What's hot: Our divers had a great time the past couple of weeks. The bottom of the gulf has been active with gag groupers, hogfish, mangrove snapper and sheepshead. Until the rough weather hit, we had our best underwater visibility south of Clearwater. Depths as shallow as 35-40 feet had shootable visibility and plenty of fish. In questionable weather, try sheltered areas in the bay. One of our regular Tampa Bay divers has started to get keeper gags.
Good day: This past week Mary Taylor of Largo joined friends and dived just west of Johns Pass. Taylor filled her stringer by limiting out on grouper and hogfish. She and her buddies also found some true black groupers and speared one of the prized fish.
Less pressure: If you can dodge the bad weather, the water temperature is still comfortable, and there are fewer sportsmen on the water and plenty of fish.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg; reach him at CaptainBillHardman@gmail.com or (727) 344-3483.