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Captain's Corner

What's hot farther offshore: Finally, the live rock caves and undercuts of the Florida Middle Grounds have started to fill with grouper, hogfish and snapper. The fish are late this year. Usually, the immense structure of the grounds is already satiated with fish in early to mid June. About a week ago, it was almost a miracle to get five keeper grouper in the boat. It's still a lot of work finding the fish, but moving around and looking for bait has been the best bet.

By BILL HARDMAN
Published June 30, 2007


What's hot farther offshore: Finally, the live rock caves and undercuts of the Florida Middle Grounds have started to fill with grouper, hogfish and snapper. The fish are late this year. Usually, the immense structure of the grounds is already satiated with fish in early to mid June. About a week ago, it was almost a miracle to get five keeper grouper in the boat. It's still a lot of work finding the fish, but moving around and looking for bait has been the best bet.

What's hot closer to shore: The ledges in depths from 45 to 90 feet are still producing grouper and snapper. The larger grouper have donned their summer-wary ways. When spearfishing at these spots, you have to pay close attention to areas just at the limits of your visibility. If you can spot the outline of one of these bruisers before you spook the fish, you will have a good chance to use your stealth and reasoning to hunt the fish.

Tactics: When the summertime visibility starts to subside, many knowledgeable divers switch to yellow-lens masks. The yellow lens helps the diver pick up detail at the edge of his underwater visibility range. Many international companies produce these masks, but probably the best known and one of the best made are by a local St. Petersburg company, Sea Vision. You can find these types of masks in all full-service scuba shops.