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Captain's Corner

Captain's Corner: Red grouper, gag grouper, hogfish are abundant

What's hot: Legal-sized red grouper are plentiful in depths exceeding 70 feet. The deeper you go, the bigger the grouper. Gag grouper season is still closed, and as divers can tell you, they are on almost every ledge, reef and wreck. The July 1 opening for the Gulf of Mexico should be epic. Over the past month, it has been common for divers to see 20- to 25-pound gags on most ledges 40 feet and deeper. Last week in 110 feet, I swam within 5 feet of a 45-pound male. Hogfish are still on most ledges, but most are being speared in 50-100 feet.

This weekend: Many of the captains that run in the Tampa Bay Times are giving free seminars and workshops this weekend at the Tampa Bay Boat Show at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. I will give seminars on spearing, diving and fish behavior at 1 p.m. today and Sunday. If you're not on the water, I hope to see you at the boat show.

Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 344-3483 and captainbillhardman@gmail.com.

Captain's Corner: Red grouper, gag grouper, hogfish are abundant 05/18/12 [Last modified: Friday, May 18, 2012 11:15pm]

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