View Full Version : Finally
10-01-2004, 06:14 AM
This is it, the weekend that Pat Green picked to collect his prize from the SBO and the forecast couldn't be better. Light S/SW to variable winds on both Sat and Sun with O/S seas at 2-3ft, water temp around 80deg and the air temp at 80 also. I expect the vis to be 30 to 60ft so if I can just put him on some good spots there should be some pics and video next week.
Good Luck Pat.
10-01-2004, 06:19 AM
Have fun PMG...tell us all about it!
10-01-2004, 07:04 AM
Good luck Capt Tom. The whole sc Spearfishing club will be out in force this weekend. We have one spearboarder coming up to shoot deep with us.
Pat, you are in for a treat brother. No one has been out spearing in quite some time due to the storms. Yall should do real well.
PS: Tom, Try to get some big hogs this time. :)
10-01-2004, 07:58 AM
You know yall shot the only big hog here in the Carolinas, I just wonder when you'll run out of different angles to pose your pics and when the freezer burn will start showing.
We're going to do 3 dives a day so maybe there'll be some luck.
10-01-2004, 08:03 AM
Hardee har har har.....I've got a couple of really good days ahead of me here. Cross those fingers and toes that mother nature has succumbed to our vigilanty dances and prayers. It's been a while. I'm a little concerned about our viz in 100' or less. What depth you going to. We're hitting 180' on Saturday a few times and then 95-130 on Sunday. Good luck.
Pat, I hope you get one of those big Hoggies.
10-01-2004, 08:10 AM
Good luck guys and BE SAFE!
10-01-2004, 08:32 AM
Will do Spearone, I finally get to break in that new 54 commercial freeshafting machine. We don't get many days like this. Especially on a weekend.
S WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 1 TO 2 FT. A CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND TSTMS IN THE AFTERNOON.
10-01-2004, 10:38 AM
I'd like to do Sat on a spot about 42 out in around 130ft just inshore of the stream so there should be some vis(it was real productive early in May which was the last time anyone dove it), then another ledge about 35 off(excellent spot for bugs and hogs) and the last dive about 20 off as the big gags should be inshore now. Then Sun, I'll go south of the Tower and hit some ledges at the outer end of Frying Pan with the last dive up on the shoals by the tower.
Let's hope the weather holds. I moved the boat back to CB yesterday from SF(doing maint.) on the outside rather than the ditch and I covered the 36 miles inlet to inlet in about 68 min running into a light SW wind.
Good luck to yall.
Thanks, Kevin. Hope Pat gets to use the other half of his prize so much this weekend, he wears the bands out. BTW, Cochran may have lost the computer; I'll call you next week after the weather changes.
10-04-2004, 03:20 PM
I'm gonna let Pat tell his own story about the weekend, but he said for me to post one cheater pic so here it is(the Carolinas and Georgia have no bag limits on hogs so all fish shown are legal). I believe these stringers are from either the first or second dive on Sunday. All other pics have been emailed to Pat, and the video goes in the mail tomorrow.
10-04-2004, 06:28 PM
Looks like a good scamp under the pile.
10-04-2004, 07:02 PM
chris, wish you could have been with us . i actually got to shoot a few myself. miss diving with you. these hogs did not cost no where near 465.00$.
10-04-2004, 07:46 PM
Tom, you kicked our butt. We dove deep with nothing much to show. Very nice stringers!
10-04-2004, 09:34 PM
My buddy Mike and I finally made the trip up to N.C. to shoot some fish. The original plan included taking a full house to go shooting and be roudy in general but the usual suspects fell through because I only gave them three months notice. (thats the nice way of saying I only have one friend that could put up with me for a free spearing trip) :D
We were impressed as soon as we turned on to the street we were staying on and realized it was on the water, then we pulled up and realized the boat was directly behind the house! They even have a boathouse with a compressor to fill the nitrox tanks on the dock too oh yeah and did I mention a boat ramp too! Awesome set-up.
