Constant strong winds from the northwest have made it hard for Gulf of Mexico (GOM) divers to find a safe window to get offshore and do some diving for lobsters. When the weather does cooperate the window isn’t open for long. This weather dilemma along with colder GOM bottom water temperatures had driven some Florida west-coast divers to head across the state. From Jupiter south to Miami, Florida, this is a good time of year to catch bottom temperatures in the mid 70’s, clear water and lobsters. The Florida Spiny Lobster season is still open until the last day of March 2020. Our February West Palm trip was last weekend and many of those divers already signed up for our next trip in a couple weeks. We found great diving and everyone who was lobster hunting put lobsters in their coolers. Some of the better east-coast dive charters are already booked, so try to get on a trip with a GOM dive shop that already has a weekend booked. Hotel rooms can be a little pricey this time of year, so going with a booked trip can be a better deal. Most trips leave the west coast in the morning on Saturday, they dive at 1pm, then go to the hotel and stay for the night to get back up and dive Sunday morning. Everyone is back to the west coast by 5pm on Sunday.
Capt. Bill Hardman teaches scuba classes and runs trips for Scuba, Spearfishing, Freediving and Technical diving courses at Aquatic Obsessions Scuba, 6193 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33710. You can reach Capt. Hardman at (727) 344-3483 (DIVE) or CaptainBillHardman@gmail.com