The Tampa Bay Times

The off-shore water clarity has been getting better and better as we move through April.  This week, in water west of Clearwater the underwater visibility has been just over 20’ of clear water in depths of 40’.   . Following suit, the deeper the water – the better the visibility.  April and November are usually our driest months for rainfall.  Less run-off from rainwater pouring from land to sea usually makes for clearer water in the Gulf of Mexico. If your dive sites are a few miles north or south of an inlet to in-shore waters the best visibility will be on the flood tide.  The incoming tide cleans up the turbid water that surrounds the inlets.  The ebb tide is when the tide is moving offshore. The ebb tide tends to mix water and debris from the land run-off into the Gulf.  So dive the tides to find cleaner water.  For freedive spearfishermen, the name of the game is pelagics.  Kingfish and cobia are becoming common over wrecks and big hard-bottom areas.  Hogfish and snappers are on most bottom limestone areas and the sheepsheads are still hanging out, but most have started moving in-shore. The bottom temperature in 60’ on this past Saturday was 73 degrees. Divers from different cities in Florida will be heading to Pinellas county, to the Bellair Bluffs on the 24th of April for the 2021 State Freedive Spearfishing Championships.  This is a one- day event and is open to teams.  To find out more go to

Capt. Bill Hardman teaches scuba classes and runs trips for Scuba, Spearfishing, Freediving and Technical diving courses at Aquatic Obsessions, 6193 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL  33710.  You can reach Capt. Hardman at (727) 344-3483 (DIVE) or

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