tampabay.com

Daily fishing report

By BILL HARDMAN
Published July 30, 2005


With Hurricane Dennis causing bad visibility, it has been very difficult to spearfish in the Gulf of Mexico. Just last week some of our divers only had 2 feet of visibility in the usually clear waters at more than 180 feet. Reports in the Middle Grounds were even worse - less than 1 foot of visibility in 130 feet.

The good news is that visibility has improved exponentially over the past couple of days. In most areas, visibility is good enough now for safe spearfishing in less than 100 feet.

That's the news lobster hunters waited to hear. The bad visibility curtailed all efforts to hunt lobsters in the gulf during the recent Florida sport season. The regular lobster season starts next Saturday and the visibility should be good enough to allow safe hunting.

All reports from the Keys said divers fared well during the sport season. We went to Islamorada a few weeks ago and were pleasantly surprised by the number of lobsters that had migrated into the shallow Keys waters.

August is the month for the biggest spearfishing gathering in the world. The 40th St. Pete Open Spearfishing Tournament is slated Aug. 19-21 at the Holiday Inn SunSpree in St. Petersburg. For information on participating, volunteering or how to view the tournament go to www.spearfishingspuc.org or contact Scott Hooker at 727 492-5900.

Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg. Call (727) 344-3483.