January Calendar of Sealife & Migrations for South Eastern Florida


Every year I am blessed to be amazed and inspired by some of the most incredible sights under the sea.  As many of my readers will know, I can’t help myself but come back and learn more about the awesome creatures I come across.  Along my travels I started to realize that the reason why I see so many varied and different creatures is because of the yearly migration paths these marine animals take.  I started to keep a journal of what I came across and did some research to try to complete a list that would help myself and fellow divers realize the best times to get in the drink to see what they are looking for.

Being a somewhat native (over 20 years) Floridian it is easier for me to plan on short notice, I hope this will help some of the divers who travel from far to plan accordingly to see the goliath grouper aggregation, the turtle spawning, or the lemon shark fiesta they have always wanted.  Don’t under estimate the power of a baitball sighting to change your perspective on the world either.  I have seen some incredible baitballs and been surrounded by thousands of fish pinging off my wetsuit.  Very Alfred Hitchcock like!

Sharks sharing a baitball buffet

Sharks sharing a baitball buffet

I remember a few years ago there was an incredible baitball sighting that brought 1000’s of sharks out.  A pilot, James Abernathy, got some fabulous photos.  This event was even reported internationally!

For out of towners…please note that Dec-April you can pay almost double on hotel rooms.  Be sure to book 2-3 months ahead of time for lower rates.  Also, most places will drop rates 30-50% after April 1st every year.  Be sure to check out dive travel groups as well.  Some of the local dive shops have hookups with hotels.  If you need any recommendations, please feel free to email me.

To start I will post January as a teaser..I will try to get the whole year up by the end of the week.

January: 

The water is a bit chilly  for us wimpy Floridians.  I tend to head further south down by Lauderdale by the Sea.  I am planning a Singer Island trip later this month.

Rays:  Spotted Eagle rays, Manta Rays, Atlantic Rays, Yellow Rays and Southern Rays

Sharks:  Spinner, Hammerheads, Nurse, and Bull sharks plus Lemon sharks will aggregate during this time.  For a brief overview on sharks refer back to this previous post.

Whales:  Northern Right, Pilot, Sperm, Pygmy Sperm and Humpback Whales

Turtles:  Hawksbill, Loggerheads, Kemp Ridley, Green Turtles, and Leatherbacks.  One of the few times you can spot all types of turtles to be found here.

Lobster:  It is also lobster season so you can bag em if you have a license.  Season runs Aug 1st- March 31st.  Mini season is a week before start of season.

Dolphins:  Bottlenose and Atlantic Dolphins

Baitballs:  I couldn’t find any notable ones.  Please feel free to shoot me a comment if you can think of one.

Other fish of note:  Sailfish is prevalent in December and January and can be found feasting on baitballs offshore. Stuart is infamous for it’s sailfish charters.

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About daniellesdives

diving enthusiast
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