Went out spearfishing on Saturday with Mike , Chris , Matt , Catherine and myself. There had been crappy vis the week earlier and we were expecting the visibility to be terrible but it wasn’t. Gulf Stream waters where on the edge of the reef and pushing in with the high tide. The bar had blue water and 60+ feet of visibility all day and at high tide there was good vis at least mile on to the reef. On the way out we check the waters around Sand Key but on the low tide the water was chalky and less then 20 feet of vis. Pretty much to get good vis on the main reef it had to be high tide. The wind was from the south and the waves laid down as soon as the tide started coming in.
We ended up starting our day a little west of western dry rocks and worked back. Almost all the legal blacks we saw where in 50 feet or more of water and with the gulfstream current where pretty elusive. I got one and saw many more, some in the neighborhood of 30 pounds, which is really nice fish to get freediving. We shot a bunch of reef fish Mutton Snapper, Triggerfish( one was 8 pounds shot by matt), Amberjack, Yellow Jacks and bunch of hogfish (one shot by mike was 4 pounds which is pretty good for the keys ). Mike also shot a nice porgy but I lost it for him when his float got caught on the boat and I gave it a hard pull, not remembering there was a stringer attached.
My ear got messed up so I had to quit diving early but other then that it was pretty good day on the water.
Not to let the good conditions slip away, I went out spear fishing again with Brian and Catherine on Sunday I tried to go out after the tide started turning around at noon, but it was like the tide didn’t start coming in until like 2 pm. Which didn’t make sense to me because the tide charts said it was supposed to turn around a couple hours earlier then that. Pretty much the conditions before the tide turned around where mediocre , the south wind against the tide created pretty big waves and the vis on the reef was maybe 20-25 feet and chalky. Once the tide shifted it was awesome, flat seas and 50-60 feet of vis. Also there was 2 knot current at least on the edge of the reef but that chilled out as you headed away from the drop off.
Even though the conditions where excellent we couldn’t find a fish to save our lives. We drifted miles and miles and didn’t see anything. I didn’t see one legal black grouper all day, and only saw 2 legal muttons one of which I shot. It was pretty amazing really drifting along and only seeing bait fish, crevelle jacks, illegal permit, and jewfish. Finally we went in shallow and shot some hog fish for dinner and Brain shot a nice porgy.
Some other interesting stuff happened though. Brian saw his first hammerhead shark, we also had a pod of dolphins swim in to check us out. We had some sort of pigeon land on the boat to rest for awhile Then when we where entering the harbor we saw what we thought was a dead turtle but wasn’t . It was a live turtle trapped by some crab pot line. Brian jumped in and cut the line and saved the turtle.