Seeing plenty: Fish offshore in the gulf are active and plentiful. While diving this week we saw cobia, kingfish and amberjack up in the water column, and grouper, triggerfish, hogfish and snapper everywhere else. We stalked red and gag grouper in depths from 50 feet to 100 feet. At 85 feet, I spotted an 18- to 20-pound black grouper that ducked into an undercut and popped out the back to safety.
Wrecks and cubera: Diving early in the morning, we spotted a 60-plus-pound cubera snapper on a wreck in 95 of water, but it eluded a dive buddy and moved off the wreck. About 4 p.m., another diver spotted the same big cubera on the same wreck, and again the fish eluded the diver. Look closely when you spot a couple of goliath grouper because, like this cubera, big snapper hide among goliaths.
Southern Open: The state championship of spearfishing and underwater photography is scheduled for June 11-13, with the weigh-in at Gators Cafe on Treasure Island. For information, visit DiveFSDA.com.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 344-3483 or firstname.lastname@example.org.