Key West and Beyond...

East coast represent! Remember be vague on spots!

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby GreasyGar » July 18th, 2014, 1:59 am

This is all really good info. Thank you. Got me thinking about the Optimax's now. The I4 200's would have to work really hard to get the load moving and the top speed won't be anywhere close to what it would be with the Optimax's. Not so concerned about going 60+ but it would be nice to have the extra ponies to outrun summer storms and those burn numbers are still about double what we get now. How is the oil burn for those? I can't imagine they drink oil like the pigs we have now. May I ask why you think your buddy wishes he had gone with the Opti's now? If he had to do it over do you think he'd pass on the zuki's and go for the optimax's? I apologize for all the questions, but like you said it is a 20+k purchase and I would like all the info I can get before pulling the trigger. This kind of real-world info is gold. Thanks for your time and for allowing the slight derail!
Trey
User avatar
GreasyGar
spearo
 
Posts: 69
Joined: August 2013

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » July 23rd, 2014, 6:12 am

Trey, I'll write you a PM as soon as I have time...


Went out west this weekend to the Dry Tortugas. I've never seen weather so epic. I didn't hit a wave in two days. I don't have time for anything lengthy but I'll share a few photos (most are on FB and IG). We hit every spot known to man, including my grouper spot which we got exactly Zero grouper from. The water was hot as hell, not very clear, and the fish were tough to get. I'd say half of the fish were shot deeper than 75'. We ended up with a couple kings, 2 nice dog snapper, about 10 muttons, 2 grouper, and a few hogs and mangroves. This is about half of what we usually pull.

The water was sweltering, the 1.8mm top made me want to puke. I haven't checked my watch but the water had to be 87*. I think it's full lycra time. The viz was not great, at least for down there. We had one area that was clear to the bottom in 70' and another close to the same. Some of the areas were so green you couldn't see the bottom in 40' and its usually 150' viz there. Anywho, we plugged away and had a great time. We cooked skirt steaks and baked potatoes on the grill, made fresh mutton ceviche on the beach, and sweat our ass off trying to sleep with no wind. We did over 240 miles and ended up burning about 135 gallons of fuel all while live drifting almost all the areas.

Harry's scooter broke, my NEX stopped taking photos, Harry's GoPro wouldn't turn on, Stevie lost a shaft and a nice grouper to a big jewfish, I bent another on the dog snapper. All in all, a fun trip as we all lived and were itching to go back before we even got back.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Last edited by castronova on July 25th, 2014, 8:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Smudge » July 23rd, 2014, 1:23 pm

Man that water is greasy smooth! Looks like a nice ride out and plenty of fish for me!
User avatar
Smudge
spearo
 
Posts: 441
Joined: July 2013
Location: Hollywood, FL

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » July 25th, 2014, 8:32 am

Smudge wrote:Man that water is greasy smooth! Looks like a nice ride out and plenty of fish for me!

Come get some, I have plenty!


Got to go out with some youngins. The water on the reef and just about everywhere has turned green, it was 91* which is not borderline miserable. The kids were fun to dive with. It was hilarious watching them get mad at one another for shooting each others fish and throwing masks. :hsughr: :hsughr:

They shot into the wreck twice, I felt like I was pulling Excalibur. One of them had to stay there. I was prying it with my knife and there was a green moray's mouth about 16" away from my hand that I hadn't even seen just watching me. It was kind of cool going back to the shaft and getting comfortable with him watching me and not taking my hand off. The shaft was too stuck either way.

It's pretty unreal how fishy this place is. All of this was done in less than 15' of water. Don't know why but the fish in the picture look tiny. The mutton the kid next to me is holding was 10# and was a monster, a couple of the hogs were 3/4#'s as well. All in about 3 hours of just messing around in shallow water. There are about 15 fish not in the photo. Fun times.

Image
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Mahtzo Lou » July 27th, 2014, 8:52 am

Hi JP,
I've got a complaint!
You've got so much old cool stuff it takes me awhile to get to to the new cool stuff!
Keep it coming! Sounds like you had a blast!
Lou
User avatar
Mahtzo Lou
spearo
 
Posts: 381
Joined: July 2013
Location: Southern California (South Bay)

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby chris oak » July 27th, 2014, 10:51 am

JP you are killing me. You guys pretty much have an all season long thing going on in florida!

So what's the downlow on the hogfish? I heard they are excellent eating, would you say they are better than snapper??
User avatar
chris oak
Enforcer
 
Posts: 4619
Joined: June 2013

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » July 28th, 2014, 4:29 am

chris oak wrote:JP you are killing me. You guys pretty much have an all season long thing going on in florida!

