The good news is offshore fish are waiting for you. The bad news is many fishermen will not be able to get to them this weekend.
Fishing has been good this week. The waters off the coast had poor visibility after Hurricane Ivan, and the gulf looked like mud after Jeanne, limiting diving until this week.
Plenty of nice grouper were found in depths exceeding 90 feet. Big ledges and heavy structures were holding plenty of them and snapper. Everyone was dreaming of a great dive weekend, but that won't happen because of high winds and rough seas.
Once the waters calm, divers will head out in droves. Fish concentrations are good from the middle grounds to 70 feet off Bayport and Tarpon and to 100 feet west and north of Sarasota.
Be on the lookout for sizable scamp and American red snappers. They usually are not found in waters just west of St. Petersburg, but the recent hurricanes seemed to move them closer. Some are around the bigger ledges and wrecks.
A couple of our divers landed cobia and said there were more swimming around the wrecks at 60 feet.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving and runs daily spearfishing trips through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg. Call (727) 344-3483.