grouper

  • Dec 28, 2017 - They Don't Always End Up In The Cooler

     Wind Seas Viz Temp
    N-NE 10-18mph 2-4' 30' 77F

    As 2017 was drawing to a close, I decided it was time to get back on the water and give it one last try before grouper season closed on January 1. With the Christmas break upon us, my kids were home and off from school, so we decided to make it a family day on the water (with the exception of my wife that was unfortunately at work today). Throw in my daughter's oldest friend for good measure, and we were off! The forecast wasn't exceptional, but definitely tolerable especially since all the kids had basically been raised on boats. So with my hopefully good luck passengers aboard we headed to one of my local spots that have been very productive over my last few trips and I was hoping for more of the same today.

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  • June 10-13, 2016 - Grand Cay, trip of a lifetime, can't wait to do it again next year!

    The What'sApp chat group for this year's "Guy's Fishing Trip" actually started out as a discussion for a possible trip to Bimini in Dec of 2015 before the end of the year. I was stoked. Last year's Bimini Christmas was a blast and I couldn't wait to get back. Unfortunately, weather and responsibilities kept us from successfully making the trip. Gladly though, chatter started up again  in February about this year's second annual Summer trip (which is now considered a tradition - at least by me). Of course it all starts with the question of "So where do we want to go this year?". The immediate and obvious response of "South Andros" (same place as last year) came across the app but there was a desire to do something new, some place new, and I was all for it!

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  • Apr 30-May 3, 2016 - Grouper Season Opening

    Wind Seas Viz Temp
    15-25 ESE 4-5' 30-40' 81F

    Once again, the most anticipated weekend for Florida spearfisherman rolls around and this year I actually got to plan some time off and hit it for a few days in a row. I hadn't had many opportunities to dive this winter (with the windiest winter I can recall) and even on those few occasions I did get to go, it just didn't live up to expectations. I was so excited to finally get back in the water this year for a full weekend of diving and spearfishing that I spent the 2-3 weeks leading up to the weekend double checking everything I could on my boat and my gear to make sure I was ready. My new Koah…

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  • May 1-3, 2015 - Grouper Opening Weekend, well day anyway...

    Wind Seas Viz Temp
    10-25 ENE/Variable 3-4' 5-15' 78F

    In South Florida, probably one of the most anticipated and planned spearfishing outings (aside from those that take you to major global destinations) is the trip we make on or about May 1 of each year for the re-opening of Grouper season. It doesn't always fall on a weekend but when it does (like this year), the planning begins early. The season closure has barely taken effect on January 1, and we already start talking about how many grouper we've seen on our winter dives and get all worked up about the 20+ pounders we'll be slaying when grouper opens up again on May 1. This year was no different with respect to the hype and anticipation, but…

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  • Dec 27, 2014 - Bimini Day Trip Success! (with a visit from the taxman)

    The text from my friend Carlos Casal comes in the day after Christmas with two simple words... "Bimini Saturday?" (there may have been more words, but those stood out) and all of a sudden I feel like it's Christmas all over again. That nervous anxiety that comes over you when you know the present you're getting, but you can't open until Christmas morning grabbed hold of me from that moment.  I've never had the opportunity to head over to Bimini with the sole intention of spearfishing for the day with no other distractions. A vacation in Cat Cay a few years ago afforded me my first trip to the Bimini Islands and I even landed some fish, but this would be different, and I was stoked. 

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  • July 26-27, 2014 - Spot #11G - The G is for Mutton?

     

    Wind Seas Viz Temp
    5-15mph SSE 2-3 SE Swell 40-50' 86F

     

    The past couple of weekends were plagued with algea blooms and low viz thanks to the higher surf temps and a West wind that always seems to wreak havoc for us. But right around Wednesday of this week, the wind started to turn more Southerly with an occasional Easterly influence so we were hopeful that it would be enough to clean up the water in time for the weekend. We got some conflicting reports about viz from friends, but luckily we noticed that some of these friends were working drastically different areas. So when we woke up Saturday morning, we were still optimistic about the conditions we were going to find.

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  • June 21-22, 2014 - It's about time that it's Snapper time!

    Wind Seas Viz Temp
    ESE 5mph 1' 40' 85F

    After almost another week of typical Florida Summer weather with afternoon thunder storms a possibilty on any given day, the wind started to lay down around Wednesday and the forecast really started to shape up for the weekend with calls for 5-8mph winds out of the SE and less than 1 foot seas. Of course my typical cynicism kept me thinking that at any minute (most likely on Friday afternoon) the forecast would flip from optimal to abysmal and we would be fighting wind and seas in our efforts to get back out on and under the water for some spearfishing action this weekend. Luckily for me, it was all in my head and the forecast stayed true as we arrived to nary a flying flag in the keys or the campground on Friday night.

