The big black grouper belongs to Michael Goheen.

Summer is here bringing light winds and calm seas.  These conditions allow for the particulates in the water to sink to the bottom without any turbulence — increasing the visibility in many areas.  It also lets boaters make longer runs to more remote places to find bigger and more plentiful fish populations.

This is evident by the number of spearfishermen in the water. They’re hunting mahi-mahi as they school around the boat.  Some even find wahoo under weed lines and other fish such as rainbow runners, which make great sushi.  The summertime is also a great time of year for the beginner to try his or her luck at spearfishing.  With the general weather pattern being calm, and only occasional thunderstorms, it affords newbies the perfect opportunity to get in the water with a pole spear or a speargun for the first time.

Cole Daniels shot a summertime ‘slammer’ off Marathon.
Cole Daniels shot a summertime ‘slammer’ off Marathon.

Because the summer is such a desirable time to be in the water for most spearfishermen, it can get crowded. Be prepared to find crowds in good reef and wreck areas — especially the Thunderbolt in the Middle Keys.  As a fishing and spearfishing guide, I caution friends and clients to use best boating etiquette possible.

If you plan on diving a spot where there is a boat fishing, try your best to contact the captain of the other boat and let him know what your plans are.  In most cases, they won’t be there very long and it won’t be long before you can take the plunge. This is a much better solution than trying to claim the territory and sending your divers into the water around their fishing boat. You can do the same if you are on the spot and a fishing boat is approaching. Just let them know you’re diving and give them a timeframe so they have a choice.

As always, enjoy the calm clear waters of the Florida Keys and have a safe start to a great summer!


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