What's hot: Flounder and hogfish are filling stringers for many divers. Large flounder are hiding in self-made sand blankets just off the wrecks and the pipeline. Many divers tend to focus their attention on the structure and forget to look away from the bait and other darting fish to look for flounder. Flounder are still being found, unusual for this late in the year.
Flounder tactic: It's tempting to spear a flounder with your speargun, but hold off. Stab the flounder in the back of the head with your knife, but turn your knife so the blade faces the side of the fish and not the tail. This way, when the fish tries to pull away, it will not force the knife to cut down through the tail and allow the fish to pull off. The payoff comes when the vibrations from the stabbed flounder stimulate a hiding snapper, hogfish or grouper and brings it to you. Flounder settle down fast, and you can pick them up after you spear the other fish.
Boat show: The Tampa Bay Boat Show continues today and Sunday at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. I am giving one free spearfishing seminar each day at 12:30 p.m. Stop by for a seminar or stop by my booth. Admission is free; it's $5 to park. See tampabayboatshows.com for details.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 344-3483.