View Full Version : moving to NC
06-08-2005, 03:19 PM
I'm a spearo from California. Most of my spearing has been freediving. It is pretty easy to spear in CA and not be a great freediver, a lot of our sportfish don't swim too deep, so I've done ok despite the fact I am not a very good freediver. I am scuba certified and have done several hunting trips with tanks in CA as well as in the FL Keys. I am moving to North Carolina in a month or so, specifically to the Raliegh/Durham area. So what can I expect as far as diving goes in the area? Any freediving, all scuba, what are typical depths? Am I going to need more than a basic scuba cert to do deeper dives in search of fish/lobster? What types of fish? Boat diving a must or is there any good beach diving? How far from the Durham area? What is typical water temp and clarity?
Thanks for any info you can send my way.
06-08-2005, 04:01 PM
I was stationed there with the Marine Corps from 1971 to 1975. At the time, I was primarily a scuba diver and I think you will find that most hunting there is still done with scuba. There are a multitude of wrecks, almost all of them pretty deep and pretty far offshore. I don't know of much in the way of beach diving in the Morehead City/Cape Lookout area where I was, but I have read on the Freedivelist about diving in an inlet down south near Wilmington.
I have read on the FDL of quite a few guys who freedive off Cape Hatteras over wrecks as well as on Frying Pan Shoals off Wilmington. Even if you are not skilled enough to make the bottom, there are plenty of fish such as amberjack, cobia, African pompano, king mackeral, and dolphin (aka mahimahi/dorado) in the upper water column. However, all of this diving would require a boat.
A FDL member, Rabih Dabboussi, maintains a web site with some photos of very impressive fish including bottom species such as hogfish and grouper that he and his friends take freediving.
It makes me wish I had been more into freediving back then.
There is another member of this board who runs a diving charter boat in NC, and who has previously objected to every thing I've said about NC diving. Hopefully he will tune in and correct any mistakes in this post.
06-08-2005, 04:22 PM
you have a bit of a drive to the coast. If you hit wilmington they you have the masonborough Jetty. It holds sheeps, blues, black drum, flounder...and some other in or nearshore fish...have heard rumors of a cobia speared there now and again.
Mark Labocetta of Omer holds the Blue Water Open out of hatteras and they spear pelagics. You may want to try and get in touch w/ him via email and quiz him a bit.
I have a friend that used to dive w/ Rabi Daboucci, heard he's a machine when it comes to freediving and he hunts deep for grouper out that way. Try this question on deeperblue as there are a few others who are from up that way.
06-08-2005, 04:33 PM
Welcome to North Carolina!
Good news in that you are only a 2 hr drive down I-40 to Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach/Carolina Beach. We have great diving here from Inlet Jetties to Wrecks from 45' to over 120', although most diving is on scuba.
A great area to free dive is the "Frying Pan Tower" shoals, about 40 miles south of the area beaches. 45' of clear gulfstream water, most of the time you can see the bottom from the surface. All types of fish to shoot here from Pompano,Jacks and cobia to bottom fish like grouper, big Hog Snapper and giant Spiny Lobster.
Free diving getting more popular here, with some of the OMER guys here this past weekend participating in a local Spear fishing tournament sposored by a local dive shop.
I have not done any diving north of the Wilmington area but I'm sure its just as good if not better than southern NC. There is even a Blue Water free diving tournament off Cape Hatteras in the mid summer months that I think the OMER guys put on.
As far as the Wilmington area goes try "Aquatic Safaris", (www.aquaticsafaris.com) a local dive shop or "Reel Spearit" (web site link on this website) out of Caroilna Beach.
Again welcome,give me a call if you need more info.
Capt Keith Blackmon
06-09-2005, 06:22 AM
Alpamayo, welcome to the East coast!!
Most of the really cool stuff will be in 85-150fsw. I come down from Maryland, in fact this wked to spear. We are going out w/ Spearit 6 pac . dove last yr w/ him too. He has the real mccoy. Ledges w/ tons of grouper and monster 7-10 lb bugs. You will only be limited by our own level of comfort or skill as we often see big seas for the 20 mile trip offshore but vis is often fantasic blue water. Check out www.spearitcharters.com for this boat. Tons of wreck diving offshore of NC. Cool stuff sunk during WWII so lots of growth and fish . Lot of us do Nitrox for more bottom time and carry redundant air supply w/ a pony. Next to the Fla Keys I like offshore NC for the east coast. Check out an internet NC wreck dive club BFCD @ www.nc-wreckdiving.com the click on the wrecks in the list and theres the data and pics. Paul Hurdy [ its his site] has done an Ace job of puttin up the info. Anne and Dave Sommers run Akula out of Hatteras inlet go to their wed site for more data. www.dive-hatteras.com . And of course there always the Dive shops w/ walk on space, but these private 6 pac charters are the way to go for spearfishing.The independents we use will even leave a wreck site w/out putting us in the water due to no vis and travel for miles to get you on another w/ do-able conditons , you cant beat that. Wade
06-09-2005, 02:18 PM
Thanks for the replies everyone...keep them coming they are very useful. I will definitely check out all the resources that you have sent my way.
06-09-2005, 08:25 PM
I've sent you a couple of PMs with contact info.
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