tampabay.com

Daily fishing report

By BILL HARDMAN
Published June 17, 2006


Since the beginning of 2006, Gulf of Mexico scuba divers and snorkelers have had a long run of good visibility and moderate seas. Then Tropical Storm Alberto mixed up the gulf. We haven't had any divers go out since Alberto. Speculation on the water visibility is all the divers in the dive shops are talking about.

The optimistic divers are looking forward to this weekend, to see if Alberto mixed up the bottom enough to pick up and remove the lymbia, or "angel hair" algae. The lymbia makes it hard to spearfish, and it has been lying on the bottom for many months. When it finally leaves, spearfishermen will be able to get a good look at the bottom fish that have been hiding in the undercuts and ledges.

The pessimistic spearfishermen are already groaning about how bad they think the water clarity must be since Alberto. Sometimes the bad weather delivers some good results. For example, last year, Hurricane Katrina caused all kinds of turmoil, but when it moved past our coastline, it lifted the Red Tide that was stuck on the bottom.

A thermocline (a layer of colder water) held the Red Tide on the bottom, causing most of our bottom structure to perish. Only Katrina's power was strong enough to clean out the red tide of 2005.

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