What's hot: Hogfish are holding solid on most ledges. This past week we found more of them south of the Tampa Bay shipping channel than directly north of the channel. In federal water, where gag grouper season is closed, gags are everywhere. This week I spied a fat 30-pound gag swimming away on a wreck in 70 feet. The open season for gag in state waters is scheduled to close Wednesday. Red groupers are spotty but we got a few 8- to 10-pounders on ledges from 65-100 feet.
State Championships: The 48th Annual State Spearfishing and/or Underwater Photography Championships, aka the Southern Open, is only a couple weeks away. The weigh-in and trophy presentations will start at 11 a.m. June 12 at Gators on the Pass in Treasure Island. All the proceeds go to charities. Diver's rights and the weigh-in is open to the public. For information, go to divefsda.com.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at [email protected]mail.com or (727) 344-3483