What's hot: Cobia and amberjack are pounding the wrecks in all depths. Larger amberjack are in deeper water while larger cobia can be found on a shallow wreck as easily as a deeper wreck. At 60 feet in Pinellas and Pasco, it has been about 65 degrees. (The deeper you dive, the warmer the water.) Colder temperatures usually bring in more amberjack but also will get the cobia to head south. A couple weeks of warmer weather should keep both easy to find.
Stay warm: As always at this time of year, quality wet suits are a must. Not only is thickness important, but so is fit and full coverage of your head. Many divers dread wearing the constraining full hood. But improvements with super-stretch and fleece-lined Lavacore material make cold-water diving more comfortable. Some of these thermal protection garments are very warm and nonrestrictive, and some have no "reserve buoyancy," allowing you to wear less weight.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg and can be reached at (727) 344-3483 and captainbill [email protected]