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View Full Version : The path to the SBO


ROCK BOTTOM
05-26-2004, 08:02 PM
Here is the skinny on how I got to the Spearboard Open.

I left the dock at 5 am Saturday morning with fellow Helldiver Henry Pacheco and prospective member Jonathan Nobile (bottomnout). We ran out of Baptiste Collette and traveled offshore into the rising sun heading out forty miles to a block of rigs in 200+ fsw. Our game plan was to stay as shallow as possible then get onto as many grouper as possible early before grabbing our AJs and heading in to 130-160 fsw and looking for snapper. The water was beautiful and warm with only a slight haziness on the surface and 100'+ of viz underneath. There was no current to speak of and the diving was as easy as I have ever seen it. We hit a few small Cobia early and grabbed several decent grouper between 15 and 20 pounds at the first group of rigs we visited. We made our first four dives in this area and ended up with all of our big fish and all of our grouper except one. We then moved in to 160 fsw and made a single stop for the snapper. Henry and Jonathan freedove for a few of their snapper, some decent 5# mangroves, while I waited for them. We then put on the SCUBA and the hunt was back on. I shot one small red and settled on a mangrove on the way back to the boat. We were very disappointed in the quality of our snapper. It was at this stop that I had some trouble with my gears synching on the Port engine and decided to head toward the house. We made two stops in shallow water on the way in and found a decent load of sheepzilla. Jonathan and I each picked up one that went over six pounds and Henry got two big platter sized mommas that won him first place. Overall a decent day even though the size of the fish were a bit smaller than hoped for. Then the fun started with the two hour drive back to town and the 9 hour drive to NPR for the weigh-in.

The party was excellent. Kudos go out to Scott big time. Kudos also to all of his helpers. They really worked hard at the scale.

The band was great. I could hardly hear them from where I was, passed out in the a/c inside my truck.

The beer. Now let’s reflect on the events of Sunday. I probably owe John Hermes an apology. I thought he was a volunteer pouring beers for the out of towners(he was always standing there with the tap in one hand and a cup in the other.) It was only later that I realized that he is German(you ever notice how good their beer is?) Regardless, next year I will have someone else drive and I will bring a few cases of my own.

Prize table – WOW!

People – Great. Families, young shooters, old shooters, just great! I got to meet many of the people with whom I have been interacting on the forum, talked at length on the telephone, etc. A common thread we all share is the passion for all things spear. Again, Great.

I also enjoyed the 9 hour drive home Sunday night followed by 6 hours of work Monday. I then got home, cleaned the boat, the fish and finally the truck. Then I enjoyed a 750 ml bottle of Bolla Bordolino while getting my manhood kick around the room at a Hell Divers meeting Monday night. After being congratulated by most club members, I was severely chastised for bringing such small fish to the weigh-in. I had to promise to do better next time. I will be working on putting together a second team next year and a limo van to drive us all there and back. I sincerely hope these guys will decide to participate next year.

Man, I can't wait to do it again. This tournament will definitely be on my calendar next year.

Here are a few pics for the curious.

My catch for the day.

ROCK BOTTOM
05-26-2004, 08:04 PM
Henry Pacheco with a nice Cobia

ROCK BOTTOM
05-26-2004, 08:04 PM
Sheepzilla!