What's hot: Amberjack are still prowling most of the wrecks, large artificial structures and high relief ledges in the Gulf of Mexico. On spots out to 90 feet, most are just legal size. But larger ones are in deeper water — where we're also finding keeper red grouper, scattered hogfish and legal scamp.
Tips: The past few weeks of warmer temperatures have not been enough to get the bottom of the gulf into the 70s. From 40-90 feet, they are still lingering in the mid to upper 60s. The warmer water is much deeper. Our technical divers have found water from 150-190 feet at 73-74 degrees. The deeper water usually stays warmer through the winter, and the fish are a little more lively in these temperatures.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 344-3483 and firstname.lastname@example.org.