There’s nothing better than the feeling of being submerged into a new world below. Southwest Florida is a great place to be, as it is not too far from the Keys, the East Coast, the Springs and caverns, and the Gulf is in its backyard. Florida diving is diverse, year-round and a great family-friendly destination right here in the U.S. to visit.

The Gulf of Mexico is one of the best kept secrets of Florida diving. Unlike the east coast of Florida, no drift diving is required. Tampa Bay is known as the largest estuary in the state with hundreds of newborn species of fish and crustaceans. While most people don’t dive the Bay itself, it makes for a very diverse and thriving variety species in the Gulf of Mexico. Although the Gulf may not have Caribbean gin-clear waters and soft corals, the region has some of the most encounters with big fish! Some of the wildlife encounters include sea turtles of a wide variety, big bait balls of fish, goliath grouper, hogfish, snapper, gag grouper and red grouper, barracuda, amberjack, spanish mackerel, stone crabs, blue crabs and so much more. The geography resembles the old coastline of Florida and therefore is very shallow. To reach more than 100 feet, one must run 30 to 40 miles offshore. This is why boats are required for most diving in the Gulf and makes it a lot easier for beginner training off of a boat! A lot of the diving includes artificial reefs and ledges. There is some shore diving available and that’s where we do a lot of fossil and shark tooth diving. In the summer, the Gulf can get into the upper 80s – known as th bathtub of Mexico and in the winter, it can cool to the upper 50s.

Adventure Outfitters is pleased to offer unique charter experiences for diving and fishing including:

  • Recreational Dives: 2 and 3-Tank charters
  • Spearfishing: 2, 3-Tank and Middlegrounds excursions
  • CCR, Tec/Wreck diving and DPV Charters
  • Also available for Freediving, Instruction and Classes

About the Zen Dog:

The Zen Dog is a 32' WorldCat Center Console vessel with twin 300 Yamahas, custom tank racks and a stable catamaran platform specially designed for offshore diving and spearfishing. Book your charter on this page. If you have any questions, please reach out to Adventure Outfitters at or by calling: 813-832-6669.