What's hot: American red snapper season is back open and divers have found plenty. These snappers are in depths exceeding 100 feet. The Gulf of Mexico's abundance of red snapper has been witnessed by divers and federal biologists and because of the healthy population of these fish, the federal government reopened and extended the season. The extension is only during the next seven weekends. The season, which ends Nov. 22, is 12:01 a.m. Friday through 12:01 a.m. Monday.
In shallower water: Grouper, hogfish, cobia and mangrove snappers can be found in shallower waters more than red snapper. The weather has been a little windy and for most boats, staying closer to the coast is safer. Our divers have been finding plenty of these fish shallower than 70 feet. Fall weather is here and that means cooler water and rougher seas, so plan your trips around the weather, and never go offshore without your EPIRB.
Last big tournament: The Florida Skin Diving Association's fall Free Dive Classic is today. The weigh-in starts at 4 p.m. at the Anclote River Park boat ramp in Tarpon Springs.
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.