Daily fishing report St. Petersburg – Dead reefs and ledges are everywhere because of the rampant Red Tide. Last weekend I took a group of divers out for the first day of the regular lobster season. We started in 110 feet and dived a wreck that yielded a few nice red snappers and some mangroves. The keeper amberjacks seemed to be in deeper water.
We worked our way into shallower water and some known lobster ledges. At 90 feet we found about 20 feet of visibility on two dives and less than 6 feet on another. The visibility was scattered.
We got some lobsters in 90 feet, one just less than 10 pounds. The water was the same all the way in to 65 feet, then everything drastically changed. Red Tide killed everything: shells, worms, crabs, fish, lobster. It was the most devastating thing I’ve seen in the gulf. Wayne Genthner of Wolfmouth Charters, a local fishing and diving captain, told me there were at least 5,500 square kilometers of dead area in the gulf and said everything was dead south of the shipping channel from 20 to 52 feet. He is trying to map out the dead areas and will be looking for volunteer divers to help. If interested, contact me and I will put you on the list of volunteer divers.
Bill Hardman teaches scuba, spearfishing and free diving through Aquatic Obsessions Scuba in St. Petersburg. Call (727) 344-3483.
By BILL HARDMAN