It’s not often that we put ourselves in the food chain…well for most people it’s not often. It’s definitely a humbling experience and while I find it benefits my humility, I’m not advising anyone enter to food chain voluntarily. If you are so inclined, do it…if you’re not, stay the hell out of the water!
The waves took respite here and in order to find our adrenaline rush we went fishing this morning at the crack of dawn. Last night we did the usual running around getting the gear together, a long list to say the least. We brought poles, tackle boxes, gaffs, dive gear, spearguns, beer/food/water/beer, gasoline, bait tank, camera gear and surfboards in case waves decided to show up for the party. Our first point of business was to check the waves…nothing. So we decided to head out to the ship moorings off the coast with visions of Dorado
schooling in crystal blue waters, like lambs to the slaughter. Hardly!
The moorings are huge metal cylinders about 12 feet in diameter by 20 feet long. They are attached to the bottom by huge chains and they serve as anchors for ships to tie off to when they are here to unload cargo. There are two sets of six moorings, one in about 35 feet of water and the other in??? I never was able to see the bottom…but I’m guessing it was about 60-80 feet. The moorings make scary sounds as they rise and fall in chop, the three hundred pound links clanking against each other like a midevil dinner bell… As we only had one set of mask and fins and one speargun and one person willing to enter the food chain, I got in and swam up to the first mooring ball…no fish at the surface. I hyperventilated for a minute in hopes of saturating
my blood a little and then took a dive, head down fins up kicking for the greenish/blackish abyss. I dove into the shade of the mooring, a dark column of water surrounded by rays of light driven into the depths by the rising sun. It’s spooky to say the least. The visibility at the surface is about 30 feet, but about 15 feet down there is a 10 degree thermocline and there the water visibility diminishes to about 10 feet. I was distracted as I dodged jelly fish…
I know how a light brush by a jelly feels… and as I safely made my way around them I spotted fish…or at least the shadows of them. I was about ready to surface as I can’t hold my breath very well, but I thought a shot was in order, so I aimed and pulled the trigger. I hit something, but I didn’t know what. It was just dead weight on the end of the line. I swam back to the boat and handed the line to one of the guys who pulled it up…surprise! It was about a 6 pound snook called Robalo here. No time to waste…amidst the words of encouragement from my buddies and the boat driver I dove again…the same school was there, a little more visible now and i took another shot…and got another hit. That’s two Robalos in about 5 minutes. I dove a couple more times, but apparently I had scared them off or deeper than I could dive. In the mean time the guys on the boat were casting artificial baits and only pulled up one small barracuda, we
kept it for trolling later.
The next couple of moorings had a few small Pargo and I shot those since I knew they wouldn’t go to waste here. Later back on the beach I gifted them to the boat driver and his father. We had five fish on the boat now but we decided to head to the next set of moorings farther out, about two miles offshore, in hopes of clearer water and bigger fish. At the first mooring of this set the current was something to contend with, it almost swept me past the mooring without getting a shot of. I turned and swam hard towards the mooring into the current and surfacing at a slight angle…while on the ascent a school of Amberjack swam up to me like some ghetto thugs who wanted to
know what was up…so I shot one! This was a good solid hit right through the gills…the water filled with blood and the fish hung limp as I’d basically stoned it (killed it with one shot…picture me ghetto stance with a do-rag….yeah boooooooy!). We boated the Amberjack and in my mind, I thought it was time to get out of the water…my boat mates thought other wise and handed the gun back to me, “get some more!” they insisted. I reloaded and went down for
another. This time I dove a bit deeper, maybe 35 feet and I could see shadows, large shadows, lurking below. As I got nearer, I was want for air, but I held on long enough and spied a huge grouper, probably 25+ pounds and I got a shot off. This was not a clean shot as this
fish sounded trying to take me with it. I was definitely stronger but as I pulled, all of a sudden, the line snapped back and went limp. I feared for a moment that I lost my spear, but it came back with a bit of white belly flesh. Unfortunately I had belly shot the beast and it
was now going to swim away, trailing entrails, slowly dying and bleeding…great!… luckily my boat mates let me out of the water…so they could take me to the next mooring.
We tried 4 more of the moorings and while I saw some fish, we had a cooler full and I was on the hunt for moby dick now and everything was small. I didn’t see any sharks, this morning, but I’ve seen them here and I know they’re there. I’ll go spearfishing again, especially because it was so productive. However I think a quick strategic mission…in and out; kill quick and exit even quicker is the best plan. I prefer to be the hunter not the hunted.