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  • June 7-8, 2014 - Clean, clear, calm water everywhere... (oh yeah and groupers too!)

    Wind Seas Viz Temp
    ESE 5mph 1-2' 40' 81F

     This past week started out looking very bleak. Storms rolled through the middle keys pretty much all day Monday and Tuesday with torrential downpours and winds in excess of 30mph. It was so bad in fact that people that had intended to stay the week decided to head for home and see how the week progressed from a distance. Between the wind that had picked up last weekend and the horrible weather at the opening of the week we pretty much thought that the clean water we had been able to enjoy for the past couple of weeks had come to an end.  But being ever the optimist (not me, someone else) checking the forecast on Wednesday, a…

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  • May 31-June 1, 2014 - Dolphin Saturday then Grouper Sunday

    Wind Seas Viz Temp
    NW 12-18mph 2-4' 25-45' 79F

    This week was a "Boys Weekend" as all the girls and kids decided to stay home and we were hoping to get out for some offshore trolling for dolphin and maybe even get a chance to jump in and shoot a couple. So we woke up bright and early Saturday morning to see who else in the campground was ready and willing to head out into the deep blue yonder. Much to our surprise, we were the only mice stirring that morning so we decided to drop in the big boat and head out on our own. As I'm motoring to park the boat, our dolphin specialist neighbor Rob is up and about so I stop by to…

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  • May 24-26, 2014 - Memorial Day - Finally, a break from the April winds (in May)!

    Wind Seas Viz Temp
    NW 5-10mph 1-2' 20-25' 75F

    The winds had been incessant all through April and as May came around there was no end in sight. Throughout the month, everyone was landlocked and cabin fever was setting in with the fishermen I knew (and liquor stores were running low). So as the forecast for Memorial Day kept looking so good, there were 3 factions: 1) those that didn't believe it (Memorial Day historically has bad weather), 2) those that would sell their Grandmothers to get out that weekend and 3) those that didn't believe, but had their Grandmothers on standby. As the weekend drew closer, more and more Grandmothers feared for their lives... 

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  • July 27-28, 2013 - Two-fer-Ones and scouting pays dividends

    Seas:
    2-3'
    Winds:
    SSW 10-15
    Viz:
    25-40'
    Temp:
    82F

    After yet another weekend with a minimal breakdown on the boat (just remember, BOAT=Break Out Another Thousand), I head down this weekend trying really hard to remember why I do this. After all, the past few weeks have been nothing but breakdowns, bad weather and bad seas with only a couple of bright spots along the way As a matter of fact, I mentioned the fact that it had been a few weeks without any really mentionable fish for me to my brother in law on our way out on Saturday. Maybe I should be more negative more often...

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  • July 13-14, 2013 - Who do I have to pay off to get some good weather around here?

    Seas:
    2-4'
    Winds:
    10-15 SSE
    Viz:
    30-45'
    Temp:
    84F

    After having endured 11 straight days of high wind and rough seas which rendered only 1 barely worthwhile dive for me, this past week was my brother in law's shot at an extended diving stay. Luckily for him, the weather was perfect for 4 days in the middle of the week (starting the day after I left). His picture updates of the phenomenal conditions and catch all week while I was incarcerated at work were giving me mixed feelings of envy and hope for the upcoming weekend.

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  • June 22-23, 2013 - A grouper of my very own (actually, two)

    Seas:
    1-3'
    Winds:
    10-15 ESE
    Viz:
    45'+
    Temp:
    82F

    In spite of the lack of a blog for last week, it was actually a good hunting weekend as we found big mangroves on the patch reefs for the first time this Summer. In fact, I shot what was probably one of my biggest mangroves yet, weighing in that 6-7lb class. I didn't think it merited a blog though, since I got it on a make up shot because my brother in law had missed it and we wanted to make sure it didn't hightail it out of the staghorn before we had a chance to boat it. Nonetheless, a great catch. That coupled with the awesome 28lb black the team brought in the week before has really…

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  • June 8-9, 2013 - Really, you shot her there?!?!

