tampabay.com

Daily fishing report

By BILL HARDMAN
Published February 11, 2006


It's no surprise to you hardy spearfishermen that shallow water visibility is poor. Usually the winter months bring good visibility and fish in the shallows. Some of the fish have arrived and so has the visibility; however, both are in deeper water. Our divers have found 20-25 feet of visibility in 90-100 feet of water due west of St. Petersburg.

If you want a bigger challenge with a real fight, motor out to the wrecks and springs and seek out the mighty amberjack. Bing Gwong of St. Petersburg speared a 70-pound amberjack off a wreck in 100 feet of water. One of his dive buddies said there were others in that weight class in the large school.

Even medium-size amberjacks can twist and mangle every bit of your spear gear. Don't go after this caliber of fish with cheap guns, shafts and tips. You and your gear should be in the best shape. The prodigious amberjack will find any weak link in you or your gear. Cold water doesn't slow these powerhouses much. Be careful and have a sharp knife handy in case you get wrapped in your spear line.

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