So what's the downlow on the hogfish? I heard they are excellent eating, would you say they are better than snapper??


Snapper is a little vague since there a few species and they are all different, Mutton Snapper being the best. Hogfish is super white meat, the flakes are tiny which makes it easy to eat. It tastes excellent but I think most of that comes from it not tasting AT ALL. The reason I like mutton snapper is its almost all white but does have a little blood line and variation so it's VERY good but it actually tastes like fish.

How about a swap? I've been wanting to do that. Next time I go out and get enough big hogs to share I'll send you some. You can return the favor with some seabass or yellowtail whenever you can.
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Smudge » July 28th, 2014, 10:43 am

For comparison Chris hogfish is a lot like California Sheephead. They're both wrasses...
User avatar
Smudge
spearo
 
Posts: 441
Joined: July 2013
Location: Hollywood, FL

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » October 1st, 2014, 7:12 am

It's been a long time since I've posted or even read on here. I got a promotion which has kept me swamped and the summer heat has made the fish somewhat scarce and the jellyfish are as thick as can be.

We have still be getting out every weekend even though every week I tell myself I'm not diving till the conditions clear. Saturday comes and I just can't help but go out and try. The visibility has been all over the place. This particular trip I'm posting a video and photo from when had viz right around 80' with a very strong current. I went back the next weekend and the current was gone as was the viz. You could still make out reef at 50' but the water was dark and green. It was difficult to even find a space within the jellyfish to get through.

This trip report was from a few Saturdays back. It had blown pretty hard for about 10 days so we were itching and there seemed to be a forecast break in the wind, at least less than 20 kts. I planned the trip with a few other divers who, for sake of a softer term, bitched out because it was going to be "rough." Calm it was not but my boat took it just fine and Rich and my persistence was paid off by greeting 80' viz on the outer reef. Everyone else canceled on us two. Rich had a cousin just move to town from Tennessee who just turned 21 and loves to act like it (we went to a bar last week and he ordered a Cruzan Rum bucket with 6 straws just for himself). Even the hick took the chance to go have some fun. I'm really disappointing in some of these locals I know.

Anyways, there was a ton of bait on the outer reef and of course, no other boats. The wind was about 14 kts out of the East making the ride west very easy. The waves kicked up to around 4' on the outside but they were pretty spread out. While the outside reef has been hit or miss this day we saw plenty groupers. They were very spooky in the crystal clear water at about 50' deep and hard to get on. The current was probably 2 - 3 knots so once you passed the ledge that was it.

We saw a few slide under a long ledge, there was a 35# + pound black that I tried to swim up current for but exited that strategy quickly. There were 5 other grouper also. We decided to make the drift back and both drop down. I figured I would see the big one again but I've learned over many moons to take nice blacks when you can as waiting for the monster more times than not means being the only one without shooting a grouper. We drifted up to the ledge, Rich was slightly ahead of me. We can see one grouper watching us drift up and the rest were under. My camera was tilted down a little but still a fun clip. Rich dropped but didn't breath up well so he didn't make it under and as he started heading up he said 2 spooked out to the top when I dropped in the sand. His shot startled me...



Sorry for the quality, I haven't been on my computer much and these were edited on my phone.

We didn't get the big one but a few that were pretty nice.

Image

We ended up picking up a red grouper and I shot a few medium sized muttons. The fishing wasn't off the charts but for hot summer water to get some nice blacks and dive clear water was refreshing. Right as we started to head home the wind picked up to 19 knots with gusts up to 23 knots from the report when I viewed it later that day. We showered up and stowed the gear. This boat impresses me more and more. I usually run 29 - 30 knots when its calm to save fuel and its what is comfortable. When it kicks up the boat wants to run and it stays much more level and has a certain attitude that is just plain fun. This is dead into 19 knots going 37 to 39 mph.

User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Spearing Magazine » October 1st, 2014, 8:13 am

Nice work Mang..
User avatar
Spearing Magazine
spearo
 
Posts: 275
Joined: August 2013
Location: fl

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » October 6th, 2014, 5:14 am

This last week we had another amazing forecast. The wind from Tuesday through Saturday midday was less than 10 mph. Since Monday we started to plan a trip far west to see if the big hogs had started to move in. Only a small portion of the plan worked out. We did find some big hogs but midday when the wind was forecast to pick up to 14 mph and only have 1.6' seas it much worse, and very fast. We shot a few nice hogs and next thing I know I come up from the dive and the waves are so big with the west wind I would lose the boat between the waves.

