Big event: The St. Pete Open is next week, and the best in spearfishing will attend the weigh-in Aug. 21 at the Holiday Inn SunSpree in St. Petersburg. The state spearfishing championship is in June, but the fish are limited to those from Florida waters and adjoining federal waters. The St. Pete Open allows fish from any body of water as long as no laws are violated. The weigh-in is open to public. Check stpeteopen.com for details.
Wet suits needed: Water in depths of 70 to 80 feet is still in the upper 60 degrees. This requires a full 3mm wet suit. Not using proper thermal insulation has no place in diving. Getting cold on dives can cause illness.
Fish in the cold: Good concentrations of gag grouper and other bottom fish are lying inside the colder water. Find the thermocline holding bait above the cold water and you should be successful.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at CaptainBillHardman@gmail.com or (727) 344-3483.