Broward Spearfishing – Dec. 2018

Hogfish closed last month, but we still have groupers through December, and the drop in water temperature into the middle seventies will bring them in shallower. This time of year, even black and gag groupers are often seen on the outside edge of our first reef, which drops from 10 feet to about 30 feet. They are very spooky so you’ll need a long range gun to hit them accurately, or they’ll shake off a poor shot. I use a freeshaft gun with a backup shaft most of the time, freediving or on scuba, because I can usually extract them with the second shot. These big drop offs have many deep cracks and caves, so a narrow beam spotlight mounted under your gun is another big help when seconds matter. The most memorable grouper I lost on this reef line was a 20 pound black that got real skinny in a deep hole and a big green moray eel decided it was going to be his dinner, not mine.

Out deeper and on big wrecks many divers prefer fast shooting line guns with slip tips to hold onto big groupers, which works for them if they can get the shot. I still freeshaft for bottom fish and often add a third shaft on scuba. The Guy Harvey Wreck, in 145 feet of clear water, was an example of an out-of-range for line guns, that I freeshafted on a 35 pound black from 30 plus feet away. (The shot taken only because of high consistency shooting and the groupers position on the wreck.)

Attached is a photo of Rick Johnson, a student of mine, who shot this 70 pound gag in 225 feet of water, with a line gun. (That’s 25 pounds bigger than my best gag!)

Shoot straight and dive safe!

Capt. Chad Carney
(727) 423-7775