We toughed it out because of the 100' viz and a drop off we found that was holding a lot of nice hogs and red grouper. We came home in 4 - 6' seas and didn't get waves less than 3' until we were in 10' of water. One thing I learned, in the rare occasion we get a west wind my ass is staying at home.

Here is a short clip I made for instagram of a couple of the hogs. The first was 8# and second probably 6#. Enjoy.
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby jaguigui » October 7th, 2014, 6:10 pm

Dat abellan doe'
jaguigui
spearo
 
Posts: 117
Joined: September 2013

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » October 10th, 2014, 5:26 am

jaguigui wrote:Dat abellan doe'


Click. Boom.
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby dustyyoungblood » October 24th, 2014, 9:35 am

right on! love this thread
User avatar
dustyyoungblood
Sturgill spearfishing
 
Posts: 964
Joined: July 2013
Location: Ladera Ranch, CA.

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » November 2nd, 2014, 1:25 pm

Well there are reports of wahoo showing already so we decided to take a half day and give it a try. With daylight savings leaving I thought it was a worthwhile cause since it will be weekend only diving from here till the March time change. The winds were 5 kts and I had time to take off from work so we headed out.

We took a risk last Sunday too in some rough as shit, 17 knots east wind and went west 27 miles through a milk ocean before we gave up and shot a few yellow jacks and hogs in 8' of water. It actually was very productive but a lot of fuel to do what we did. So, Thursday I hear reports of great viz and it was calm so thought I would just go out front but 40 gallons in just in case. Go straight out to the reef... and beyond... milk to 150'. FUCK! Started heading west and this time only 2 of us to split cost so...

I was so pissed watching the shitty green water go under me, thinking same scenerio but 15 miles into the westerly run the gulf stream pushed in and turned the pea soup into a semi blue, 3 knot rip of 60' viz. I'll take it!

Did a few wahoo drifts and gave it a good go but no dice. Decided the medium deep edge would do as we would be able to see bottom. The reef was on fire and in our limited time it was an absolute blast.

My first shot was on the biggest kingfish I've ever seen, Period. Underwater, weighed at a kingfish tournament, nothing was as big as this monster. I look to my left hovering over the bottom at 55' and the 1 second thought process went something like, flinch from huge object, that must be my dive buddy, Holy fuck the biggest shootable fish I've ever seen under water. I turn to it and it slowly starts going away so I kick as hard as I can with the most tiny kicks I possible could to keep my profile small. It then turns straight away. Crap! Now i'm Michael Phelp-ing it hauling ass at him. He can't see me so he turns and when he does I've got about an 17 - 18' shot against the current against a monster. I decided to pass.

Yeah Fucking Right! I shot and threw my arm forward as if I was helping the shaft go further. I'm pretty sure in flight I tried to use magnetos powers on the shaft as well. It starts to die and nails him in the lower back half but I can tell it wasn't a clean pass through. Within 5 seconds my reel, 285', is down to half and I'm connecting in my belt reel. Never been so excited in my life to let my gun go. 3 seconds after that, Nothing. Line went slack, flopper pulled out of the skin is all I can imagine. It was worth a shot but it ended that abruptly. I usually don't do shit like that but those fish are about 1 a year over 40# and this ones size I may not see again for a lifetime. Good stuff. As I'm getting my shit together I have 2 yellow jacks circling the swivel clip that are both over 20#. Trophy size fish and of course I cant do shit about it.

We went back and drifted the ledges a few more times shooting another yellow jack, a permit, and decent amberjack, and this grouper. All in a few hours after 3pm. If you wonder how much fun I have spearfishing just watch my reaction here. I'm like a little kid every trip, no matter the size or quantity of fish. This guy stares me down (you have to watch on a big screen to see him) and loses. Enjoy

User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby chris oak » November 2nd, 2014, 3:58 pm

Epic clearwater ledge, danggggg! Was the big fish you lost a grouper JP? That must have been a heartbreaker if it was that big :(
User avatar
chris oak
Enforcer
 
Posts: 4619
Joined: June 2013

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » November 3rd, 2014, 5:17 am

chris oak wrote:Epic clearwater ledge, danggggg! Was the big fish you lost a grouper JP? That must have been a heartbreaker if it was that big :(


No, Kingfish or King Mackerel. The second post from the top here is a picture of one being held horizontal. That one is about 15#, the one I lost was 60+.
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » December 10th, 2014, 8:47 am

Well the winds have came so it's been a little more difficult to out be we finally managed so I have some photos to share.

