A little relief: March's fury continues into April, but Thursday I welcomed being able to see 20 feet on a ledge 60 feet below blue surface waters southwest of John's Pass. A marker jug with a little scope helps freedivers descend near fish in these conditions. Small red grouper, mangrove snapper and sheepshead were abundant. Coming back in, the view was milky in 45 feet of water at the South County Reef. The barge with range towers held plenty of gags but darkness made aiming virtually impossible and goliath groupers telegraphed my presence. I never pulled the trigger, which is all right with only bad shots available.
What's new: The first Southwest Florida Open Spearfishing Tournament is April 25-26 in Fort Myers. The weigh-in and awards will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Bass Pro Shops at Exit 128 off Interstate 75. Spearfishermen can hunt home waters and drive their catch to Fort Myers. See swflspearfishing.org for more information.
Chad Carney teaches diving and spearfishing in the Tampa Bay area and can be reached at floridaskindiver.com or (727) 423-7775.