What's hot: Spearfishermen need clear water, and in the central eastern Gulf, the underwater visibility has been better more days this year than in the past. But that is changing. In depths of 70-130 feet, the visibility has become very poor. On a recent dive we went from 30 feet of visibility at the 50-foot depth to a foot of visibility at 125 feet. You can't determine the visibility on the bottom by looking at the water clarity on the surface. You have to dive to find out.
Tips: In the spots you can see fish, gag grouper are sliding in and out of the limestone ledges and rocky areas. Hogfish are still abundant on most reefs and amberjack are on most wrecks and springs. The baitfish is smaller than earlier this year, but if you find the bait schools, the grouper, snapper and other predators will be within shooting distance. The last day to take amberjack is Sunday.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 344-3483 and [email protected]