To the Spearing stuff. Capt Tom and his mates (Allen and Mark) have us pumped for our first drop, a 20' ledge to132 feet, and as soon as I rolled off the boat I knew they had been messing with me. I could clearly see the bottom from just below the boat and it was no more than 60' away,WRONG! It was just that clear. As we slowly get to the bottom what I thought was a small crack turned into an undercut channel big enough for me to swim through, with antenae sprouting as far as you could see (a loooooonngg way) Well, Mike and I are pretty stoked when we stumble across shovel-nose in the Gulf, needless to say we start going nuts pulling them from their niches before we realize neither one of us had a bag with us! Fortunately Mate Mark "The Big Fish" was working camera and had come prepared with a big ole mesh bag. I decide to take off down the ledge and shoot some grouper, literally all of them were there. Gags, Reds, Scamp, Black and maybe a Yellow Mouth or two, were present and many were pretty big (20#plus). I'm alittle fuzzy on all the details now but a long story short I come up with nothing after all is said and done. I made every mistake I had ever made all over again, I was being filmed to boot! My personal favorite was when I pulled the trigger before I meant to (very excited) and shot a nice Gag in the tail.
Meanwhile down the ledge Mike forgot to set his computer for nitrox and it told him he was in deco after just a few minutes of bottom time. So he played it safe and went on up and was waiting on the boat when we surfaced empty (except for the lobster) handed.
Dive 2 another ledge in around 115' in more familiar vis at around 20' horizontal and was highlighted by Mike nailing his first Hogfish(8.3) and then defending it from a big mother expletive 'Cuda. Yet again I am shut out by the grouper I was seeking and nagged by the feeling I should have blasted that Cuda, and maybe lost my shaft or a finger but put something on my stringer at least.
Dive 3 made us feel right at home in shallow water(85') and low vis(10') on another ledge. I am out of excuses and need to prove to these guys that I can sling steel and am not some sort of poser. I have this horrible feeling I will be riding back in the cooler if I cant put at least 1 single fish in it. So we hit this ledge and work our way down current alittle before turning and heading into the current. Finally heading past the anchor the other way I saw a really nice deep crack in the ledge and as I inched down it I saw my elusive quarry facing me in the crack. I couldn't make out how big the grouper was or where all of it was so I aimed shot into where I thought the head should be and pulled the trigger. (Now I have myself read on this very forum, stories about why not to shoot a confined fish head on, at the time however none of those stories came to mind.) The next thing I know I get hit in the stomach by the notched end of the spearshaft and then the grouper, as it charged the only way it could, sliding my freeshaft almost all the way out in the process. I was quickly able to get a hand on the shaft at my belly and the other on the other end and then trap it in a scissor leg lock while I went for my knife and the brain stab. I returned to the boat with a fish on my stringer at least...... finally.
It was a pretty humbling first day especially when the sheer bounty of the first spot yielded nothing do to stupid shooting. We took a solemn oath to pull our heads out of our butts and not come away saying "at least we saw some purdy fishes".
10-04-2004, 09:39 PM
Not a very impressive yield, but we had a blast making fools of our selves.
10-04-2004, 10:17 PM
Day 2 Fortunately was slightly more productive. Allen grabs the camera and decides to follow me for the first dive. Sure enough, Tom puts us on a Monster spot yet again. This ledge is in 118' and crawling with Hogfish, I mean infested bad. Being me I take a shot on a grouper directly below me and and manage to lose it out from under a ledge as it shook my spear even though the camera man was actively helping pin it in place. Enough wasting time on groupers, which are obvously smarter than me.
The slay fest begins! In a not quite zen like state I am shooting, stringing and reloading. At one point I have both shafts out of the gun and some how tangle the mono-line(which isn't attached to my shaft) in a crack and leave it to retrieve the fish. Mike and Mark have descended too, at some point and are likewise sling steel through reef dwellers at a frenzied pace. The joyous sound of spearfishing abounds. Somehow Allen spears a nice Hog wilst equiped with just the camera and a knife and hands it to me to string. All of us are within sight of eachother and the anchor while this is happening.
