First stop was on the reef not too far out. We passed on a few barely legal grouper. I used the dead time to get myself dialed back in with my rabitech. My new wood custom gun just doesn’t have quite enough range for these days with 60-80 foot vis. My rabitech reaches out another extra 6-7 feet and it doesn’t seem like it would make much of a difference but it does. I have found that it took me about 10 shots to get my aim back with my rabitech. Weird how my brain learns how to aim with one gun and the I have difficulty aiming another gun even though there is no conscious change made.
That first ledge didn’t really produce so off we went further west. The next rock we jumped in on we anchored on. I usually hate anchoring and swimming if there is any more then the lightest currents, but everyone else didn’t seem to mind so I just went with it. I actually think Corey actually perfers swimming against the current, it seems like he finds current and is like “awesome, let me swim against this!”. Anyways I hung around in the chum slick with Nate popping mangroves and continuing to get my aim back. Nate shot a nice black and I did an assist poking a nurse shark away from it, and putting a kill shot in it. Paul came back with an aj, Corey returned with a mutton and a big mangrove, Brad came back with something but I didn’t see it. We anchored another spot and continued to put fish in the boat, red grouper, mangroves, Yardonys shot a big cero, but still no big blacks.
We found some more fishy bottom in around 60 feet and Paul shot a black and mutton, and I shot another mutton. There was a jewfish and bunch of bait, a couple other muttons circling so we dropped anchor and chummed. Well the first two tries at chumming were kind of duds but this spot went off. About 20 minutes in we had 5 black grouper, a couple red grouper, mutton snappers, a bunch of 5# mangroves, cero mackerel, kingfish, a jewfish, a thousand yellowtails, 2 two big lemon sharks and cobia under the boat. It was awesome, just dive down 50 feet look and any direction and there was something to shoot. One of the lemons went after my fins but when I stopped swimming and put the speargun in his face he backed off. Paul shot king fish and the other lemon cut it in half. Spearguns were going off in every direction. I have no idea how many fish we got at that spot but it was awesome. Someone shot through a cobia and into one of the lemon sharks. Luckily the shaft only went in a little and shark shook it off in 10 seconds. It was kind of interesting 10 seconds though watching a big lemon thrash around biting in every direction.
Next we went in a little shallower to 50 feet of water and tried the same thing but the chum ran out and the results where kind of mediocre. Then we headed in shallow trying to fill the grouper limit. We got a few more grouper and some other ajs to 35#. I just could not find a black grouper, and on the first day of the season I didn’t even shoot a black(I shot 2 reds though). This would have been more disappointing if a school of African pompano didn’t swim in front of me. I shot the second largest in the school and it went 35#, pretty sweet fish.