Monsters in the Mist

West Coast represent! Remember be vague on spots!

Monsters in the Mist

Postby chris oak » May 9th, 2019, 9:54 am

I'd have to say it's been one of the roughest seabass years I've had since I started probably. Usually by now I have at least 4, and grant it, even though I've been busy with life I was still batting 0 fish for 5 trips. My buddies were faring worse, I know one guy who was zero for 40 plus trips. I think I would have killed myself or started bowling.

Some of you guys know Mike Raabe, he's a really good diver and also a fantastic photographer/videographer. He was working on a story for a big magazine on white seabass hunting and had photoed pretty much everything else for that article except seabass from this year. He gave me a call right when I touched down from family vacation with some news of a big school at Oaks Island.

Unfortunately, I had to work a few days since I had been off a week, but we planned on a mid week trip. Conditions couldn't be better, flat seas, clear water and no one on the islands. Unfortunately our intel wasn't too great and we only knew the general vicinity, but as soon as we got there I was shocked at how little kelp there was. I was even more shocked that I didn't hear any seabass, I ALWAYS hear seabass croaking there, but today it was pretty quiet. We hit every bed we could find with nary a sighting. except one twelve pounder that swam right up to my gun but I sure didn't want any pix of me holding that! We had great conditions but no fish.

A week or so later we tried a different reef. Conditions here was just fair, maybe ten or twelve foot vis and when we slipped in the water it was again absent of croaking. We cruised all over the bed looking for fish, and I was beginning to wonder if I'd ever get one. It was about an hour later I met up with him mid bed and told him we'd give it another half hour and then move on.

I started moving around as quietly as I could and made a drop after breathing up for a while. Right when I leveled off a very big seabass passed under me followed by a smaller one. I took the sure shot and pointed my gil gun at the smaller fish that was departing and squeezed the trigger. The fish split and I held onto the floatline as it began the familiar tow.

Matt Lopez from Dark Waters had just built me a 120' bright blue/green floatline with a 6 foot bungee to my specs. That fish didn't even get passed the bungee, it worked exactly as we planned an would stretch out the bungee and then it would recoil back, I like it to be that way so it's like fighting a fish on a fishing rod and thus has a harder time tearing out in the soft flesh. That floatline is amazing and glows underwater, even in the murk.

I kept looking and finally spotted Mike and hissed "MIKE, fish on!"as the fish dragged me around. He immediately booked it towards Gigas to grab his camera. I was worrying the fish would tear out or maybe something would happen and we wouldn't get it but right when the fish tied up Mike arrived. I dropped down and noted the fish was tired and the shot was solid. Mike followed me and started snapping pix.

I did my normal thing and brained the fish and then bled it and we swam it back to the boat while giving each other high 5's. The magazine article was due in a few days, this was after the extension he had gotten. Mike took a ton of shots, but I won't be able to post these until the mag drops he also did a great Drone shot which I will probably enlarge for m house as I'm standing on Gigas, I also got video of the shot which I will edit and post when I have some down time.

I weighed the fish at work and it went a decent 55.1 lbs, not a giant but man did it feel good to finally get on one. My guess is that the bigger fish was in the 60's. We talked about going back to see if there were any more so Mike could get one, but he had a deadline that was rapidly approaching so he opted to edit the pix. Mike shot photos as I processed the fish, my coworkers took probably twenty pounds home and most of the rest went to my neighbors, I've got about five pounds for myself. My boy had been requesting fresh sashimi for a few weeks so we dined on sashimi, then poke and then did a teriyaki marinade on the bbq on the collar. Wow what a meal!

When the mag drops, I'll let you guys know, until then you'll have to live with some pix of the epic meals. I was 1 fish out of 7 trips, and I tried going again a few days later. Guess what, I'm now 1/9 trips lol and I wonder if my season is over.
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Re: Monsters in the Mist

Postby BigJim » May 9th, 2019, 10:37 am

Awesome!!!

Great write up and the food looks amazing.