A few weeks back I hit 100 hours since I bought the boat, got there in around 4 months or so. I did some calcs and at 16 gallons hour average cruise, sometimes higher, some hours just idling and drifting I figured it was a good average. With oil included and boat payments thats around $10,000 in that time period. Puts boat ownership and diving obsession into perspective a little bit. Ordered all the part for my 100 hour service to do myself. I have had a few overheats as well that would restart after turning the batteries off so I knew they were false. I ordered all new thermostats with the rest of the supplied. While on life I changed out the 6 fuel filters, 12 spark plugs, and 4 thermostats with relative ease. I put another 10 hours or so before getting to the lower units.

When I did get to them I found one had water in it so I'm glad I found it when I did. I dropped the lower at the boat yard and changed out the seals at the prop shaft and pressure tested, it passed so I skipped the other seals. I drained the counter and went to put oil in it with a large pump canister. I over pumped and to keep spillage to a minimum I put the top drain plug in. Big mistake. I didn't realize how much pressure this canister builds, never used it. I over pressurized the lower unit and blew oil out of the prop shaft and drive shaft seals. :angry-cussingblack:

I have heard of this happening and the seals reseating. I bought my own pressure tester and the seals held vacuum but pumped out oil on pressure. It was a windy week and figured the seals were original, 2001, so I decided to change them. Took me a all of the thanksgiving weekend to drop them and learn what the heck I was doing. Plus I removed my transom inspection hatches and trim tab covers to reapply the Boat Life silicon and the boat yard fixed a few gel coat chips on the transom and cap. I also removed all my coaming bolsters as I will be getting them replaced with Seadek sometime next week and I'll share that here as well.

I also changed out my FL numbers as the ones on previous were not only not to spec but looked like a 3rd grader put them on. I got these online for $22 shipped and couldn't be happier.
Image

So we finally planned to get out both weekend days as the weather was marginal and supposedly calm on Sunday. Good thing it was somewhat following on Saturday because it was 3' all day and up to 5 outside where we were diving. We hit up the wahoo spot for a few hours and had some cobia come up and spook and quite a few bullsharks come up to the flashers but no wahoo. We went into the reef to end the day and the viz was so so. We could make out the ledges just barely from 50' so it was good enough. We didn't get much but Rich landed this nice 25# black on our favorite ledge, stoned, can't wait to share the video of him coming up like he just hit a walk off homerun to win it all. So epic!!!
Image

We could not find clear water as outgoing tide made it horrible. We had visitors on the boat and the seas were to big to go into so we went to the island and drank some coronas then took the flats all the way home for a nice comfy ride.

The next day my buddies bailed but I took the owner of the boat yard where I store the "Bar Stroll" and his son. They are not very deep divers but are very interested in learning. They never dive offshore. We went for wahoo again. They wanted to see what we did how we did it. The boy got in with me, he is only 14 years old and was incredibly comfortable out in the blue water. I was shocked. We often see these huge schools of Yellow Jack in the winter and one came up so I pointed them out but was unsure if he would go for them. He did great and landed a nice 8 - 10# fish.


We went into the reef again after no wahoo sightings. As I anchored then in a spot 51' deep I asked the father from the water if his son could dive this? He replied no, just watch him. I look down to watch his son stone a black grouper on the first dive at the bottom. I was laughing hysterically in joy for this kid he was so stoked.

My days didn't go well until I got my shit together. Day one I brought my bluewater gun and new Abellan 130. I did not have beaded band inserts and knew my bands would pop. Sure enough we go into the reef and both my bands inserts popped out under tension. All I had for the reef was my 65" gun which I shoot about 3 times a year. Swimming down the ledge and a 20 plus pound black is out over the sand about 10' off the bottom just looking at me. I line up and miss the entire fish. My only shot of the day.
Fast forward to day two and now I have in my hand a gun I've never shot. After Patrick shoots his fish a bigger black spooks but I couldn't see him in any ledge. After checking for an hour we go hit some other spots and I ask them if they don't mind me going back to see if he was out. We hit the ledge and this time I drift up and look down and this black is 15' off the bottom looking right up at me. The viz was 80' in the 50' of water. I dive down and as he goes away for the ledge, completely miss him again. High over the top. :eusa-violin:

Jesus, I suck. If I would just stick to my one gun. I see the ledge he goes in, reload, and catch my breath. I dive down and look into the ledge with my thumb on the trigger, muzzle just in front my face. He spooks, runs out then turns around and sticks his head back to see me... :owned:

Bastard wasn't getting away again. He got stuck but it was a one dive retrieval, I'd say he was in the low to mid 20# range. And thankfully switching to the new 130 with an 8mm shaft, the fish wasn't strong enough to bend it. All in all a very busy and successful couple of weekends.
Image
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby otherxendxup » December 12th, 2014, 4:33 am

Awesome thread. I am now close to 2 hours behind my regular work routine because of it.
User avatar
otherxendxup
noob
 
Posts: 4
Joined: December 2014
Location: Key West

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » December 16th, 2014, 7:12 am

otherxendxup wrote:Awesome thread. I am now close to 2 hours behind my regular work routine because of it.


