Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Captain's Corner

Captain's Corner: Target red snapper in deep water

Bill Hardman

Bill Hardman

What's hot: The 26-day federal American red snapper season that started June 1 still has a few days to go. As most anglers and divers know, these fish are often found in water deeper than 80 feet. We caught many on hook and line over swiss cheese hard-bottom areas in depths starting at 120 feet due west of Sarasota and St. Petersburg. Fishing is easier than spearfishing over these areas. Red snapper tend to rise off the bottom and move toward the boat, but once a spearfisherman enters the water, they spread out and head for the bottom. If a spearfisherman is fortunate enough to get off a good shot before the snapper disappear, a tasty snapper will make it into the cooler.

Spearing techniques: When diving for red snapper over these sparse hard-bottom and swiss cheese areas, a spearshaft attached to a line is a must. Many experienced spearfishermen use a freeshaft (a spearshaft with no line attachment, like an arrow from a bow), and taking shots at fish that don't have any large structure to run into prompts them to take off and get lost in the sand. Shooting these fish up in the water column with a freeshaft also lends itself to losing the shaft, which can travel all the way through the fish and to the bottom and be lost in the sand.

Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 344-3483 and

Captain's Corner: Target red snapper in deep water 06/18/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 6:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  2. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. gets extra day off to let hip heal

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RF Steven Souza Jr. ran in rightfield before batting practice under the watchful gaze of the Rays training staff and manager Kevin Cash. Afterward, Souza told Cash he could use one more day of rest before playing on the left hip he strained Wednesday in Oakland.

    Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brad Miller (13) gets a hug from right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) after his solo home run in the fourth inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, July 21, 2017.
  3. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: FS1; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  4. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Rangers game

    The Heater

    Looks like LF Corey Dickerson is coming out of his funk at the plate — .186 average in past 16 games entering Friday. He had two hits Wednesday in Oakland and three hits Friday against the Rangers. Okay, one was an infield hit that bounced high in front of the plate, but the other was a long home run to …

  5. History shows Ole Miss upheaval tough to overcome


    After Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze resigned Thursday, with the opener six weeks away, offensive line coach Matt Luke is being thrown into an interim head coaching position. He will try to save a season that already had been scarred by a self-imposed bowl ban for NCAA violations.

    After coach Jim Tressel resigned, Ohio State went 6-7, including a loss to Florida in the Gator Bowl, in 2011.