With dark water from last week's rain extending out past 10 miles from Tarpon Springs, nearshore gulf fishing has been slow. Outside of there the action picks up considerably. While diving in 60 to 80 feet of water Thursday, we saw large schools of permit over several different wrecks. In one case a school of 50 or more swirled around us for several minutes before casually swimming to the other side of the wreck. Had we been fishing, drifting live crabs on light line would have produced multiple hookups. Another species we were surprised to see in reasonable quantity was cobia. Late summer is not usually the best time for them but they are still here. The downside for spearfishermen was that all of the cobia we encountered were following large sharks. To hook and line fish for cobia in this situation, chum to bring the sharks into range. Hanging a fresh filleted bonito or two over the side usually works. Once they come in, cobia will often grab nearby freelined or floating baits. Other times we will chum the big sharks into range then sightcast to the cobia. Normally sharks will not turn and attack a hooked cobia but it does happen on occasion. Keep an eye open and a baited rod ready when someone hooks a cobia as they often follow hooked fish as well. Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. Contact email@example.com or at (727) 944-3474.