Thanks man, now keep up!!!


A recent development has me about as giddy as a 5 year old on Christmas. Matt Head who has worked with Spearing Magazine since I started took my logo idea and absolutely knocked it out of the park. Bar Stroll now has a logo. Now I have to decide how to use it on the boat, transom or side, hats, shirts,...

User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby thecoastalservice » December 17th, 2014, 3:21 pm

I think you should add it to the side. And definitely on some shirts. Awesome look man. It always leaves open the possibility of getting an actual neon light and hanging it at your house above your out door bar that you now have to build strictly for the light!
thecoastalservice
noob
 
Posts: 1
Joined: December 2014
Location: Key West

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » December 23rd, 2014, 10:40 am

thecoastalservice wrote:I think you should add it to the side. And definitely on some shirts. Awesome look man. It always leaves open the possibility of getting an actual neon light and hanging it at your house above your out door bar that you now have to build strictly for the light!


McChesney in the house!

I don't know about the side of the boat man. Not sure I'm ready for that. I'm down for the bar and the light though. Thats my jam.

I wonder if I can get a 12V Neon to hang from the T-top at the Fort?
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby John Hughes » December 27th, 2014, 5:35 am

Damn this report is epic. You guys have some phenomenal diving out there. Keep 'em comin!
User avatar
John Hughes
cupcake
 
Posts: 3557
Joined: July 2013
Location: san pedro

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » December 28th, 2014, 5:30 pm

John Hughes wrote:Damn this report is epic. You guys have some phenomenal diving out there. Keep 'em comin!


Thanks John.


I have a little Bar Stroll update, got the Seadek coaming pads in and wow! My vinyl over foam that are traditionally on CC's were tearing. In Key West everything is about 30% more expensive and they are about $1,200 to get reupholstered. Spear shafts go through them and I don't fish very much any more. It seamed the solid EVA was a much better choice. The install took me about an hour with a friend. They are nice enough to fish off for sure as I took some friends and my father for Christmas. The most surprising thing was I actually caught something hook and line!

User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby otherxendxup » December 29th, 2014, 4:44 am

Looks great man. I actually won a Seadek drawing a few months ago. After using it, I don't think I could ever not have at least a helm pad. Awesome stuff. Good job on the install too.
Attachments
User avatar
otherxendxup
noob
 
Posts: 4
Joined: December 2014
Location: Key West

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » December 31st, 2014, 11:11 am

Well we ended the year with one for the books. Not a boat full of fish but a great experience with a great crew.

Left work around noon, had a friend and his girlfriend in town, met them and 2 other dive buddies at the boat, launched, and got some fuel. Conditions were stellar. Headed to the wahoo grounds, cruised the whole way at 38 mph. Stopped at my spot, got situated, throw in the flashers and jumped in. Looked down, I could see the bottom pretty clear. It was 113' deep. Loaded my 3 bands, look up and 2 wahoo swimming right at me. 30 and 40#'s. Dove down, looked up they both bolted directly away, very skiddish.

Kept on it with huge bait balls of speedos coming through, King Mackerel bolting in. I decided to shoot a king to get some action going and told the guys to watch for wahoo. I shot a 15 pounder and rang the dinner bell, for bull sharks. Two of them grabbed my cable slip-tip at different times pulling me under. As I pulled the fish up they followed and got a little too close. It was fun though.

A few minutes later a hoo came up behind me and my friend Steve shot it but it ended up tearing off, he said he hit it high. Another 30 minutes or so went by and I could see a mutton snapper eating below. I thought I hadn't eaten much mutton lately so I kicked down to about 70' and strung him with my Ulusub 65. Not a fair fight.

After subduing the fish I handed my gun up to set up the drift again. My buddy Justin was having problems with Steve's extra gun that he lent him. Steve handed me his gun and he started working on the other. Justin now gunless and having never dove bluewater looks at me and says is that a king fish? I turn around and there is a wahoo ten feet from me. I grab Steve, hand him his gun and yell Wahoo!!! while pointing at the fish. The boat was picking us up and right next to us, he dove down under the boat to chase the fish. The fish started to run and Steve landed a 15' shot dead center. His Ulusub reel started to sing.

