The Nautical World...

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Visibility Network Underground

If you've ever been to Galveston, you know most of the time the beach water looks like a bowl of gumbo. But, every now and then, whether it be because of Super Moon, the damming of the Mississippi, or the presence of a pod of filter-feeding whales, the water clears up. When the water is clear, it is time for Spear Diving!

So how do we know when its clear? You can check the websites, but they aren't accurate, and in the case of G-town, you have multiple parts, Offat's Bayou, Harbour, and the beach. They are not all created equal and they are not always clear at the same times. So, we've assembled a group of guys who like to spear dive (spear fish?) and if we ever see the presence of clear visibility, we send out the call. We head to our phones and start a little old-fashioned phone tree. We are like the French Resistance but more smelly.

I got the call yesterday from my salty friend Seth of JPL Marine Labs. He told me a friend (I mean, secret member of the Visibility Network Underground) told him the viz was at 4 feet or more. That is quite a bit here on Galveston, so I got my stuff together.

I made a trip to the Flagship, took my surfboard and spear out, and went to town. I got two beautiful sheepshead and I stopped there. The viz, when I got there, was more like three feet and a little choppy, so although it wasn't great, if you really want fish, it was perfect. 

Spear diving or spear fishing? I'm sure you can say both and be correct. I like to say spear diving because to me its just as much about the diving as it is the fishing. Maybe I should say dive fishing? Now I'm confused. Well whatever I end up calling it, I would suggest it to anyone. All you need is a nice spear, a mask and fins, and a little bit of training on holding your breath.

Do you have any spear diving stories or suggestions? Post them in the comments below or email me at

If you've never been here before, Welcome to Neptune Nation, where Water is Life.


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