What's hot: Underwater visibility has forced many spearfishermen to man the rails with fishing poles. The fishing has been hot and when divers find visibility on the bottom, they are doing well targeting gag and red grouper and hogfish. The best visibility has been north of John's Pass on the ledges and rocky areas north of Clearwater. In areas south of John's Pass, visibility has been better in varied depths from week to week. This past week the best visibility, due west of St. Petersburg and south of the ditch, has been in 70 to 90 feet.
Tips: Gag grouper are at the top of most of divers' search list and are being taken in most depths. When divers can't find clear water, the best plan has been boarding the boat and using a fishing pole. Frozen baits have done as well as live bait, with grouper eager to attack the cut bait.
Lobster season: The Florida Sportsman's two-day spiny lobster season is next Wednesday and Thursday, and hordes of divers are planning to hit the Keys. The regular season opens on Aug. 6. For more information go to myfwc.com.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 344-3483 and firstname.lastname@example.org.