As the year winds down and 2015 approaches, avid spearfisherman know this is the last month for grouper. After the first of the year, shallow water grouper season will be closed until May 1st making these last few week of the year the last opportunity to bag the big one. Underwater hunters may be able to use weather conditions to their advantage in the pursuit of landing dinner on the table.
Seasoned divers may have the unique experience of multiple grouper come up off the bottom to meet divers mid water as they descend. Cooler water temps, especially below 72° drive gags, blacks and reds south into local water as they prepare to spawn. As has been noted with lobster season, the fish seem to have their calendars ready and show up once they know the seasons are closed.
Weather conditions may help divers make the most of the dwindling opportunity to catch a big gag too. Cold fronts are a part of life on the Treasure Coast this time of year and overcast days may actually be a blessing in disguise. Darker days with less sunlight make it easier to sneak up on smart fish that would otherwise see a diver coming and take off. Less ambient light at depth may confuse large fish into thinking darkness is approaching too. It has been noted that big hogfish come into shallow water to sleep and on overcast days they may be found in much shallower water than usual. The hogfish shown in the attached photo was taken last month on a cooler day after a cold front when the skies were cloudy.
Diving the Treasure Coast in December can be very exciting since there are good chances of seeing large grouper roaming the reefs. Cloudy skies, cooler water temps and the last chance to bag the big one make each dive an adventure and savvy divers can use these conditions to their advantage when searching for dinner.