What's hot: Baitfish are swarming on most offshore wrecks; grouper, cobia, snapper and more are following. Some wrecks are becoming gathering grounds for gag groupers. They are showing up under bait balls and when pressured they are moving out to the sand just off the structure.
Tactics: When spearfishing, swim away from the wreck, up in the water column and hang over the sand just off the wreck. Look closely on the sand for grouper that have turned pale off-white. Swim past and over the fish, then turn back and perform a stealthy drop behind the fish, close enough for accurate placement of your spear. Shooting free-shafts instead of the typical line-shafts are more productive for this type of hunting.
Tournament news: The Florida Spearfishing and Photography Championships are around the corner. Called the Southern Open, it will be held at Gators on the Pass on Treasure Island. The photography is scheduled to start June 6 and the spearfishing date is June 21. For information go to divefsda.com.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg. Call (727) 344-3483 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.