:handgestures-thumbupleft:

Looking forward to seeing the pics and the article!!

:obscene-drinkingcheers:

:greetings-wavingyellow:

Sincerely,

Jim
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Re: Monsters in the Mist

Postby John Hughes » May 9th, 2019, 11:25 am

that first pic gets my blood pumping. I won't bring up what my average was this year as I'm trying to keep my chin up. :)

nice write up Chris.
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Re: Monsters in the Mist

Postby Miguel naa » May 9th, 2019, 11:48 am

Oh man, my record is terrible. I feel like I’m doomed to start bowling for sure.

Nice write up Chris, it’s the only motivation I have left at this point.
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Re: Monsters in the Mist

Postby undrH2Ohntr » May 9th, 2019, 12:05 pm

I went 0 for 13 last season...first year I never shot a seabass. I am 0 for 4 full day trips this season, trying to stay positive because I have seen fish twice.
Last year one buddy shot a 50lber on my boat and another buddy shot a 60lber...I never saw shit.

Glad you got one.
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Re: Monsters in the Mist

Postby raabephoto » May 9th, 2019, 1:24 pm

Great write up Chris! Thank you for letting me tag along and take photos of you doing your thing! It’s been a long White Sea Bass season for me and Chris was able to bring it all home for me and the article. I dove 27 days with 5 different divers and all over SoCal. I managed 1 fish with Chris and 1 fish eaten by 7 gills in that time. It’s been a humbling experience but in many ways it made the photo essay that much better with all the time in the water and talkjng with other wsb hunters. Check out the summer issue of Outdoor Life Magazine, it has an 8 page photo essay about hunting wsb. I’ll let you know when it’s out.
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Re: Monsters in the Mist

Postby mikeme » May 9th, 2019, 1:46 pm

Great write up Chris. Congrats on the fish.
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Re: Monsters in the Mist

Postby Trace » May 9th, 2019, 8:29 pm

Chris all that I can say is you have a spoiled Kid! Good for You!
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Re: Monsters in the Mist

Postby Trace » May 9th, 2019, 8:33 pm

Great write up by the way!
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Re: Monsters in the Mist

Postby NaClAddict » May 10th, 2019, 6:11 am

55 is a solid fish in my book, I guess I’m old school. I’m still proud of the 46 I shot last century.
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Re: Monsters in the Mist

Postby Avenues » May 10th, 2019, 4:58 pm

Congrats Chris, I love that first picture. Tough season that’s for sure!
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Re: Monsters in the Mist

Postby Gavinzhao » May 13th, 2019, 8:10 am

Hi Chris,

I got your message and want reply you back however my account doest not allow me to do that.

I'm new to spearfishing and i'm currently use scuba gear. I want to know learn more about this sport and willing to learn free diving if i have to.

Any scuba spearfishing club in la or long beach you know?

regards

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Re: Monsters in the Mist

Postby chris oak » May 14th, 2019, 11:12 am

Hi Gavin, yes in your area you would want to check out the Long Beach Neptunes, the Los angeles Fathomiers, or the Orange County Spearos. If you are looking to get on bigger fish you definitely will have to start freediving, so you might want to look into a freediving class, like FII.
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Re: Monsters in the Mist

Postby Captn Ron » May 14th, 2019, 5:30 pm

Nice write up Chris! Love the pic.
i swim in circles alot
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Re: Monsters in the Mist

Postby dam » May 15th, 2019, 12:50 pm

Nice fish and I have to echo the others on the first pic. You should let Mike Raabe know if it's big seabass he's looking for, he should follow me around instead.
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Re: Monsters in the Mist

Postby Gavinzhao » May 16th, 2019, 8:11 am

chris oak wrote:Hi Gavin, yes in your area you would want to check out the Long Beach Neptunes, the Los angeles Fathomiers, or the Orange County Spearos. If you are looking to get on bigger fish you definitely will have to start freediving, so you might want to look into a freediving class, like FII.



thx, will find a coach and started ASAP:).
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