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Old 08-22-2019, 08:30 PM   #3346
Spear One
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Re: Current Vis - Tampa Bay Region (Homosassa to Sarasota)

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Originally Posted by CuzzA View Post
60 ft. off Anclote today with DKay and his wife. Great conditions topside. 25-30 ft. horizontal all day. One shy of a limit of hogs, some mangos and one sole gag. The legal gags just weren't anywhere to be found.
I shot one in the shoulder and he tore off destroying his shoulder in the process. I spent a ton of time on that dive playing hide and seek with the fish all the way down the ledge all while competing with a very hungry and persistent nurse shark. That made for an interesting dive. When I finally cornered the gag he slipped into an impossible to shoot hole and me and the shark gave up. I hate losing fish like that, especially when the grouper is slim pickin'. We dropped on a wreck on the way in at 40ft. And viz was pretty good there too, except you couldn't see anything due to the amount of bait. Lots of life and a school of cobia. Great time of the year to be diving.
While those thick bait schools can make spearing rather challenging, that bait will draw in those hungry Gags this fall as they migrate south. I think we are going to have an early fall as the offshore temps (Middle Grounds) are already down in the 74 degree range.

We are heading out about 70 miles NW of Clearwater (110’ depth) on Sunday in search of some legal size Amberjacks. Will post a report on Monday.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:38 PM   #3347
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Re: Current Vis - Tampa Bay Region (Homosassa to Sarasota)

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While those thick bait schools can make spearing rather challenging, that bait will draw in those hungry Gags this fall as they migrate south. I think we are going to have an early fall as the offshore temps (Middle Grounds) are already down in the 74 degree range.
Interesting to hear the grounds are that cool. Hell when I was there in June it was pretty cool on the bottom. I wonder what is keeping it so cool. West winds creating an upwelling? I need to get back out there.
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Old 08-22-2019, 09:15 PM   #3348
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Re: Current Vis - Tampa Bay Region (Homosassa to Sarasota)

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Interesting to hear the grounds are that cool. Hell when I was there in June it was pretty cool on the bottom. I wonder what is keeping it so cool. West winds creating an upwelling? I need to get back out there.
I think the early cool water is mostly due to the strong El Niño we had last winter. The effects of the El Niño (ie. South, Southwest, and west winds, and tons of rain) hung around well into early August.
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Old 08-23-2019, 08:14 PM   #3349
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Re: Current Vis - Tampa Bay Region (Homosassa to Sarasota)

120 miles put on the old Pelican today. Out 55 miles due west of NPR, then spots north.

85 fsw to 50 fsw.

Viz still kind of crappy. Hit the spring hole and nothing. Some other spots and ledges that in the past have been good to me. Not much.

With bad viz, warm water, lots of silt from tons of rain, and big tidal shifts, the spearing isn't great right now in under 100 feet.

I did manage to shoot my first permit today - about 18-20 inches to the fork. We managed 2 hogs, 10 mangos, a spanish mack, and the permit.

Good conditions up top, though. Always a great time on the water and a great crew. Finally got to dive with my wife's cousin Brent Kempton and had a blast.

Hoping Sunday is better - but again, never a bad time out on the water.

I'm just beginning to think that July/August/September kind of sucks unless you are willing/able to go out DEEP.
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Old 08-23-2019, 09:19 PM   #3350
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Re: Current Vis - Tampa Bay Region (Homosassa to Sarasota)

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120 miles put on the old Pelican today. Out 55 miles due west of NPR, then spots north.

85 fsw to 50 fsw.

Viz still kind of crappy. Hit the spring hole and nothing. Some other spots and ledges that in the past have been good to me. Not much.

With bad viz, warm water, lots of silt from tons of rain, and big tidal shifts, the spearing isn't great right now in under 100 feet.

I did manage to shoot my first permit today - about 18-20 inches to the fork. We managed 2 hogs, 10 mangos, a spanish mack, and the permit.

Good conditions up top, though. Always a great time on the water and a great crew. Finally got to dive with my wife's cousin Brent Kempton and had a blast.

Hoping Sunday is better - but again, never a bad time out on the water.

I'm just beginning to think that July/August/September kind of sucks unless you are willing/able to go out DEEP.
Congrats on the Permit. I'd be interested to hear how you prepare it.

It sounds like the water is dirty up north. We had pretty damn good viz all day yesterday from Anclote and working South off Dunedin/Clearwater. Even in 40 ft.
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Old 08-24-2019, 06:39 AM   #3351
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Re: Current Vis - Tampa Bay Region (Homosassa to Sarasota)

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Congrats on the Permit. I'd be interested to hear how you prepare it.

It sounds like the water is dirty up north. We had pretty damn good viz all day yesterday from Anclote and working South off Dunedin/Clearwater. Even in 40 ft.
Hmm, that's interesting to hear, James. All day? I was thinking the 3 foot swing in tides (even though it was a LONG swing) was causing us to have a lot of dirt, silt, etc. but maybe it is also a combination of tons of water flow from the much-more-numerous rivers we have up here in Pasco and Hernando.

And you guys are even closer in 40 feet than we are up here.

I might need to swing a little south tomorrow.

