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Daily fishing report
By CHAD CARNEY
Published December 24, 2005
The water under area bridges is clear, and with strong winds, few dive sites are as reachable by boat or kayak. Three interesting but advanced dives are the approach bridges of the Sunshine Skyway. Located close to shore, they're usually calm but span passes with strong tidal currents. The terrain below the Dick Misener Bridge is scattered with small rocks among the pilings so smaller stone crabs are plentiful if you are one of the first divers after a storm. The second St. Petersburg-side bridge is smaller and low, but has a more natural, limestone bottom. Larger stone crabs will burrow deep here and are more difficult to pull out. The sailboat wreck New Zest, wrapped around a piling on the southwest side of the bridge, attracts many gag grouper and mangrove snapper. On the Manatee side the only bridge is small, and identifiable by the extensive collection of tackle above on power lines. The bottom is natural limestone, so it is good for crab claws, but no spearfishing is allowed.
Boat traffic is a hazard so divers should keep out of the channels and stay next to the bridge pilings, while flying a dive flag close by.
Chad Carney teaches diving and spearfishing in the Tampa Bay area. Call 727 423-7775 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org