The amount of fish we saw was pretty incredible, although most were not considered “quality fish”. Drifting in from the drop-off in waters 70-90 feet we would be greeted by huge schools of triggerfish, spade fish and King Mackerel. All these fish would come in mass at the flashers we were using. I saw one school of king fish that must have had 50 fish in it, and on another drift a few miles away Luis saw a school of kingfish that had hundreds in it. We shot four king fish. The school of mackerel had relatively small fish in the 7-10 pound range. I also shot a 37# pound Amberjack (gutted), not really a big amberjack but a decent one for freediving in the Keys, and the largest I have shot so far. Luis had brought out a big riffe bluewater gun, rigged to kill something massive. Although we saw nothing massive tested it out on the king fish and he was happy how well it performed.
One of highlights of the day was Luis saw a group of cubera snapper in the water column in around 80 feet of water. He didn’t get one but it was pretty cool to see regardless.
The next day I went out with Andy and Brian from West Palm Beach. Brian is captain of the USA spearfishing team and an instructor for a free diving class. We dove some reef and wrecks in front of Key West. It was a half day and it was dark but the vis was still good so it was a good time. We didn’t shoot anything that exciting. I got a small cubera and Brian also shot a cubera but some sharks came and ate it. We shot some yellow jacks, and snapper.
Probably the most interesting thing we saw was massive amounts of black grouper on the reef. I guess I shouldn’t say massive after seeing videos of some of the spawning gags up north, but a lot of black grouper compared to what I have ever seen diving so far. One ledge had one fish that was pushing 35 pounds and 3 other fish all in the 10-15 pound range next to it. It just hung out and looked at me, I could have shot it 3 times. Seemed like everywhere we dove there was a black grouper looking at us.