As for the permit . . . . I've read a lot of recipes that say don't bother skinning it - prep in a glass baking dish in the oven, or grill.
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Old 08-24-2019, 06:57 AM   #3352
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Re: Current Vis - Tampa Bay Region (Homosassa to Sarasota)

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120 miles put on the old Pelican today. Out 55 miles due west of NPR, then spots north. 85 fsw to 50 fsw. Vis still kind of crappy. Hit the spring hole and nothing. Some other spots and ledges that in the past have been good to me. Not much. With bad viz, warm water, lots of silt from tons of rain, and big tidal shifts, the spearing isn't great right now in under 100 feet. I did manage to shoot my first permit today - about 18-20 inches to the fork. We managed 2 hogs, 10 mangos, a spanish mack, and the permit. Good conditions up top, though. Always a great time on the water and a great crew. Finally got to dive with my wife's cousin Brent Kempton and had a blast.
Hoping Sunday is better - but again, never a bad time out on the water. I'm just beginning to think that July/August/September kind of sucks unless you are willing/able to go out DEEP.
Gags have been hard to come by in the shallower depths for us. Therefore we went way north 2 weeks ago (29 north and 84 west) in 95 to 100 ft depths and had a solid 35 to 40 ft of vis most of the day. We dove 3 wrecks but got no Gags. However we got 10 nice Gags on 3 ledges in the same area.....go figure.
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Old 08-26-2019, 11:54 AM   #3353
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Re: Current Vis - Tampa Bay Region (Homosassa to Sarasota)

Hit the Rube Allyn and got a lot of target practice on mangos. Viz was 25-30’ early afternoon and dropped to about 20’ by 4pm. It was great to be on the water after all of this rain.
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Old 08-26-2019, 07:26 PM   #3354
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Re: Current Vis - Tampa Bay Region (Homosassa to Sarasota)

The We left Sunday out of New Port Richey in search of some legal size AJ’s. We were prepared to run about 75 miles to a spring but decided to stop about 15 miles shy of that spot as the seas were a little bumpy. Stopped at another AJ spot in 105’ but did not find any legal size AJ’s. The seas were still up a little so we opted to head east to some ledges in 95’ in search of Gags, Go’s, and Hogs. The first ledge produced some nice Hogs and Go’s and the divers said it was worth a back dive so I suited up and headed down. I shot a nice stringer of Go’s and Hogs and a Scamp. I saw 2 really large Gags that gave me the “goodby look” as soon as I spotted them. Both Gags were easily 30” plus but they were not gonna let me remotely close enough to take a shot.

We dove several more ledges and saw many more Gags that had no intention of getting shot. However we finally boated a 28” Gag around 4:00. We speared a few more Hogs and Go’s before heading back to the dock on a 2 ft. sea. The vis in all depths was very good vertically but the horizontal vis on the bottom was a snotty 20 to 25 ft. Bottom temps were right around 85 in all depths.
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Last edited by Spear One; 08-26-2019 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 09-07-2019, 02:31 PM   #3355
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Re: Current Vis - Tampa Bay Region (Homosassa to Sarasota)

Off 3 rooker
25' 3' to 5' vis fishy
30' 5' to 8' vis not as fishy but some
35' 10' to 15' vis and just couple of shorts
swells 2-4 out of the west, very manageable
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Old 09-08-2019, 08:58 PM   #3356
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Re: Current Vis - Tampa Bay Region (Homosassa to Sarasota)

Out of Clearwater pass. Ran about 60-70 miles NW to 90'. Dove some wrecks and ledges. Viz 30-40' above thermocline. Thermocline at 70' did affect viz. 20' under Thermocline.

Lot of fish. No gags. Never saw a legal one. Biggest Hog was 19". Cobia, few small mahi, lions, 40 mangos, 3 scamp, bout 18 hogs, almaco jacks.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:06 AM   #3357
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Re: Current Vis - Tampa Bay Region (Homosassa to Sarasota)

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Out of Clearwater pass. Ran about 60-70 miles NW to 90'. Dove some wrecks and ledges. Viz 30-40' above thermocline. Thermocline at 70' did affect viz. 20' under Thermocline. Lot of fish. No gags. Never saw a legal one. Biggest Hog was 19". Cobia, few small mahi, lions, 40 mangos, 3 scamp, bout 18 hogs, almaco jacks.
Always fun to have you aboard the “Addy Lynn” David. I was really hoping we would find some legal sized Gags by running way out there but no go. We saw lots of 20-22” Gags though and that was encouraging. We did find legal size Gags 3 weeks ago north of the 29 line but that is a much longer run for us from Clearwater. Also disappointed that we did not find any legal AJ’s on those wrecks. There were quite a few 30 to 33” ones though. In spite of the AJ/Gag issue we still managed to stuff the fish box to the rim with Go's, Hogs, Almaco Jacks, Mahi, and Lionfish.

The good news is there was a 3 to 4 degree thermocline that was not there 3 weeks ago in that depth. That’s a good sign as that means fall is rapidly approaching and that cooler water will bring in the bait fish which will draw those migrating legal sized Gags to the wrecks and ledges. Once the temp drops into the mid 70’s the legal size AJ’s and Cobia’s will show up too.

This August thru October AJ season is very frustrating as it is very difficult to find legal AJ’s during this time unless you go really deep. I heard NOAA is considering going to a spring and fall season on several species.....I think that would be a wise decision.
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Last edited by Spear One; 09-09-2019 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 09-10-2019, 12:30 PM   #3358
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Re: Current Vis - Tampa Bay Region (Homosassa to Sarasota)

Got out Sunday, 85' west viz top to bottom, 55' slightly NW viz was good but a bunch of particles in the water. Was very happy with quality and quantity of fish. Nice hogs, missed some really nice gags....
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