August heat has produced warmer water in the shallow areas. That has moved the red, black and scamp grouper to deeper water. West of Tampa Bay, there is a 10 degree thermocline about 90 to 120 feet from the surface. The benthic (bottom) fish love the cooler water and are feisty and happy in this environment. Add schools of bait and it lends to a great situation for fishermen and spearfishermen. The underwater visibility decreases once you enter the cooler thermocline waters. This past weekend we speared red and gag groupers in the 10- to 20-pound range and a large scamp that was just more than 12 pounds. These grouper are darting in and out of potholes and ledges that are holding bait. Mangrove snapper are more plentiful and much easier to spear than the more elusive grouper. A good technique is to shoot a mangrove snapper that is close to the structure and use the struggling snapper to lure in the grouper. After spearing the snapper, reload and be ready. Any hungry grouper that are looming out in the sand will dart toward the wounded snapper on a predatory impulse, but they will only show up for a second or two until they realize you are in waiting. Gags will be more wary than the red grouper and give you less time to secure a meal. Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Peter sburg and can be reached at (727) 344-3483 and email@example.com.