to their early spring areas

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Published: 03/10/18
Captainís Corner: Snook, trout out in abundance as spring approaches

Captainís Corner: Snook, trout out in abundance as spring approaches

March is here, and the weather is great. This month is when we make that change toward spring fishing. Snook really ramps up, and trophy trout mixed with good redfish are not far behind. Snook has to be the most targeted fish for March. Just about ev...
Published: 03/09/18

Captainís Corner: Cold fronts might be a blessing for fishing

So much for getting too hot too fast. It was a concern a couple of weeks ago when water temperatures were flirting with 80 degrees in some areas. We worried that the masses of kingfish might blow right by us as they sought that 70-75 temperatures the...
Published: 03/07/18
Updated: 03/08/18

Captainís Corner: The right location means big trout numbers

It is peak time for catching large numbers of trout. A "spring thing" right now, it is not unusual to put up a big number with a number of quality-sized fish being caught. This should continue for another two months. For tackle and techniques, trout ...
Published: 03/05/18
Updated: 03/07/18