I told him swim with the fish or you'll be spooled. With his spanking new DiveR's he started swimming at the fish to keep up. He was losing line fast. I loosened the drag on my belt reel, took the clip and ran it through his trigger guard and clicked it back onto itself. I followed a few feet from Steve and stayed connected just in case. With less than 10 wraps left he finally started gaining line back. 15 minutes later I dove down to see the fish around 100' no sharks. I got an extra gun and with as much air as my pounding heart would let me suck in, I dove to 70' and put another shot in the head. The fish was dead but the slip tip was just sitting inside the entry point under the skin. We got a few pictures in the water and celebrated on the boat. There is nothing more fun.

We gave it a few more drifts but it was getting late. We attempted to get one last grouper before season ended but only ended up with a yellow jack and decided it was beer time. We started cruising in to an incredible evolving sunset. Not a bad way to end the year.
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby John Hughes » January 1st, 2015, 7:09 am

what an epic ending. Those sunset shots are incredible and that reel line looks like a mess! :) How much line do you guys have on those reels and what type of reel line are you using. I would imagine shooting wahoo with a reel demands some good reel maintenance.
User avatar
John Hughes
cupcake
 
Posts: 3557
Joined: July 2013
Location: san pedro

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Behslayer » January 1st, 2015, 10:16 am

Those Reels were made specifically for Wahoo/Large King Mackeral fishing. I did a lot of shore diving for these beasts growing up and quickly realized that 50yds was not enough line to effectively fight these fish. When I fill with 2.5mm line I get @ 300ft. Some guys will use thinner line, like 1.8mm but in my opinion, having a thicker diameter line is more important than having more of a thinner diameter line. The reason being that you can actually grab a 2.5mm line with your gloves on and put good resistance and still let the line slide through your gloves when necessary. I like to use a 2.5mm Dyneema outer with a Monofilament Core which gives the line some spine. The line should also Float. That is of critical importance.. When I was growing up we didn't have many options for line, but these days we can make what we want to use. The trick is to give line only when you need to and swim with the fish so that any line you have out stays behind you and you don't put too much pressure on the fish, i.e. become the buoy.. Line Maintenance is critical. Having a sharp knife and being fluent in accessing it is critical. You should never be thinking I'll Let go of my gun.. you should be thinking in a worst case scenario, I would cut my line.. but people have been able to battle some beasts without ever needing to do that. This being said, in a situation like that where you are getting low on line or if you shoot a Big fish, I like to keep a Polyform Boat Buoy on a Tuna Clip in the boat and I'm having stress, i.e. 250ft of line straight down with the fish of a lifetime on thinking I could get spooled any second, I'll ask someone to throw me the float and I'll clip it to my gun. If you have buddies in the water it's important that all of them understand they need to watch out for your reel line.
Behslayer
spearo
 
Posts: 457
Joined: December 2013

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby John Hughes » January 1st, 2015, 7:03 pm

I would have to agree that having a thicker line is better than thinner although this stuff is on a whole other level than shooting a big seabass like we do out here. Still, I can't seem to get a grip on anything under 2.5 mil. I even prefer a nice stiff 3 but you gotta find that balance between thickness and quantity.

I would also think that as fast as those fish take off, you've got to make sure it's all on there nice and tight and you have your reel dragged properly so you don't get backlashed or have it bury inside itself.
User avatar
John Hughes
cupcake
 
Posts: 3557
Joined: July 2013
Location: san pedro

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Freeryde » January 6th, 2015, 11:03 am

I have the Mori 3mm line on my Ulusub 90 reel. This is a perfect match to the 165 mid handle. I can shoot big seabass and let them run or short line a big cobia before he gets in the wreck. Keep posting these Florida reports! I am originally from there and go back a few times a year. Your awesome reports keep me stoked
Joe Newlon
User avatar
Freeryde
sea slayer
 
Posts: 1146
Joined: July 2013

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » January 20th, 2015, 1:34 pm

This guy bought the Ulusub 90 spooled by another shop. I believe it has 2.0mm on it. If I remember correctly it has just under 1 million feet :rofl: My gun has the same line, it was from Jon a few years back before he had the thick stuff.

There is just nothing more fun that wahoo on reel. But... It is not for everyone. I think intelligence comes into play a lot when trying to survive situations like this. I have seen people who have shot reef fish without much of a run start doing some really stupid shit when they hit a mackerel or jack that will run. Swimming away from the fish to pull, reeling like its a shimano, swimming inside of a birdsnest they are creating. It can be dangerous if you're an idiot. The guy I was with is a smart guy and he was asking me questions the whole time he was fighting the fish because he was unsure. The key is to swim as fast as you possibly can with the fish.

