Went out Friday the 25th with Catherine and Brian, Catherine had to work in the morning and Brian had to be home before too late because he is taking a trip to Cancun. So we went out around 12:30-1:00 pm and were back by around 5:30. Conditions were good, 10-12 knot wind from the east . Visibility on the reef was a chalky 30-35 feet, and on the bar it was about 55 feet. There was a 1.5 knot west bound current on the bar.
We shot 5 triggerfish and a couple little mackerel. At the first spot on the main reef I shot a decent red grouper but it tore off. I tried rigging the Rabitech gun with the two bands again but this time short bands. Shot pretty good but still a bit high for me. I did some target practice on some 5-6 inch grunts and missed 4 out of 4 shots. Then a small Spanish Mack swam by and I loaded one band and stoned him at the pretty much the end of shot line. Couldn’t argue with that and I am back to single band.
We drifted for awhile in water 35-80 feet deep. the vis wasn’t good enough to see the bottom in the deeper water, but we could chase the triggers around 20-40 feet down.
On Saturday the 26th I went with Cal and Brad on Brad’s boat, and we headed west. The wind was perfect but the visibility was not. We had some good vis in front of Boca Grande but as soon as we went further west it turned to crap. We worked some rocks by the Marquesas in about 10 foot of visibility for a good part of the afternoon. It kind of sucked , it’s not that bad hunting in the low vis I guess, but it puts a lot more strain on your ears when you have to swim down 10 feet just to see anything. When the vis is good I spend the majority of the time on the surface looking for fish to swim down on, in this low vis I spent a lot of time swimming down just to see anything. My ears still feel smoky today a couple days later. Also at the End of the Day when Brad went to do a drop on scuba he couldn’t clear past 30 feet, probably because of the diving we did in the dirty water.
If the vis was better I think we could have cleaned up out there, but with the low vis we could mostly just work the bottom structure which was covered in Mangrove Snappers and the occasional jewfish. I had a decent sized bonito swim right up to me, which was exciting until I saw the stripes and knew it wasn’t a black fin tuna. Who knows how many pelagic fish were swimming just out of sight in the murk.
We shot mutton snapper, Cubera snapper and triggerfish.
The we got warning on the radio of sometime of crazy storm north of Key West , with 35 knot winds possible. I think it actually said for all small crafts to head to port. So we did , but it never got bad. It actually looked beautiful in front of key west on the way in.
Brad got a new fish eye lens for his camera , which is pretty cool.