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Daily fishing report
By BILL HARDMAN
Published May 21, 2005
The doors of my dive shop have been swinging with an influx of warm-water divers. Offshore water temperature has reached a comfortable level, an awaking for dormant divers. Their timing couldn't be better. The weather has settled, the visibility has been very good and the offshore waters are fishy and fun.
The average visibility the past three weeks has been good to great. It sounds wrong, but when the visibility is too good it can hinder spearfishing. If the horizontal visibility on the bottom is more than 60 feet, the wary shallow-water groupers will spot you early and will not feel comfortable to simply swim off and hide in a ledge or wreck. When the visibility is good, these smart gag and black groupers won't hole up as quickly as they will run, run, run.
One key to spearing these elusive groupers is to allow their natural curiosity for food to call them into your area. Simply ignore the fish as it swims away and go straight to the bottom. Once there, stir up the sand with your spear gun and make heartbeat-type sounds in your throat. Many times the fish can't resist the confusion, and they will come in to see if any food scraps are available. Your job is to be ready and make a good shot.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg. Call (727) 344-3483.