#Fish: Pay attention to wind patterns before spearing

Cold fronts can stir up the water, but also move fish into the shallows

Thanksgiving is almost here and, boy, do I have a lot to be thankful for.

The last few weeks have brought varying weather and conditions and the fish have been on the move. And, by varying weather, I mean cold fronts.

As these cold fronts push down from the north they bring winds that change clockwise.  The wind starts from a northwesterly direction, and as the cold front develops, the wind goes out of the north and sometimes comes more northeast.

This is very important to spearfisherman, because the duration of the northwest wind has a very distinct affect on the visibility in the nearshore Florida Bay and out to the reef on the oceanside.

If the wind stays out of the northwest direction for longer than a couple hours, you can count on having white out muddy conditions and floating bay grass moving into the ocean on the outgoing tides. However, if the front approaches quickly without a lot of power and changes to a northeast direction, then the water remains relatively clear.

With that being said, you have to pick your days wisely this time of year.  Not only do you want to have good conditions to make it to your spots, but you want to be able to enjoy good visibility as well. There are fewer days this time of year that give you great conditions. However if you pay attention to the weather and pick your battles you will find that there are some great aggregations of fish populations in areas that seem sparse in the summertime. A day prior to the arrival of the last two cold fronts made for some awesome spearfishing.

Also note that the dropping water temperatures have already had their effect on fish migrations. They tend to move into more shallow (warmer) water as the air temperature cools — making it possible to hunt in 15 to 40 feet of water. The kids always want to know how deep I can dive, and although I have hit 117 feet, it is awfully nice to get 20- to 30-pound black groupers in 20 feet of water.

It’s hard not to be thankful for where we live and the opportunities we have as Keys residents!

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