Scuba Conditions: Feb. 2018

Throwback to 2014 – a good day spearfishing off Fort Pierce, a nice gag and cobia. Photo courtesy of Steve Wood.

February may not be the warmest month to go diving, but those who venture out, may be in for a treat. If sea conditions lay down long enough between cold fronts, divers who sneak out local inlets maybe surprised to find plenty of action on area reefs. Hunters are wise to stay alert while spearfishing since cobia and sharks also return to local waters making for exciting encounters during the winter months. When the wind starts blowing, gear maintenance might be a good idea too.

Since lobster season remains open through March, divers have plenty of time to bag a delicious meal while exploring area reefs. Lobsters are known to move around during large swells and heavy surf into areas that are typically picked over and reefs like Peck Lake just south of the St. Lucie Inlet in Stuart or the shallow reef located off Bathtub Beach are good places to look. Cobia should also make their return in big numbers in February and Valentine’s Day is a great time to start looking for them.

Visibility reports can be scarce this time of year, but the following tips can be used to make the most of trips offshore. Before heading out, call around to local dive shops or check social media pages like the Deep Six Dive Tribe page on Facebook for first-hand reports. Once on the water, generally the further offshore the better the visibility and since its pretty much straight out the St. Lucie Inlet, a quick bounce dive on the Titan Tug is a great place to start. If vis is good, spend a few minutes on the wreck, then swim the 100 feet east to the reef line and continue the dive with the current. If vis is bad, come up and move south towards the Loran Tower reef or the rubble piles off Hobe Sound to find better visibility closer to the Gulf Stream. Dive charters use VHF channel 78A to communicate conditions and listening up or shamelessly asking for a report could prove valuable too.

When fronts swing through and the winds blowing, February is a great time to get tanks, regulators and BCs serviced since turnaround times are generally quicker this time of year. Additionally, if tanks are due for hydro, or special-order parts are needed, divers won’t be missing the stellar conditions of the upcoming spring and summer dive season waiting for repairs to be complete.

Deep Six Watersports – Stuart 
(772) 288-3999 Stuart
(772) 562-2883 Vero