Water clarity offshore in the gulf will be at its best the next two weeks unless we have high winds. When waters warm above 78 degrees, they become so full of algae and other organisms that though the water is clean, it is not clear. Current clear water gives fishermen and divers opportunities not available any other time. Spear fishermen and underwater photographers will have the chance to see things that are not readily visible under normal conditions. Ledgescan be seen in their entirety. Clusters of fish, hovering over structure, can be spotted from the surface. Swimming away from a ledge may reveal even more structure and pothole areas that may be more productive in the future.
Top to bottom visibility in as deep as 60 feet of water this past week allowed me to find several new, productive spots. Allowing the boat to drift while lying on the dive platform with a mask and snorkel was much more effective than searching with a bottom machine. The use of a 5-gallon bucket with a piece of clear plastic glued over a cutout in the bottom is a great way to find new spots and to verify your position over one you may be fishing. When the sun is high and free of clouds, look for dark spots in the water. These are either rocky outcroppings or areas that are alive with grasses and other growth that may well become your secret honey hole.
_ Capt. Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach and can be reached at (727) 397-8815 or by e-mail at Luckytoo2aol.com.