|10-30-2008, 11:28 AM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: San Diego, CA
Got an opportunity to go out with Daryl Wong a few weeks ago to try and shoot an Ulua. His usual crew had other obligations, so it was just Daryl and I. One of our first dives was on a house that has three exits. We breathed up and dropped in directly above and behind separate openings. I followed my gun into the cave just in time to see a 30lber swimming away from me! I was still well within range so I took the terrible quartering shot. My spear connected and the line started ripping off of my reel as the fish bolted for the only open exit! I swam through following the fish only to come face to face with a monster of an Ulua who gave me a look of total surprise before barreling through the exit! Damn it! I should have swam in instead of taking the quartering shot! I squeezed through the far hole while line was still flying off of the reel at an incredible rate. Popping out the other side my dwindling supply of O2 made the 45 feet of water over my head look like a four story building that I was going to have to climb before I got to breathe again. Just as I took off for the surface, heartbreak! My line went slack and my first opportunity to shoot a decent ulua swam off into the blue. I hate losing a fish. These fish are surprisingly resilient and with the shot placed so near the tail, I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t a mortal wound. Still makes me angry that I took a less than perfect shot. Daryl always talksabout taking the shot you have because these fish won’t give you a second chance. He went on to tell me not to worry, and that I’d get a big one soon.
Sooner than we both thought it turns out! The next Sunday, the weather kept us off of the water, but this past Sunday we were presented with light rain, variable wind and flat seas. Joe Strona, who was off hunting blacktail deer on another Island the previous week was back to join us on the boat. After launching the boat, we headed back to the same hole, hoping someone was home. After anchoring, the three of us slipped into the water and made our way over to the spot. We each took up positions above the openings, Joe across from me and Daryl off to my left at the far end of the cave. We made our drop and as I slipped in behind my gun I was at first disappointed by what seemed to be an empty house. Just then my eye caught some motion in the gloom towards the back of the cave. Slowly I was able to make out the unmistakable silhouette of a good sized Ulua gliding away from me. As it reached the back of the cave, it turned broadside to me and in one fluid motion I aimed and fired my spear at the sweetspot behind the gills. The fish instantly exploded towards the opposite exit and right towards Joe! I followed it out trying rather unsuccessfully to keep my shooting line from tangling on the rocks. When the fish saw Joe it bolted right back into the house. At this point, with my heart pounding like I had buck fever, I had to streak for the surface for air. I was so excited I couldn’t get breathed up again. The adrenaline coursing through my veins was burning up my oxygen as fast as I could take it in.
Daryl made a dive down to put in a securing shot and when he surfaced he said that my shooting line was tangled in the rocks pretty good and the fish wasn’t going anywhere. He told me to dive down and cut my line and he’d retrieve my gun so I could bring the fish up. Finally able to calm down enough I dropped down, cut my line and slipped my hand into the fish’s gills to bring him up. This was no 30 lber! My shot had gone into the gills but didn’t make it through the opposite gill plate. The flopper toggled inside and was barely holding on after the thrashing the fish had given my spear.
A knife to the brain and we headed for the boat. I was shaking with excitement! My spear was bent nearly into a J and I couldn’t care less. I never would have thought that I would be shooting such a nice fish within six months of arriving in Hawaii. I have to give all of the credit to Daryl and Joe. With out them, this wouldn’t have been possible.
I should have a couple of more pictures on Sat...
Last edited by SpearMax; 10-31-2008 at 12:31 AM. Reason: Fixed photo per Smudge request
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