After I bought my Ulusub 165 a few years back I searched for any and all information since I could not get used to floats or slip-tips. Barry Paxman was kind enough to lend me some advice via email and when he told me you would feel like you were going to die of exhaustion after a big wahoo I didn't believe him, until it happened. If I hadn't got that advise from him I may have lost my gun. Glad I remembered in the heat of battle.

I shot a few last weekend, unprepared. Left my Ulusub at home, just went to mess around late in the afternoon. There were wahoo everywhere. I shot a couple with my Abellan, which has a smaller reel but still big. Still did not come close to losing the gun as I swam with the fish. Quick ending, sharks got the fish.
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Mahtzo Lou » January 23rd, 2015, 9:40 pm

Great photos and stories as always. those sunsets are awesome.
User avatar
Mahtzo Lou
spearo
 
Posts: 381
Joined: July 2013
Location: Southern California (South Bay)

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » February 11th, 2015, 12:39 pm

Well it's been slow on the personal side of things. The tournament took a lot of time and has it's own thread so I left it off of here.

My best friend Rich joined here not too long ago ^ "thecoastalservice" and he just had a little girl, Brooklyn Ann, on December 31st. Needless to say he has been tied up for the last few months and hasn't went diving. This last Sunday we didn't have great weather but since it wasn't horrible he was all in and there was no way I could decline. Rich had a max of 3 hours so we were to head offshore directly off of Key West.

We got to the spot we were going to dive and anchored up. Suited up and dropped the flashers over to take a peak and were greated with worst viz I've ever seen in this area, maybe 15'. I got in and it sucked to dive that crap in the deep water. I was ready to go home. Rich did one dive and said a nice AJ had came to check out the flashers. We decided to stay at the boat near the flashers and see if he would come back. Next drop I see Rich's somewhat blurry silhouette aim and hear the mech release. I grab his floatline and there was no movement. He found the AJ and stoned it. Pulled it to the surface so I asked if he was happy? He replied yes so we were going home.
Image

We got on the boat and took some photos to send our friends. Our buddy Marcus was at his house, on the water, smoking ribs. His house is a block from Rich's so we decided to take the boat there to filet the fish and eat and he could check on his wife and the baby. And an hour and a half early at that.

After filleting the fish we realized he had basically cored this fish backward down the spine into the skull. There was no knife getting this thing out, we had to use a machete to break the head in half. The slip-tip took a beating. I'll be learning how to replace to mori cable I guess (I have an extra but have never changed one).
Image

We ate some ribs and drank a few beers then took the boat back to the marina. The day could not have went any better for all of us. Just doesn't get much better than living in Key West.
Image
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » March 9th, 2015, 5:29 am

Image
You're welcome. Photo credit @keywestphotog - Hunter Ledbetter

Love,

Me
Spearing Magazine
Seadek
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby chris oak » March 9th, 2015, 7:38 pm

Dang that's a monsterous Amberjack!!!

The last picture is completely unfair JP, especially as under scrutiny I noticed it was two different women and not some photoshop trick!!!
User avatar
chris oak
Enforcer
 
Posts: 4619
Joined: June 2013

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » March 10th, 2015, 4:52 am

Completely unfair. I agree. ;)
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Spearing Magazine » March 11th, 2015, 10:50 am

Figures......
User avatar
Spearing Magazine
spearo
 
Posts: 275
Joined: August 2013
Location: fl

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby dustyyoungblood » March 11th, 2015, 1:17 pm

castronova wrote:Image
You're welcome. Photo credit @keywestphotog - Hunter Ledbetter

Love,

Me
Spearing Magazine
Seadek


Whatever is going on here.... i hate you.
User avatar
dustyyoungblood
Sturgill spearfishing
 
Posts: 964
Joined: July 2013
Location: Ladera Ranch, CA.

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » March 16th, 2015, 9:01 am

Well we finally made it out for a full day. Rich got a hall pass from his wife and 2 month old little girl. We headed out at sunrise, just me Rich and Stevie... the A-team.

We made it to the wahoo grounds to take a look. We were greeted with 90' viz and tons of life. I knew there wouldn't be much wahoo as the current was running the wrong direction but stranger things have happened. Plus, there are always other species coming through. We didn't end up seeing any so we decided to move into the reef edge where the muttons have been hanging.

