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Daily fishing report
By CHAD CARNEY
Published January 31, 2006
With increasing winds from the southwest Sunday, the waves pushed many dead sponges onto Pinellas beaches. The sponges broke free during mid-January's powerful fronts. Last week winds barely reached 20 knots and seas remained moderate at only 7 feet, giving gulf waters a needed break to recover some visibility. Despite Monday's rain, National Data Buoy Center reports from across the Gulf of Mexico appeared to show that today's front would also be moderate. You can often get a peek at what will likely be tomorrow's local weather by checking today's middle gulf buoy reports at ndbc.noaa.gov.
Saturday a couple of Clearwater divers could see 20 feet deep near the tugboat Sheridan, sunk in 80 feet off Indian Rocks Beach. With more than 35 feet of relief, this wreck is the tallest on the central west coast. Even with plenty of bait, no amberjack were reported. Large gag grouper were spotted, but they are hard to spear on intact wrecks. The Blackthorn , a Coast Guard cutter on the same site, is a better grouper hunting spot because gag grouper like to patrol the perimeter of an ample debris field. As the seas decreased, a ledge with lots of fish in 65 feet greeted divers and produced a nice keeper gag grouper.
--Chad Carney teaches diving and spearfishing in the Tampa Bay area. Call 727 423-7775 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org