kook limit: (koo-k lem-it) adj: Demeaning term to describe a mass failure to a person who is 1 short of a full limit of lobsters (7).
For close to 3 weeks I dove in bliss. Blue water everywhere, ample lobsters, and some reef fish. Even with the absence of any big game fish (read white seabass or yellowtail) I still had a fantastic time padding out in the Yak, towing Gigas, or even just shore diving it. There were new reefs to explore, clear water and a lot of life.
That abruptly came to an end with the heavy rain. I wandered about aimlessly with no real purpose in life and was forced to clean up speargear lying in the garage, fix broken stuff and sand down and refinish guns. Eventually the swells died down a bit and my buddy said the magic words: "vis was okay today".
I spent no time grabbing my gear and hitting oaks reef after work. On my way there I marveled at the sunset, flat calm out to catalina with colorful skies. When I checked the water I was pleased to see it was high tide, but not so stoked at the small swell pounding the rocks. It wasn't giant, but 3 foot swell pounding me into the rocks are always a concern. I timed the swell, grabbed the gear and climbed the cliff in the dark. I watched the swell come and recede and when the time was right jumped in and kicked like mad. The swell wasn't that big on this set but the surge was bad and you had to beat it out of the rock line.
Once I got into deeper water I calmed down and breathed up before making drops. Vis wasn't bad at all, probably 15' hazy, good enough to grab some bugs. I was pleased on my first drop to see what looked like a legal scurry under a rock but when I measured it it was a good few mm's short so I let it flap away. It was a nice night, as usual I was by myself out there and would look at the city lights while I was breathing up and watch the plankton light up when I shut my light off.
I didn't see much in the shallows so I started working the deeper water and nabbed my first legal. It was a slow pick, and a slow night. I'm not sure if it was that the storms drove the bugs really deep but there wasn't a lot of life around, even the shorts were noticeably absent. Every bug had to be worked for, digging under boulders and reaching into long crevices. It took 3 hours but I finally had a limit, they were all smaller grade than before although one appeared to be a few mm's over. I made a few big bugs wiser as they now lacked an antennae as my arms just weren't long enough, the bugs in my Mutiny bag were legal but nothing to brag about.
On my way in I measured one more legal, this one was solid but I already had 7 in my bag so I let him flap away and continued on. As usual as I got off oaks reef and headed into the shallows I noticed immediately the swell had picked up. It wasn't the swell that was so terrible as it was the surge, every single time I tried to haul ass out I was pulled back into the breakers. I got tumbled once and ran on top of the rocks and out, when I was safe I dumped my bag and remeasured.
6 bugs promptly went back into the bag. The 7th was under scrutiny as it touched the sides of the gauge but wasn't the few mm's over that I limit myself to. Too close to call with some wardens, I told that bug it was his lucky day and threw him back into the ocean, if I had kept that last one instead of this one I would've had a limit dammit. I laughed, I still had a great night and was glad I was finally able to get out. I was getting cold as the water temp had dropped again and couldn't wait to get back to my warm jug of water.
I gave some of the bugs to my coworkers and cooked a few for my family, nothing like puffed lobster tails with some steak! I was sad to see that my season was probably over as a new set of swell and wind pounded the shore the next day and from the looks of it, it's going to be bad next week too.