I decide to swim to a promising piece of rock a little further down looking for an easy mark before I run out of air and "Lo and Behold" the largest Red Grouper ever is right there, just looking at me 15' away and in the open! I glance again at my air and note I am past the 1000 mark so I figure if I stone it ,awesome, if not then I can't fight long and do a safety stop. You guessed it, one bent shaft and a torqed elbow later I am heading back to the anchor line grouperless again.
We all agreed that there were plenty more Hogs down thar, even after our frenzied spearing. So we decided to back dive it and see what happened. I was pretty happy about this plan because it gave me a second chance at that Red that was probably hurting pretty good and I was confident I knew where to find him. When Alan and I get back to the bottom all the fish were still there, right where we left them and he immediately goes into action. ANOTHER grouper throws my shaft and escapes right off the bat even though I made pretty darn sure to hit at the correct angle so he would have to swim into the flopper if not stoned. Frustrated I pass on several nice Hogs as I make my way down the ledge, to where I lost the Red the dive before, before I just have to let one have it. Once I have him under control I proceed to the last known address of the Red. He isn't there but a good sized Scamp has taken up residence in his stead. I wait a sec for it to poke enough head out for a shot and notice some movement down the ledge from me. Naturally the landlord was attracted to the scene of our carnage now here he was 20' or so away (Bull and I think it was over 6') but swimming calmly and not aproaching at all. I try to swim at him and he just maintains the same distance between the two of us and then slips away. Well that could have gone worse and with my powerhead on the tip of my shaft I turned back down current and towards Alan and his 6 hog stringer. I see the Bull and maybe another smaller shark further out on the high side of the ledge but lose them again pretty fast. Alan starts up as I approach and I am not very far behind him. Mike and Mark pass us doing our safety stop as they start their dive and as I signal that there are 2 sharks down there Mike just takes the red safety plastic off his tip and down they go without a care in the world. 30 mins later they come up with loaded stringers again and say they never saw any sharks at all. I think the sharks knew they were out classed and left before they got showed up, but thats just my theory. One of the groupers an Mark's stringer looks awful familiar to me with an entry wound through the head and a nasty exit crater through its guts in addition to where he hit it. Glad it made it to the boat one way or another!
We make dive three on a table formation with a lot of limestone relief around it. On the way down 2 very large AJs swim by but I hesitate to freeshaft one even though I have said I am going to as soon as I see one (I don't exactly trust my shot placement at this point in the trip) and the shaft I have loaded is a true freeshaft not a hybrid so switching to lineshaft is out for the moment. I wus out and spend the rest of the dive trying to sneak up on two gags that are wise to every trick I have to my name, but again to no avail. Before I go back up the anchor line I make sure that I switch out to lineshaft mode and have plenty of air in case I have to go for a ride on AJ tours. Alas onlt he lonely barracuda is high up in the column and I am not sure how these guys will feel about me putting a smelly Cuda in the box with the rest of the catch, so I looked at the cuda and said "I absolve you" and got back on the boat. A couple more Hogs made their way into the boat here but my contribution was done way earlier in the day.
I have never shot so poorly nor had that much fun doing it. I reinforced alot of things I already knew but didn't always practice with my bloopers on this trip. I will never forget that Red or the ease with with it made me its prison biatch! Thank you Tom, Mark and Alan for showing us your backyard and donating your time and services. We had a blast and will come back ASAP.
-The Doughnut Hole
10-05-2004, 04:49 AM
Once you see the rest of the pics, I think you'll agree we had a pretty good weekend, especially Sunday. Around here, it's real productive in 100 to 130ft for all species with great vis, so there's not much sense going deeper, unless you're looking for that 30lb hog or the virgin wrecks. I usually never break my rule of not back diving a ledge, but the first spot Sunday really held some fish and we didn't even move the anchor.
I like the days, like this weekend, when we can leave the dock at 0730, run 45mi, do two 120ft dives and one 85ft dive and be back at the dock by 1700.
10-05-2004, 07:01 AM
PMG...cool report man. Great pics and at least you put some fish and bugs in the cooler.
