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Old 10-08-2011, 20:43   #1
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Anyone Been Out to the Flower Garden Banks ?

Heading out there soon. Any tips on when to arrive, mooring, what to see, etc?
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Old 11-08-2011, 15:48   #2
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Re: Anyone Been Out to the Flower Garden Banks ?

We have made the trip a couple of times. Great dive site but way out in the Gulf (127 miles more or less from Kemah/Seabrook). No cover, no place to run if weather kicks up. 27.92N 93.71W. We arrived at night. Had the coordinates in the GPS. Just when the GPS announced "arrived at waypoint", my buddy pointed flashlight over the bow and there was one of the moorings RIGHT THERE! I thought we would be motoring, holding position all night. No anchoring, you have to use the moorings. Great coral, lots of rays. We are spoiled because we had a compressor on board. Just check the weather!
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Old 11-08-2011, 15:57   #3
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Re: Anyone Been Out to the Flower Garden Banks ?

I used to fish there a long time ago when I lived in San Antonio. We would trailer a 18' Boston Whaler Outrage to Aransas Pass and depart from there. Friends in a larger sportfish would bring extra fuel for me. The fishing was great. Lots of Red Snapper.
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Old 11-08-2011, 16:14   #4
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Re: Anyone Been Out to the Flower Garden Banks ?

Does it matter which mooring ball you pick up in terms of reef access / quality? There are three banks. Wondering which has the best diving.
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Old 11-08-2011, 16:37   #5
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Re: Anyone Been Out to the Flower Garden Banks ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RainDog View Post
Does it matter which mooring ball you pick up in terms of reef access / quality? There are three banks. Wondering which has the best diving.
East and West Flower are farther offshore, and have more hard coral. Some of the moorings are closer to the edge of the coral fields, where you can get deeper. But the best coral is more in the "middle" of what is a large area. Try any buoy, you'll like it. Be careful of midlevel currents, follow the mooring line down/up rather than a free descent/ascent.

East is slightly shallower than West, being more in the 70-75 foot range, while West is more 75-85. Both are similar, and very scenic. Pretty good fish life, you may see some rays, sea turtles, and the occasional shark.

Stetson Bank is closer in, and is "rockier" with less hard coral. It's also more of a "pinnacle", so you can drop off a couple of the "walls" if you want to get past 90-100'. It make a really cool night dive, kind of a lunar landscape, and probably more challenging diving.

I'm about to go on a mooring buoy anchor bolt maintenance trip at East Flower and Stetson.

At any of these sites, if it's not crowded, try one buoy, then if you think the others are better-situated for what you want to see, then switch.

Go to NOAAs site for more info. You'll like it, and you'll like the diving.
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