Keys Spearfishing – May 2017

by Robert Trosset

Grouper season is upon us which brings excellent opportunities to capture trophy fish. They have been left alone for the past few months and have become accustomed to divers around some of the more popular dive sites. A few months back I actually had a 25 pound plus black grouper let me pet him on a reef dive. It was a very cool experience.

With the start of the Atlantic grouper season I am planning on Spearfishing a few of my favorite spots in hopes of a monster 50 pound or better black grouper. I have been perfecting a technique to lure the fish in close to hopefully bring in the trophy black grouper I have been hunting for.

This year I am sticking strictly to freediving in hopes to sneak up on the big fish.

One mistake I often see new divers make is to barrel into a dive site and hope to chase down a big fish. Fish have the advantage in both speed and stamina, so I have found this to be ineffective for most types. Recently I have started to chum before entering the water. The chum brings the fish closer and makes them less skittish. The longer I sit on the spot the more fish show up and the bigger they get. Action leads to more action and the more excited the smaller fish are, the faster the bigger fish will show up.

On an eight hour dive trip I might bring two cases of chum and use 2 blocks on each spot. 15-30 minutes after we are set up and anchored I will finally get into the water and start hunting my trophy fish. At this time the grouper are so excited under the boat they hardly notice us getting in and making our dives. On the first or second dives I have seen extremely large grouper eating just feet under the surface, making them a much easier target. This year will be a test of patience for both my dive buddy and myself leading to the ultimate goal. My trophy black grouper.

Robert Trosset
FINZ Dive Center
5130 Overseas Highway
Key West, Florida 33040