Two major obstacles have kept spearfishermen from enjoying quality hunting in the Gulf of Mexico's offshore areas. Since January, cold fronts have hammered our offshore haunts, and rough water has kept most of our boats at the dock. Even when the offshore water has allowed boats to safely venture into the gulf, underwater visibility has been so poor that spearing has been practically unavailable in most recreational depths. The good news: Spearing inside Tampa Bay and in other saltwater in-shore areas has been good. This past week, in-shore spearfishermen have found visibility exceeding 15 feet around the Howard Frankland and Gandy bridges. The farther north they have gone, the better the visibility. The better visibility has been on the outgoing tide.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 344-3483 and firstname.lastname@example.org.