By CHAD CARNEY
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 12, 2002
Winter spearfishermen are a tough crew and count themselves lucky to get offshore in January.
Strong fronts have pushed seas past 15 feet this week. So go deep for the best visibility.
Layer up wet suits with neoprene vests, hoods and gloves because water temperatures in the 50s will slow metabolism. During winter, fish will slow and tend to camp under ledges and wrecks. Bring a dive light and consider mounting it under your gun. Double and triple shots can happen with grouper and snapper packed tightly.
If your spear goes crazy, it's a clue you've struck more than one fish.
Don't lift or pull the shaft, or you could lose some. Pin the spear to the bottom, drag it if necessary and reach for a grip on the farthest fish down the shaft. Be ready to bear hug a tail shot beast because the big dog usually lives in the best house on the reef.
- Chad Carney teaches scuba and spearfishing and runs charters out of St. Petersburg. Call (727) 423-7775 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.