Finally got a day when the weather wasn’t terrible and Cat had the day off. Cat and I headed out early in hopes of wahoo but when we got out there the wind that was supposed to be 5-10 was actually blowing around 15 out of the east. That coupled with the ripping gulfstream current to the east made for not that great conditions. After a little bit we headed for the reef.
On the reef the current and seas were way less and we were able to drop anchor and swim together for the first time in forever. The reef was pretty, not a lot of fish but the vis was fantastic. I shot a barracuda for chum and it promptly bent my shaft. I have pretty much ditched all my south African style shafts. The rust is just too much of a pain in the ass to deal with. I just straighten the bends out usually. I haven’t bent one bad enough to have to scrap it in a while.
After a bit we moved to another ledge and started cutting up the cuda. Immediately there was three legal black behind the boat. Of course the season closed last week so they were out. I shot some big mangroves and swam around for awhile. A big jewfish came out and and was eating the pieces of cuda. He was kind of spooky and would not let Cat get a really good photo of him. After a bit we were going to leave but then a big hammerhead showed up. The hammerhead and jewfish were swimming together pushing each other away from the cuda pieces. I dove on the hammer and he swam up to my fins and then spooked and left.
Then we went out deep and I dove for awhile and ran the boat. I got a couple yellow jacks and triggers. I also had a jewfish grab one of the jacks and bend my shaft. There were huge whirling balls of bait in the deep water. Hundreds of chubs on the surface, under them hundreds of bar jacks, under them thousands of yellow tail and tropicals. Amberjack, Yellow jacks and Crevelle jacks cruised the bottom of the bait balls. It was pretty tremendous diving. Personally the winter diving when the jacks are schooled up is the best diving in Key West in my opinion.