The last few days we have had some very calm seas and have been diving a bunch. Niko has brought a bunch of guys from up the Keys to dive , he has also brought his smart phone out so I got some decent photos.
We went out way west the other day and the conditions were good but the fishing was not that great. It seems like a lot of the grouper have moved deeper or been killed by divers. The ones that are still hanging around on the reef are on notice after seeing one of the buddies get shot, and many will dart as soon as they see you.
We also went a little west a couple days ago and had a pretty good day, Jared from up the keys came out with us. He got a black and red or two, so did Niko. I think I shot a small king fish that day or perhaps the day before. If I write about dive trips more then a day past the details are kind of fuzzy.
Then we went out yesterday with Steel Rokett and also Joe for Oregon. Steel is a young guy from up the keys who has been diving here his whole life, and Joe was here to help with the recent failed Cuba swim. We got a late start and we were going to head out west but on the way out the patches in hawks channel looked clear so we stopped and dove. I don’t know why but it seems to be a pattern when its clear inside recently. We stop and the first set of rocks is great everyone gets a nice fish and then we get pumped to dive hanks channel but then the next 4 sets of rocks have next to nothing on them. This has happened before and its exactly what happened yesterday. The first set of rocks we hit fish started showing up immediately , Niko got a nice mutton, Steel got a nice YJ, Joe got a red grouper I shot a black and the Niko shot another black. Every one was pumped , Hawks Channel is awesome. So we got to the next set of rocks, same type rocks , same depth, temp etc nothing. Then the next set, nothing and the next set, nothing and then the next set and nothing again.
Then we got out to reef line and there is not much going on, then we decide to check the bar and see if the monster triggers are out there again. We get out on the roll off and its blue water, and I can see the bottom and in like 80 feet. There are no triggers but I get a little black at around 65 feet. A single 8# trigger shows up and Steel pops him. I do another dive and in the distance I see what looks like 3 or 4 20# blacks running towards the drop off. When I surfaced I wasn’t sure if they were blacks, blacks don’t usually run in a pattern , they looked more like snappers. Niko called me and he says they were cuberas. I couldn’t find them again and figured they were gone. I did my next dive a little closer to the roll off and once I am down, I see the cuberas swimming along the roll of in my direction. I sink down to 80 feet and put my hand on the bottom and they actually turn and run right at me. I picked the closest and tried to shoot him between the eyes but he must have turned so quick because I got him in the tail. As soon as I shoot him a shark rushes up off the roll off and is heading straight for the fish. Its too deep to do anything but head to the surface, once I was at the surface I pulled up the fish expecting it to be gone but he is there and untouched.
Then we went a bit shallower and everyone got a decent trigger or two and Joe got a big mangrove. Then we dropped Steel down on a scuba tank and he shot 2 muttons one of them pushing 18#. The vis was getting more and more crappy as the day went on and we headed in after that.