by Capt. Bill D’Antuono
With winter conditions in full swing anyone wishing to get offshore needs to have a strategy. I hear people constantly say the weather is no good this time of year and that is partly true. You have to watch the forecasts closely while making sound decisions about the right days to go out. With calm weather, less common and ‘season’ upon us, decisions have to be made. If you use the right tools that are available, it will lead you to have better days offshore instead of sitting onshore wishing you had fish within your grasp.
My top picks for monitoring weather consist of NOAA’s 20-60 mile forecast, WindFinder app and WindGuru for extended forecasts. Every fishing enthusiast needs to have Windfinder installed on their phone. In the WindFinder app there is a buoy called the “West Florida South Buoy”. This will give you a very accurate forecast of wind conditions for offshore. I do not use WindFinder for wave forecasting, instead I use NOAA 20-60 mile forecast for the most accurate wave models. WindGuru will tell me the extended forecast and is pretty concise when it comes to predicting the wind.
Lately we have been hitting shallow and deep spots with various results. Shallow, as always with winter, we have been seeing large sheepshead which always make for a good meal. Deeper waters up to 90 feet have been full of black grouper, cobia and mutton snapper. Visibility has been unreal. In 35’ we had top to bottom visibility on recent trips; it truly felt like the Keys right here in our backyard.
Make sure to check spearfishingnaplesfl.com for the above wind forecast models which are linked within the website. I am running weekly spearfishing trips out of Gordon’s Pass and have been having a blast with new and old clients. I know the locals are waiting for the warm waters to return, but the fish don’t care!