What's hot: Hogfish are still one of the most prevalent bottom fish in diving depths of 40-60 feet. The population is strong this year. The biggest hogfish come from distant ledges in the Florida Middle Grounds, the Elbow and on natural bottom in depths exceeding 100 feet and 50 miles from the coast. Our spearfishers still find cobia every weekend, most 25-40 pounds.
What's cool: Water temperatures beyond 50 miles are cold for this time of year, and visibility is still bad in most spots. The bottom temperature last weekend in areas of the Florida Middle Grounds was 67 degrees, almost 20 colder than normal. Visibility has been less than 10 feet in areas that typically have more than 100 feet.
This weekend: The St. Pete Open spearfishing tournament is going on, and the weigh-in starts tonight at Holiday Inn SunSpree in St. Petersburg. The presentation of fish starts at 6. The event is open to the public. See www.spearfishingspuc.org for details.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg. Call (727) 344-3483.