St. Petersburg fishing report

St. Petersburg fishing report – Spearfishermen are reporting outstanding underwater visibility in the bay. Tampa Bay has some of the best saltwater visibility on the West Coast of Florida right now. Many of our divers are reporting visibility off their docks in excess of 20 feet. While the offshore waters are struggling to clear up after hurricane season, the bay has settled it’s turbid water and our inshore waters look even clearer than the inshore waters of Key Largo. Last weekend we dove in the Florida Keys and we were lucky to get 20 feet of visibility on the patch reefs. Fish are still scattered in depths from 50 to 110 feet. Grouper have been found on reefs where the bait has stacked. The larger winter gag grouper have not moved in yet, but the water is still in the 60s and not quite cold enough to move the big ones in close.

Some amberjack have started to move into the springs and wrecks in 150 feet and deeper. They have also started to show up in good concentrations in the middle grounds. Most of the commercial spearfishermen have concentrated more on the amberjacks since the grouper closure is in effect until Jan. 1. These commercial spearfishermen have reported having to push grouper out of their way to shoot snapper and hogfish. Recreational fishermen only have a couple weeks left to get grouper without the commercial pressure, so get out there and good luck.

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

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