Visibility is improving slowly, and water temperatures have reached the cold zone. In 60-90-foot dives, bottom temperatures were in the upper 50s. Deeper waters of the Florida Middle Grounds, the Elbow and in depths exceeding 140 feet just southwest of St. Petersburg are in the low 70s.
Hogfish as large as 7 pounds are prevalent in the 70-90-foot range. Groupers are available in shallow areas, but the ability to spearfish is hampered by low visibility. As the temperatures increase, so will the groupers in shallow ledges.
Fishing Rights Alliance spokesman Dennis O'Hern will talk about hogfish and grouper regulations Thursday in St. Petersburg. For more information, call (727) 345-3483.
- Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and freediving in St. Petersburg. Call (727) 344-3483.