Amberjack: The recreational taking of amberjack is still allowed in the gulf. There has been talk that the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Council would close the fishery at any time. The recreational quota has not been reached, so amberjack are okay to take. They remain predominately in deeper waters. Most of our divers had to go to wrecks and springs in depths of more than 110 feet to find keeper-size amberjack.
Nice catch: Keeper gag grouper are in depths as shallow as 30 feet. Underwater visibility hasn't been clear enough to allow safe and ethical spearfishing that shallow. Most divers have started hunting in 50 feet or more. Diving on a wreck in more than 120 feet, Jim Brennan of Apollo Beach speared a gag that weighed just more than 25 pounds.
Event: The Florida Skin Diving Association's Fall Freedive Classic is scheduled for Oct. 9 at the Anclote River Park boat ramp. For details, go to divefsda.com.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at CaptainBillHardman@gmail.com or (727) 344-3483