Went out yesterday with Catherine, conditions were awesome. 50+ feet of vis on the main reef and 100 or so on the bar. Very little current and light 8 knot winds. Apparently the 25-30 knot east winds we have been having pushed super clear water up on the reef.
We hit a small ledge on the main reef first to warm up, saw a ton of small fish, short black grouper and a short red grouper. There was a monster trigger fish but he was smart and started running as soon as he saw me.
Then we did some drifting in around 50 feet, saw a bunch of small cero and Spanish mackerel. Was going to shoot them for practice but figured I might miss my chance on a big fish so held back. Dropped on some muttons and had 2 tear offs consecutively. I think I have come to the conclusion, if the mutton is in less then 30 feet of water most likely he is dead, but if it is in over 50 feet of water the advantage is firmly in the fish’s favor.
I was beginning to think I might go back to closed muzzle on the gun, too much human error in loading, but on closer inspection, my shaft was bent, which was probably the problem. I ordered a closed muzzle and a new shark fin tabbed shaft from sumora.com, should really try everything just to see if it feels better.
Drifted some more and found some really nice bottom in 60 feet of water, so we dropped the anchor and started chumming. I threw in some left over bait from hook and line fishing and some lobster heads, also shot some chubs and cut them up. Found out that even barracuda don’t eat chubs, yet they happily scarf up chunk of their barracuda brothers.
When I first jumped in there was large jack which I thought was an amber jack under the boat, on the bottom. Upon closer inspection, I saw that it had the long pectoral fins of a yellowjack .He took off as was loading my gun. Too bad he was a monster for a yj. Shot a couple nice hogfish, at least nice for Key West. Shot a cero mackerel but a cuda snatched it. Saw a nice king fish but he kept his distance. Swam down and checked out a bunch of short black grouper that where hanging out under the boat.
A sea turtle came up and hung out with us for a bit. Along with dozens of small bar and yellow jacks. A wahoo suddenly appeared checking out Catherine, I made the mistake of swimming at it perhaps too quickly and it took off, I took a desperation shot which I think touched it but that was it. I saw a legal black under the boat, then it disappeared. So I swam down where I last saw it and it was there but camouflaged, I should have returned to the surface and got a breath and not tried to dive at it. But being dumb I tired to hit it with a straight down shot, which missed. Oh well.
We then pulled anchor and were going to head in to some shallow water to get some fish, but suddenly my right ear wouldn’t clear at all so had to end the trip early.
Catherine took some videos of me missing fish, you actually see the wahoo in the original video clip but windows maker makes things crappy when it exports as a wmv. I know kind of lame a video of missing a fish, but what the hell the vis was so good it still looks kind of cool
Also had problems with the camera, don’t know if the issue is with the camera or the flash memory but the camera starts flashing “busy” and cuts off the video after 20 seconds when set on the highest resolution possible. Have to find out more, if just a new compact flash card will fix that.