What's hot: Red snapper fishing is hot in all depths of more than 100 feet. The season ends at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, the shortest season ever for these fish in the gulf. Even though the population of red snappers has been improving, the recreational fishing season has been getting shorter. This brief 48-day season has been marked by anglers and divers almost always getting their allotted daily limit (two per day). According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the average weight landed in the gulf has gone up from just more than 3 pounds to 5.34 pounds since 2007.
Bite is on: Red snapper are easy to find, and they're hungry. They have such ravenous appetites that on most of our spots, the fish leave the protection of the bottom to swim up under the boat, in the hope of a quick chance at a bait or two.
Next tournament: The next spearfishing tournament in Florida is the biggest of all. The St. Pete Open, hosted by the St. Pete Underwater Club, will be held Aug. 19-21 at Marina Cove (formerly Holiday Inn Sunspree) in south St. Petersburg. For more information, call SPUC president Scott Lucas at (727) 639-4375 or go to stpeteopen.com.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 344-3483 or firstname.lastname@example.org.