Sounds like SPEARIT runs a good operation. I am going to talk to my pops about making a run up there this winter or sometime in the beginning '05.
Captain Tom...thanks for offering such a great prize during the SBO. Thanks for the support and looking forward to getting out with you.
10-05-2004, 08:36 AM
Nice haul Tom. 180' here we had maybe 10-15' of viz. It was tough. Came in shallow on Sunday and did MUCH better.
10-05-2004, 11:53 AM
I just finished making the DVD's this morning. It was great to dive with you guys and a real treat for Alan and I as we haven't done much spearing in the past month or so. I will try to get these in the mail to you this afternoon and I think we are going to send a copy to Rob to see if we can talk him into converting the format so we can post it online.
Come back and see us sometime and we will go get another bag of doughnuts if you promise not to murder the next batch.
You guys can definately hold your own slinging so come see us when you get a chance...It will be my pleasure to dive with you anytime.
10-05-2004, 12:22 PM
I can't wait to see the DVDs, awesome!
I don't have time to do the rest of the story justice, its just as much you guys' story as mine so help me out here before my boss catches me on Spearboard and revokes my internet privleges. Next batch of doughnuts are ON ME. I'll post commentary of my own as time allows.
To everyone else: this charter is AWESOME. The guys are cool as hell and a pleasure to dive with.
10-05-2004, 12:23 PM
For Scale, the small Scamp at the Bottom is 20".
10-05-2004, 04:57 PM
SPEARIT gets you on the GOOD stuff. Welldone ; Exciting trip
10-12-2004, 10:19 PM
That is just awesome. A little embarrassing in some parts, but just awesome that I now have the last minutes of those fishs' lives on my PC to watch whenever I want! The shark footage is unreal as well, glad I wasn't around for that one. Thanks for hooking us up so much, you guys are above and beyond. Mark even remembered my favorite color for the case;) . Hope to see you again soon.
Thanks for an awesome trip and thanks to Scott and multitude of others that made the SBO happen by giving time, goods and services!
10-12-2004, 10:29 PM
I am converting the DVD now for online vid. I watched the vid today, talk about a target rich environment! Damn Capt tom!! Top to bottom crystal clear vis and piles of hogfish. WOW!
Pat, We need to get you some time in the pool for some target practice bro :) :D :D :D Just kiddin man, looks like you guys had a blast.
10-12-2004, 10:49 PM
Hell Down here in PC we just pop our stringer and they jump on, the gun is just for intimidation. I'd never had to pull the trigger before, so it was a new kind of spearing.
10-13-2004, 07:41 AM
Well Hell, Pat. If I'd known that was what you were used to; I would have taken you to some of my special spots where the Japanese fish wanting to commit "Hari Kari" are.
Yeah Rob, we do have our share of "Hog farms" here in NC. Are you gonna post some of the video?
10-13-2004, 07:47 AM
Yessir Capt, I am converting the video now. Takes a while to crunch it.
10-14-2004, 01:43 AM
Damn, that sounds like an awesome trip! I think I will have to treat myself to a trip on this boat when I get out of the USMC next fall and move back home to good ole Lutz FL! Nice reports too, Pat. Where can we see the video on the internet?
10-14-2004, 08:16 AM
The "Blooper Reel" will be available when Rob finishes converting it. I assume a link will be posted either in this thread or somewhere fairly obvious on Spearboard.
10-14-2004, 03:01 PM
Nice Fish Guys and a great story. Dounut maybe it's time to change rubber?
10-14-2004, 06:54 PM
I have some sad news for you, The donut place has closed for the season, so no more donuts till April. Hopefully, I can keep Mark under control with Krispy Kremes.
10-18-2004, 02:35 PM
I hope he makes it through alright, he might need to increase his nicotine intake to compensate!
10-18-2004, 06:03 PM
Tom Collins : a fountain of smoothe southern hospitality AND he puts you right on the spot, I mean right there. Tom does it again!!
11-05-2004, 02:13 PM
toms the man
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