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Pacific Northwest Tell us about hunting in the PNW here!

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Old 06-14-2011, 06:58 PM   #16
winklecl
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Re: PNW tips thread...

Well said Northstar!

We are truly blessed here to have such diversity in dive choice and let's face it; when you can see, anywhere you go is stunning!
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:06 PM   #17
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Re: PNW tips thread...

Well said Winkle and North Star! We had excellent conditions that day and although I was right next to him in quite shallow water I was surprised at how freaked the guy got. We had just gotten in at a protected bay with little to no swell. I was floating next to him in 6-8 feet of water. He got some kelp wrapped around him and although he could not sink (wetsuit) he spit his snorkel, took in a mouthful of water and completely spun out. I was able to quickly get him over to where he could stand up. Despite the fact that he was in good shape, said he had snorkeled a lot in warm water and claimed to be a good swimmer, he could not handle the kelp and the situation. It was a very good learning experience for me that it's not for everyone and one should introduce it very carefully to anyone even if they feel/act confident. I thought I was taking an experienced person out and I found out after that he had never been in cold water at all. This experience happened to me about five or six years ago right when I started spearfishing and freediving, and I related this story in the hopes it helps someone avoid the same mistake. Even though we were in calm shallow water, my excitement to introduce a friend to the sport could have resulted in a tragedy had we been separated and in deeper water. Safety is the number one emphasis and you both stated that very well! Also, never turning your back on the ocean is a great motto for exiting in surge and swell.
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Old 06-15-2011, 01:35 AM   #18
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Re: PNW tips thread...

point form think we all know these but why not, they may help:

- a thermos full of warm water poured into your wetsuit before the dive can extend your dive time. Your body heats the water between your suit and it.... give yourself a head start + it feels great and reduces that initial cold water shock.

- when the SH!T hits the fan PAUSE, THINK, ACT, always have a plan, when in good conditions and you have your limit PRACTICE your plan WITH A BUDDY

- the more stuff you carry the more stuff to get hooked up on, dive only with what you need.

- two words post a cold hard dive: wings and beer

- a thin neoprene sock under your booties keep the feet extra warm, same goes for a thick rash guard.

- know your limits, dive your limits

- never buy fish, ever! you will dive more and acquire skill faster out of necessity...pride is a f#cker!

p.s. when writing on Spearboad keep alcohol consumption within the legal limit otherwise you say stupid shit, trust me I have nailed this in in the past.
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:36 PM   #19
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Re: PNW tips thread...

As someone new to spearing I think this is a great thread, it reminds us of the obvious, and points out some of the hard learned lessons.
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:29 AM   #20
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Re: PNW tips thread...

Simple obvious tip - warm water post dive. I fill up one or two gallon jugs of the hottest water my tap will put out, wrap them in a towel, put it in the ice chest and pour it down the suit after diving. You only need a gallon, but I've made many a friend with that second one when it is nasty out. Gets the core temp back up fast.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:16 AM   #21
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Re: PNW tips thread...

Quote:
Simple obvious tip - warm water post dive. I fill up one or two gallon jugs of the hottest water my tap will put out, wrap them in a towel, put it in the ice chest and pour it down the suit after diving. You only need a gallon, but I've made many a friend with that second one when it is nasty out. Gets the core temp back up fast.
second that! my trick was a 3 gallon Gatorade "cooler" full of hot water.

the spout trickling hot water to bring up core temp = instant friend.

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Old 06-21-2011, 04:38 PM   #22
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Re: PNW tips thread...

Couple on crabs... I freedive for my crab and these are just some observations.
I often find dungies in areas with eelgrass. Often they will be hiding in the grass or if the tide is moving good they bury in the sand. It will like a small disturbed area of sand and sometime you can see the eyes or a general crabby shape. Got a few limits by just popping them out of the sand with my hand.
The females are fairly easy to identify without flipping them over. The shell shape will be much more rounded and after looking at a few you can often tell at a glance.
Generally I dive around a slack as they will be out and about.
Anyone else got some crab tips?
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:38 PM   #23
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Re: PNW tips thread...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northwest Diver View Post
Couple on crabs... I freedive for my crab and these are just some observations.
I often find dungies in areas with eelgrass. Often they will be hiding in the grass or if the tide is moving good they bury in the sand. It will like a small disturbed area of sand and sometime you can see the eyes or a general crabby shape. Got a few limits by just popping them out of the sand with my hand.
The females are fairly easy to identify without flipping them over. The shell shape will be much more rounded and after looking at a few you can often tell at a glance.
Generally I dive around a slack as they will be out and about.
Anyone else got some crab tips?
Eelgrass is an aswesome place to find crabs, especially a spot where a lot of eelgrass is exposed at low tide, I think the crabs flock to areas like that because they spend low tide exposed in the sand and then when the tide goes up they go running to the safety of the eelgrass. Just a theory but it seems to work for me. Also I always find more on flatter bottoms, I found an eelgrass bed once that I thought would be perfect but it was really steep and the whole area was empty. One more, go early in the season because they get a ton of pressure at least where I am and I'm assuming most places in the sound, and go in winter, the vis is better and only a small number of people crab in the winter it seems like.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:43 PM   #24
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Re: PNW tips thread...

