Our friend Albie was visiting this week from NJ and we went out for a half day and then a full day. The first day we went out in the afternoon, the wind was blowing like crazy but it was supposed to die down, Catherine made the mistake of coming with us. The winds did not die for awhile and the seas where rough but the visibility was good so it was ok. Albie and Luis went with me along with Catherine and me. Due to the high winds we just went out in front of Key West. As expected the ledges that were filled with grouper last week where barren. It took a little bit of looking around before we found some fish, and then it was on. Albie shot a nice mutton and Lou picked up a black. I shot some big mangroves. I messed up the sear on my railgun gun and the line release has been giving me issues, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t want to. After we that spot we hit one of the public wrecks but the current was too much. There was a scuba boat about to drop on it, I tried getting down to the deck but swimming in current ate up all my time, and I gave up. There was a ton of permit mating over top the wreck and some spade fish under them. It was fun to see the fish but after a minute we were out of there.

We hit another spot that was dead, then on to another. I missed a really nice cobia that was sleeping on the bottom. I don’t know how I missed him I was right down on him. Albie got a triggerfish and Lou got a couple more large mangrove snapper. I shot a black grouper, not a big one. I also shot him in the tail so albie had to put a safety shot in him. The only thing that was kind of noteworthy about the fish, is the amount of current I had to swim against to get him. He wasn’t super deep or anything, 60 feet down but man the current was ripping, I was kind of amazed I was able to do it, honestly. After that we checked the vandenburg and there was nothing visible on it. Some small amberjacks, and the usual school of cudas. After that we headed in.

The next day we got on Andy and Jason’s boat and went out. Catherine had to work so it was Albie, Luis and I along with Andy and Jason. We headed out west and ended up out past Marquesas Rock. We hit a lot of big ledges in that vicinity and didn’t get a lot of fish. The big black grouper that were there  before had all disappeared. In their place there were a few commercial spearfishing boats, I don’t see commercial boats diving very often, and this was the first time I saw 3 in one day. I kind of think a lot of the big, well known ledges out there where the first spots that where cleaned out. Maybe it was just the warmer water, who knows. We got some nice fish, a black grouper here, a red grouper there, keys sized hogs and small muttons but nothing major. I shot a big mangrove it might have beat the last big one I got but didn’t have a scale. Maybe I should get a new scale.

We drifted for awhile trying to find where I saw the lane snappers were spawning, and the huge hog fish from the other day but couldn’t find it. I am going to go back and put more time in looking for it on my boat. The next spot we hit was covered with fish.  Albie shot a black, then Jason shot a black, I missed a black – they were all over. After the first drift we shot some ajs and barracuda and chopped them up for chum. We anchored up current from where the fish were and just start chopping up mass fish and chumming like crazy. Behind the boat became a feeding frenzy, 2 big lemon sharks and 5 reef sharks were zipping around fighting over pieces of fish on the bottom. A huge jewfish came out and tried to push up on the sharks. Yellow jacks and Amber jacks swimming around all over. It was great, in time red groupers and some short blacks showed up. We were having a blast watching the sharks and shooting fish. Then  I turned around and 4-5 huge fish were swimming up to me. For a second my brain didn’t recognize what they were, not king fish or barracuda. I yelled “wahoo” in case there was anyone else in their path, and shot the one the closest to me. I broke his spine and he was done. First wahoo and a pretty good sized one at that.

Next we checked jewfish rock and there was one black on it but he got away. There was bunch of Ajs and big cero mackerel circling it but I wasn’t really hungry for smoked fish so I passed.

I finally got a new mask that works, a couple weeks ago someone who will remain nameless threw my cressi occhio over board. I was able to try three replacement masks, the spetton(looks the same as the omer bandit) and the mares liquid skin, both fit me terrible. I also used an atomic frameless for a bit, that mask fit great but was too high volume for diving past 40-45 feet in my opinion, it would take way too much to clear the mask and it would suck my eyes out. I was about to order a new cressi but I tried Catherine’s omer aries 39. Wow, that mask fits great and it has the bigger lens like the cressi occhio. It’s a breeze to clear the mask and it seems to never leak, once in awhile my cressi ochio would leak, usually when I was 60 or more feet down. It’s a bad time to leak, it ruins the whole dive, so perhaps I am fortunate the occhio was lost.