    Seas:
    2-4'
    Winds:
    10-20 ESE
    Viz:
    45-50'
    Temp:
    81F

     So we head down this weekend without too much in the expectation department since it had been raining with 20-40 mph winds almost incessantly the entire week. While at work on Thursday, I take a quick glance at the forecast to see there was still a small craft advisory in effect and a call for 2-4' seas on Sat increasing to 3-5 on Sunday. Heading home from work Friday in what seemed like my umpteenth torrential downpour this week, I'm not too encouraged as the rain was supposed to have subsided by today in the aftermath of Andrea, our first tropical storm in the region of the now a 7 day old hurricane season. Pummeled all week by record rainfall and high winds,…

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  • May 18, 2013 - My Grouper Opening (and work related disasters)

    Seas:
    2-4'
    Winds:
    10-20 ESE
    Viz:
    20-45'
    Temp:
    78F

    It was a little upsetting for me to realize as I sat down to compose this week's blog that I hadn't even gotten around to composing my usual "Foreward" blog at the beginning of this year. It was even sadder for me to think that it was because I hadn't been in the water since December 26. So in efforts to combat my sadness and keep up my word count on my blogs (like anyone else is counting - or even reading) this one turned out a little long (which is particularly odd since I only got to dive one day... but more on that in my excessively wordy blog). Enjoy!

    So I wasn't able to dive for…

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  • December 26, 2012 - A crappy closing to a crappy year

    Seas:
    3-4'
    Winds:
    10-20 ESE
    Viz:
    30-40'
    Temp:
    78F

    It's been a crappy year on many counts. Truth is, before the holidays I thought (or rather, I hoped) that the year of crappy weather, fishing, diving and the breakin/robbery at my house (along with numerous other stupid things going wrong along the way) was the worst of it. Unfortunately I don't think I could have imagined earlier this year how bad things could actually turn, but the unexpected and sudden death of my father in early December definitely reminded me just how fast and how bad things can really get as well as how totally inconsequential all the other stuff really is.

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  • August 18-19, 2012 - Groupers, Hammerheads and more Lobsters

    Seas:
    1-3'
    Winds:
    5-15 SSE
    Viz:
    15-20'
    Temp:
    86F

    So this was supposed to be the weekend I get back to spearfishing after lobster season started last Monday. Since we had gotten bad viz reports from some friends that had spent the last week down in the keys and it's the last weekend before the kids' first day of school (meaning Sunday is a very short day), we figured time was short and we wouldn't waste it for wanting. After a quick decision to stay close in search of some hogfish, mangroves and more lobster and forego the reef, we were off. This week we thought we might have a little better viz because we had the early afternoon high tide working in our favor (or so…

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  • August 4-12, 2012 - Crustacean Crawl Diving Extravaganza

    Seas:
    2-5'
    Winds:
    10-25 SSE
    Viz:
    2-45'
    Temp:
    83-87F

    Well, it's that time of year again. The time of year when people that don't normally dive will take a chance as well as the risk and jump in the ocean to look for those prized crustaceans, the Caribbean spiny lobster. This year's lobster season opened on Monday August 6th so it was really easy for a lot of people to just take a long weekend to see if they can grab a few lobsters. Almost as if following suit with the rest of the Summer, this past week was fairly windy and the viz was especially non-existent, making going after the lobster a job not for the faint of heart. But more on that a little later.

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  • June 30-July 9, 2012 - It's about time for a vacation a.k.a. The week of the one(s) that got away...

    Seas:
    Sat - 1-2'
    Winds:
    Sat - 5-10 SW
    Viz:
    Sat - 15-20'
    Temp:
    Sat - 84 F

    I can't say I wasn't a little worried since the week before I finally get away for some time off after months of dealing with work responsibilities and a host of other distractions was more than a little frought with high winds and rain that pretty much kept most of South Florida under constant siege from foul weather. I had been looking forward to this week with so much anticipation. The Summer up to now has pretty much been a non-event. The wind and seas were keeping the water so dirty that diving and spearfishing was fast becoming an exercise in futility on most days. But I kept hopeful that the weather couldn't stay bad for yet another week.

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  • 4th of July Week

    Winds: 15-20 S to  E
    Seas: 5-8 feet (sloppy)
    Surf Temp: +/- 80F
    Viz: 40-50+ feet (depending on location)
    This week we were able to enjoy some incredible viz even though the seas were as rough as I can remember. We had strong winds and seas as high as 8 feet for at least 3 days. Incredibly enough the viz did not suffer. The fishing wasn't easy, but we were able to get some picture-worthy fish in spite of the seas. Of course we did have to drive ourselves most of this week as none of the ladies were willing to brave the rough water enough to captain for us while we dove.

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