Well after a couple weeks of the water in front of Key West looking like crap I got a call from Garett at noon yesterday that the blue water pushed up on the edge of the reef.  The winds were flat and my girlfriend had the day off, so at one o’clock we started getting the boat ready. Andy jumped on as well and we were off. Its been such a long time since Cat came out with her digital camera we found there is some setting issue with it , it keeps wanting to update the camera date which screwed up some of her photos.

Anyways we got to the roll off and and started diving , surface vis was great but there was a layer of murkier water underneath. I shot some greys and had a huge lemon shark come in. I also played around with 30# black which was actually following us for a little bit down the reef.

The totally know the season is closed

They totally know the season is closed

Then we got into the yellow jacks , which I have blast shooting.  I think perhaps I was born to kill yellow jacks. I know,  its not really a marketable skill and doesn’t have much real world applications. Putting awesome yellow jack killer on my resume has yet to open any doors for me. But yet here I am doing it again. Andy and I took turns shooting jacks and watching for hopefully African pompano but no pompano appeared.

Then something interesting happened, Andy had gotten a jack stuck in a rock and I helped him get it out. While he was getting his reel back together this 40# king comes swimming up to us. I had just finished eating a ton of smoked mackerel and to tell the truth I am getting tired of it. For a second I thought maybe I should not shoot that. Yeah right,BLAM I hit right behind the eye and for a second I thought I stoned it.  Then it came back to life and dumped half the reel. It eased up as I put more pressure on it , and I started to turn it. Then it was swimming at me so I was pulling line in as fast as I could. Then I got screwed.

The kingfish had swam so close the bottom the mono got caught on a coral out cropping. I had to swim hard against the current to get to it, then I was trying to get up current to get it unhooked, but the kingfish suddenly had a huge burst of energy and snapped the mono. So then I was chasing this fish across the sand too wounded to really swim dragging my shaft. I get over top of it and call for Andy and the boat but he has his reel tangled or something.  This huge jewfish comes running up and tries to eat the kingfish whole but it can’t fit the king and the shaft in its mouth so it spits it out. I dive down with my shaftless gun and try to hit the jewfish to make it stop which makes it run the first time, but after a second it realized that I can’t do anything to it and it ignores me.

Then the jew fish has the king half in its mouth but can’t get it down and this huge reef shark tries to rip it out of its mouth and there is suddenly blood everywhere. Then there are two small reef sharks trying to get some king too. The jewfish starts running with its half, I thought maybe the shaft came out , when it was ripped in half,so I try diving down looking through the blood and debris for my shaft but I don’t see it. Then this lemon shark that has to be like ten feet long comes in and punks all the reef sharks and takes the other big piece of kingfish, and starts shaking it . I dive down to trying to see the shaft again and 40# cubera swims right up to me , and I can just look at with a gun without a shaft.  Then its like a huge fish battle royale on the bottom, there is three reef sharks, a huge lemon shark, a huge cubera, two huge black groupers and even a couple dumb nurse sharks all swimming around trying to get a peice.

Then I get to Andy and he tells me the jewfish has the shaft in its mouth like a tooth pick and it tried to run into a cave but the shaft didn’t fit and now the shaft it really not worth saving.  Then it was late so we came home.

Oh yeah there was a million permits but who cares?

Huge shortage of permit

Huge shortage of permit