We had to do some work as the first spot, around 50' was pretty empty. We committed to the drop off and there were plenty muttons to be had. I don't think we ended up with any snapper shallower than 70' with the deepest one shot around 85'. We took a few photos under water, a couple for Spearing Mag and Seadek since they are so good to us and cracked open the beers for the ride home.

As time passes you start to realize it's just not about sinking the boat with fish. I could easily find 3 or 4 more people to go dive with us and have 5 in the boat every weekend. No offense to anyone else but I just have a blast with my good friends. It doesn't matter if we shoot a single fish and we almost never shoot more than we need for that week to eat. Everyone helps out all day. You come up to the boat, someone is there to grab your gun. You jump in, the person on the boat drops a sandball, throws chum, or hands you whatever you forgot. I just can't say enough about what its like going diving with the right people.

Image
Image
Image
Image
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Spearing Magazine » March 16th, 2015, 11:22 am

Thanks for taking the time to get some shots and I couldn't agree more, finding people you WANT to dive with isn't easy.....
User avatar
Spearing Magazine
spearo
 
Posts: 275
Joined: August 2013
Location: fl

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » March 17th, 2015, 5:02 am

I just started testing a new GoPro mount for the Abellan made by a very nice fellow out in Portugal. Here is a short video shooting the mutton I posted previously. I forgot the camera stabilizer to it jumps when I shoot but it's pretty cool watching the click with such minimal amount of recoil and zero muzzle jump of the Abellan.

User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » March 24th, 2015, 12:17 pm

Man, got the crew together again. This has been the most epic stretch of March weather I can remember. Usually it's blowing 30 by now. We had a weekend of variable winds. I would normally go to the Dry Tortugas and stay the night, diving for 2 days. Unfortunately, I had a softball tournament on Saturday for our league playoff.

We decided we were going to go to the Tortugas anyways. Its about a $500 trip but still worth it for one day. A few other good friends who had never seen the Fort and have a nice boat said they would come meet us for lunch. Thats right, we met up 72 miles from home for lunch. Simply amazing. Our boat was cool with taking the break from diving even though we only had one day out there. It was worth the experience.

In the end on the way back we missed a few fish. I missed a very big grouper and the other guys had two tear off. I switched to my smaller gun for the first time in months and paid the price for it. It would have been insane how much fish we would have had if we would have landed them. We can't complain though. It was an incredible trip. We drank Modelo for the 2 hour trip home and laughed our ass off.

Lunch at the Fort on Sunday? Sure thing.

Enjoy.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Mahtzo Lou » March 25th, 2015, 9:50 pm

good times with friends! That's what it's all about isn't it! Great story and photos as always. love the photos of the smiling friends. a few fish don't hurt either.
Lou
User avatar
Mahtzo Lou
spearo
 
Posts: 381
Joined: July 2013
Location: Southern California (South Bay)

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » March 27th, 2015, 8:17 am

Thanks Lou. Fish are just a bonus but we're pretty good at hunting them and still enjoying ourselves. We've got it made and we're very grateful.
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby chris oak » March 27th, 2015, 9:18 am

Man that's epic JP, what a nice mixed bag. What kind of guns are those piled up on the deck?
User avatar
chris oak
Enforcer
 
Posts: 4619
Joined: June 2013

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » March 27th, 2015, 10:48 am

Oak, those are all Abellen Denton's.

1 x 110cm
4 x 120cm
1 x 130cm
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby John Hughes » April 6th, 2015, 3:46 am

sick shots John. I'll have to agree on diving with the right guys, nothing better. Keep the reports coming!
User avatar
John Hughes
cupcake
 
Posts: 3557
Joined: July 2013
Location: san pedro

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » April 7th, 2015, 9:28 am

You ask and you shall receive.

I went out a few times last week and this weekend. We had anywhere from 50' of vis to well over 150' on Saturday :hsdance: :happy-jumpeveryone:

I got out very late the first day but ended up shooting a nice jack around 90' or so which I forgot to put in the video and Saturday was a late start mainly because of a smoking hot woman and tequila. We didn't stay out long but we got our fill of epic vis and made it home early enough to filet fish and rest up. I made a quick video on my phone to post here for you guys. Enjoy in 720p (the limit of my upload patience).

User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Spearing Magazine » April 7th, 2015, 11:11 am

I think that turtle liked the look of your mouth lol. Cool stuff man.
User avatar
Spearing Magazine
spearo
 
Posts: 275
Joined: August 2013
Location: fl

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » April 8th, 2015, 5:42 am

I was scared to death staring at that beak. You can see as he inches closer I keep the shaft in between our faces. They're all cute and playful until they bite your nose off.
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 867
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

PreviousNext

Return to Florida

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users

  • Supported by