First day we went, it was Cal, Brian and Luis. We tried to freedive the vandenburg but it was a mess out there. We got there early and had just enough time to get in the water before every scuba boat in Key West showed up. We had fun diving on it anyway, I made it almost to the deck before my float line ran out. If there is any current 80 feet of float line is only good for around 60 foot dives. Cal threw on a tank and went down and shot a mutton real quick before we left. As we were leaving some guys who looked like they were dressed as astronauts showed up. They had double tanks on, pony bottles and hoses sticking out in every direction, it was amazing.
We went in and hit the reef. I shot a 6# mangrove which might be one of the biggest I ever shot. I think I shot a bigger one in the gulf last June but I didn’t weigh it. I know 6# is not that big but it kind of is for mangroves on the Atlantic side of the Keys. Cal shot a 3# yellowtail. We thought it was bigger but it’s still one of the larger yellowtail that has been shot on our boat. I usually don’t weigh snappers but I am going to start just out of curiosity to see if we get any bigger ones. Luis saw a monster king fish but could not get close to it. There were some amberjacks around but now that the water is warmer and they are smaller, I have stopped shooting them. The big schools of Yellow jacks have also dispersed. Now when we see them they are usually in groups or 1-3 and are spooky. We got a few anyway but not they were not big like they were a month ago.
Cal threw my mask over board and then I tried wearing Luis’s backup mask but it didn’t fit me right and I had issues with it. Having the right gear really makes or breaks the day. Luis almost lost a fin and went nuts trying to dive for it with no fins on.
The next day Luis, Brian, Andy and I went out. The vis was more variable and we dove in 20-80 feet of vis throughout the day. We hit some ledges and picked up some snapper and I shot a small king fish but it tore off. We trooped around it bit and found very clear water in front of Key West. We shot some snappers and hogs but nothing that big or exciting. On one ledge we could have got the boat limit on black grouper if the season was open. We dove on the wreck in 80 feet of water, Andy shot a AJ and two monster jewfish came up off the wreck to try to eat it. Luckily they backed down once they were 10-15 feet from the surface.
I got a shot on a big king and blew it, I had one band loaded and thought I could just hit with one band, of course as soon as I got close it moved out a bit and I lost the shot.