Friday, January 19, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: High visibility means excellent spearfishing in gulf

Spearfishing conditions are great in the Gulf of Mexico. Over the past week, the gulf has thrown small seas at the boaters. That is a major relief as the sea conditions have been rough for most of the past couple of months. In most areas, water that is 30 feet and deeper has produced top-to-bottom visibility. When divers roll over the side of the boat, the first thing they see is the structure on the bottom. A closer investigation will expose many snappers, grunts, groupers and more flirting in the white sand around the wrecks, ledges and rocks. Top-to-bottom visibility has occurred a few days since Jan. 1. The great visibility can also give the fish a better chance to see a diver much earlier, giving them a better chance to escape. Free divers do well when visibility is so good. The silent nature of free diving (no diver exhaust bubbles from a scuba regulator) allows the free diver to sneak up on fish. Most areas have a 10-degree colder thermocline that starts anywhere from 35-60 feet below the surface. The fish are very active under the thermocline. Plan for the colder water with a good 1mm to 3mm full wet suit.

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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Captainís Corner: Divers, anglers going after amberjack

Over the past two weeks divers and anglers have been in search of amberjack. The season opened Jan. 1 and ends Jan. 27. The short season for gulf amberjack has pushed many divers and anglers to venture offshore, even in questionable weather. Donít fo...
Published: 01/18/18

Captainís Corner: Cold weather brings different but effective fishing styles

This past week has seen a variety of different fishing styles prove effective. Fishing for trout in deeper depressions with live shrimp has provided steady action. Rig as follows: Use a ?-ounce jighead, grab a shrimp from the well and pinch the tail ...
Published: 01/17/18

Captainís Corner: Devise a strategy before heading out into the cold

The quality of fishing this month depends on how many cold fronts are in our future. When the water creeps down below 60 degrees, many fish will slow their metabolism in order to survive. They require less food than in the warmer months, making some ...
Published: 01/16/18

Captainís Corner: Make sure the fly gets in front of a hungry fish

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Published: 01/12/18
Updated: 01/14/18

Captainís Corner: Cold, windy days just fine for trout fishing

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Published: 01/12/18
Updated: 01/13/18

Captainís Corner: Cold driving out kings, but there are alternatives

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Published: 01/11/18
Updated: 01/12/18

Captainís Corner: Techniques for catching (and cooking) tasty sheepshead

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Published: 01/10/18
Captainís Corner: Colder weather calls for different approaches

Captainís Corner: Colder weather calls for different approaches

With colder weather the first big change is what bait to use. Before the cold fronts in the first week we were using greenbacks and catching a bunch of snook. With the cold weather that has hit us we are now shifting gears and using shrimp and throwi...
Published: 01/08/18
Updated: 01/09/18

Captainís Corner: Winter need not interrupt fishing

The inevitable effects of wintertime fishing have finally arrived, but there are plenty of opportunities for the determined angler. Trout, both silver and specs, are cold water tolerant and among the best bets inshore. Now too is when schools of shee...
Published: 01/07/18
Updated: 01/08/18

Captainís Corner: With this cold, itís time for sheepshead

With cold air and water temperatures, nothing is hot when it comes it fishing. An eight-year recovery on snook erased by water temperatures in the 50s. January has not been kind so far. Thereís basically one solid option in times like these: sheepshe...
Published: 01/06/18
Updated: 01/07/18