Quote:
Originally Posted by beaver View Post
p.s. when writing on Spearboad keep alcohol consumption within the legal limit otherwise you say stupid shit, trust me I have nailed this in in the past.
Did you say something... fat Elvis?

Great thread & advice! I'm a newb to PNW divin', but have learned a few lessons alread...
- RESPECT the ocean, as Northstar said... I've been caught in a rip against a cliff surfing, frozen & thought I was going out to sea.
- If you're in a similar situation, swim sideways AWAY from any structure as currents are concentrated against cliffs, rocks, etc. & mellow more in open water.
- With that said, pay attention to the tides... fish like current & the big lings come out of their holes to feed when it's strong
- hunt with the current as lings hunt facing into the current & don't spook as easily when they see you coming

Have a warm woman waiting for you when you get out.
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:17 AM   #25
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Re: PNW tips thread...

x2 on the warm woman advice! One of the benefits of marriage!

On a more serious note:

Quote:
If you're in a similar situation, swim sideways AWAY from any structure as currents are concentrated against cliffs, rocks, etc. & mellow more in open water
That's REALLY good advice. Really good. Been there, done that.
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:36 PM   #26
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Re: PNW tips thread...

What Steep said about lings is spot on... often when a ling sees you first it will stay still hoping you don't see it and you can whack it. That being said I have gotten a few swimming into the current and seeing them first. I often find too that if you find a isolated rock or reef away from other structure, there will sometimes be a ling on it. They seem to like having there own little rockpile. Rockfish are curious and pretty easy. If I spot them from the surface I usually ease downcurrent a bit and drop to the bottom. You can ease up and take your pick. Greenling are far too curious for their own good. Cabs are tougher to spot but usually allow a close approach. I usually find them when I make a drop and put my hand on one that I didn't see.
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Old 06-22-2011, 08:12 PM   #27
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Re: PNW tips thread...

Look for lings in holes in rocks on the opposite side of the direction from which the waves are coming - for example, if the waves are out of the north west, then look in the holes on the south east side of the rocks. Lings do not like to get beat up by the swell, surge, or waves when sitting in a hole digesting a meal, so they are usually on the lee side of a rock of they are holed up.

Also, they usually like holes just big enough to accommodate them, so there is no room for a seal to get in and get at them.
Wide holes are fine, as long as they are not very high. If a seal can get in a hole, there is probably not a ling in it.
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:30 AM   #28
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Re: PNW tips thread...

Caveat regarding Ling advice, the ones I like to hunt are so big they are not afraid of anything, especially a diver.

Anything under #20 hide/run, over that, they will either hold their ground, or think a fish on your stringer is just an appetizer before they eat you.

things that scare me the most:

octopus: almost lost a fin and gun to a #25, smart, scary, 6 more arms than you.


Fog: loose sight of land or your boat=SCARED. It sucks trust me I have been there. Fear Fog!!!
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Last edited by beaver; 06-23-2011 at 01:41 AM.
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:59 AM   #29
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Re: PNW tips thread...

Quote:
Fog: loose sight of land or your boat=SCARED. It sucks trust me I have been there. Fear Fog!!!
Yes indeed. You are truly LOST in fog - totally disoriented - been there, done that, but my GPS got me home. That is why everybody should have a GPS on their boat with way points to lead them back home - and if not, anchor until the fog lifts. Running into land or rocks because of fog is not a good thing to do. Radar is really helpful too - if you can afford it - which I can't.

To surface after a scuba dive and find fog, and be unable to see/or find your boat - Blow your whistle (you have one, right?) and the person you left on the boat (you left a person on the boat, right?) can sound the horn and guide you in to the boat by sound. You don't want them to start the motor and come looking for you and run you over because they cannot see you, and cannot hear you after they start the motor.

Good reason why you want to pay attention to underwater navigation and end the dive at the anchor line and ascend it if there is ANY chance of fog. Better yet, any chance of fog, don't go diving. Fear Fog!
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Last edited by North Star; 06-23-2011 at 02:09 AM.
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:12 PM   #30
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Re: PNW tips thread...

Beaver, I know what you mean about the octos... very cool animal and incredibly strong. I never touch one freediving. They are simply too strong and could easily drown you. I read an account of a guy freediving up near Deception Pass that grabbed one hoping to sell it to a restaraunt. The octo grabbed him and latched onto the bottom. He got loose in time, but just barely. I have played with them on scuba, and I sincerely respect their strength. They fall into a weird category for me. I love calamari but have never thought of taking one. Just too smart and cool for me to kill for some reason. Squid are fair game. Fog scares the crap out of me! Whistle on your person is a must have. Great tips guys!
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