Small weather windows are common and so far this season the Treasure Coast has been experiencing one or two day calm spells between passing fronts. This has allowed even small boats enough time to sneak out and take advantage of lobster season, which remains open through the end of March. Pressure has been light over the past few months and reefs like Peck Lake, just south of the St. Lucie Inlet in Stuart, or the shallow reefs just north of the Fort Pierce Inlet should be great places to snag dinner. Visibility usually improves quite quickly after a front passes and divers maybe surprised to see the return of big bugs in greater numbers to these areas. With fewer boats headed offshore compared to August, boat limits are common this time of year. Check the Bathtub Beach cam for a quick visual on sea conditions and visibility close to shore.
Water temps definitely cool down this time of year, but luckily for the Treasure Coast, the warm waters of the Gulfstream are just a few miles offshore allowing the ocean to stay in the lower 70s even this time of year. The hardest part of diving in January is getting out! Air temps can be brisk so packing dry clothes to change into after a dive is a must. Consider bringing a knee-length parka (known as a ‘boat coat’), a beanie and sweatpants to change into for the ride back to the dock.
Between plentiful lobster action and less crowded reefs, diving in January is well worth braving potentially chilly air temps. Keep tanks filled and gear ready so when a weather window opens you’re ready to go