Saturday, February 24, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: Underwater visibility improving for divers

Divers who ventured offshore in the past week have been greeted by improving underwater visibility and a fair complement of fish. For many weeks, underwater visibility has been poor. Two weeks ago in depths out to 130 feet, visibility was 5 feet or less. With visibility improving, divers are finding nice concentrations of hogfish on most of the limestone ledges and hard bottom areas. The better visibility has the prowling male hogfish working overtime to keep females in the area and free from encroaching suitors. The preoccupation with rounding up the females gives divers a chance to find a larger, older fish with his guard down for a good spear shot. Red grouper are showing up on some bottom areas, but they are small. The larger reds will move in as the water warms. Keeper-sized scamp grouper are flirting round some of the ledges in 60 to 80 feet. If you haven't had scamp for dinner, you've missed out one of the best-tasting grouper in the gulf. It is worth the time to learn to identify scamp and see if you can get one over the minimum of 16 inches overall on your next dive.

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

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Captainís Corner: Spring-like conditions lead to improved bite

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Updated: 3 hours ago

Captainís Corner: Cobia moving into bay ahead of schedule

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Published: 02/23/18

Captainís Corner: Rising temperatures fire up the bite

With no cold fronts rolling into the bay area soon, it also means water temperatures are on the rise to the mid 70s. That has the bite fired up inshore and nearshore. Snook fishing is on fire with these warmer temperatures at night. Weíve been findin...
Published: 02/22/18

Captainís Corner: Warming waters, better visibility are good signs

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Published: 02/18/18
Updated: 02/19/18

Captainís Corner: Flats coming to life in north Pinellas County

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Published: 02/18/18

Captainís Corner: Bait a challenge, but effort will pay off

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Published: 02/16/18
Updated: 02/17/18

Captainís Corner: Springtime fishing patterns moving in

The first half of February has been hit or miss for inshore fishing. The consistent cold fronts and warmups seem to have the fish confused. The week ahead should be pretty good. The best bite has been midmorning into the afternoon. With temperatures ...
Published: 02/14/18
Updated: 02/15/18

Captainís Corner: Get an early start when chasing redfish

Redfish schools have started to invade the flats around Pinellas Point. On low tide in the morning, I look for a school on an outer sandbar. These fish are staged on the edge waiting for the tide to come in. Once the water level rises, the fish will ...
Published: 02/13/18

Captainís Corner: Baitfish in the shallows improves fly fishing

Seeing large groups of pelicans diving and catching baitfish in warmer, shallow water is a sure sign spring conditions are approaching. The appearance of quality baitfish will spark a feeding frenzy that should steadily improve flats fishing for fly ...
Published: 02/14/18
Updated: 02/16/18

Captainís Corner: Action picking up as temperature rises

The wind finally stopped blowing so hard that we couldnít go offshore. Water temperatures were still in the low 50s offshore at the beginning of the week, and this affected fish behavior. Because the water was calm, we ventured out to the 80- to 90-f...
Published: 02/11/18
Updated: 02/12/18