I have fished the so called "dead zone" out of Louisiana several times...Those 50lb kings & 70lb Wahoo sure didn't act dead to me (we fish all the time in the West Delta and also on the other side of the "dead zone" in West Louisiana). I'm not convinced that this is a real "dead zone"...maybe for clams or bottom fish, but not for the mid to upper water column fish. Please educate me more...
The dead zone clearly impacts the lower column the most because the oxygen depleted water is heaviest so I guess its not surprising you catch kings and wahoo in areas you believe the dead zone exists. Also, you may be experiencing great fishing in areas that border oxygen depleted water as fish and prey move out of the poor conditions and are artificially concentrated. Are you suggesting that because it impacts the lower water column it is less of a concern?
This article mentioned the water column issue:
HOUSTON (AP) -- The oxygen-depleted "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico, long a subject of scrutiny by scientists, is only now becoming less of a mystery.
Known by fishermen south of the Mississippi River for more than a century, the area gained scientific recognition in the 1970s but became a greater concern when it doubled in size to about 7,000 square miles about 20 years later.
That expansion was blamed on nitrates, which are used as fertilizer and wash into the Mississippi River. The excess nitrates created large phytoplankton blooms, scientists said. Bacteria that thrive on the plankton after it dies consume more and more oxygen and the lower-oxygen water settles to the bottom.
The result, says Texas A&M University oceanographer Steven DiMarco, is a stable water column where the bottom 10 to 20 percent doesn't get replenished with fresh oxygen.
DiMarco said that this dead-zone effect is most persistent in the summer months, when the Gulf of Mexico waters are stagnant and there is little mixing. Fronts that develop by September help break up the dead zone by stirring up the Gulf waters.