What's on the bottom: Bottom fish such as hogfish, grouper and mangrove snapper are in shallow water. Larger than normal hogfish have recently been speared in depths from 35 to 70 feet. The past four to six weeks, gag grouper have moved from 80 feet to 30 and now back to 80. Given enough time, the gags will make it out to the depths of the summertime haunts of the red grouper. These areas are the hard-bottom and Swiss cheese-bottom areas deeper than 100 feet.
What's on top: Amberjack are lingering around the wrecks, but most of the keeper size are in depths more than 80 feet. Keeper cobia sightings are slowing down.
What's hot: The 45th annual FSDA Southern Open State Championships for Spearfishing and U/W Photography are this weekend. The fish weigh-in will start about 10 a.m. Sunday at Gators on the Pass in Treasure Island. The weigh-in should have some impressive and big grouper, hogfish, snapper, amberjack, cobia and triggerfish.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and freediving classes at Aquatic Obsessions, 6193 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. He can be reached at (727) 344-3483 or firstname.lastname@example.org.