The water is in the mid to upper 80s with a thermocline at about 50 feet and October is traditionally the best month for water clarity. This year there has been a heavy green layer in the middle of the water column so hopefully it will clear up this October as it has in the past. With clearer water, stealth is the name of the game. A couple of tricks I use are to stay high and shot them from above, the other is not to look the fish in the eye; for some reason this scares most fish. One thing you can do to help with this is to use tinted lens in your mask. Other times I’ll stay on bottom and throw a hand full of sand up into the water column which helps hide you and creates a feeding frenzy with smaller bait fish and porgies. With all the new activity large fish like amberjack and grouper will come in closer to investigate and give you a chance to get a shot off.
I’m happy to report that the hard-bottom life and growth is starting to come back after our good friend Hurricane Michael striped most of the growth off them. The sponges and algae growth are coming back which in turn brings the fish back. All in all, things are starting to turn around for the better.
Safety Tip: In clear deep water you should use a reference line because disorientation and vertigo can easily set in. This could be an anchor or buoy line. The line will help you control your descent and ascent rates, especially if you are not very good with buoyancy control yet.
Get out there and enjoy some warm and clear water with friends and family. As always PLAN YOUR DIVE AND DIVE YOUR PLAN.
Thanks for reading.
CAPT. JAMES TEW
Kitchen Pass Dive & Fishing Charters