What's hot: The water is slower to warm than the air. This time of year, Spanish mackerel are spotted darting over wrecks, and limestone ledges are heavy with mangrove snapper. Hogfish are on most of the offshore ledges. We are seeing grouper (reds and gags) on most spots, and these fish seem to flaunt their protected status.
Next tournament: The Tampa Bay Spearfishing Challenge is only a month away, and many divers are getting geared up for the first big tournament of 2011. This tournament is a favorite of most "weekend warriors" who do spearfishing because the picks of the prize table are random and not determined by placement. The tournament is scheduled for April 9 and the weigh-in and awards are April 10 at the Winghouse in Pinellas Park. Go to tampabayspearfishingclub.org for more information.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 344-3483.