Key West and Beyond...

East coast represent! Remember be vague on spots!

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » December 31st, 2015, 9:04 am

Have it made I do. You cannot replace a thread like this with cheaper rent or lower housing costs, lower cost of living, a bigger yard, or a nicer car. Most people don't understand when I try to explain that for it's exponentially high price, Key West is worth a million dollars a year to me. I would bet most people who see this thread though and share this passion, know exactly what I mean.

Happy New Year ladies and gentlemen. :obscene-drinkingcheers:
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Straz » December 31st, 2015, 5:17 pm

Congrats on wahoo JP. Epic report puke and all.
User avatar
Straz
spearo
 
Posts: 144
Joined: March 2015
Location: San Clemente, CA

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » February 17th, 2016, 6:37 am

Well hell, it's been a long time. I've talked to many locals who say this has been the longest strongest stretch of wind they can remember. Nothing even close to attempting heading to the reef, like a month straight of 20 knots plus.

Roy brings in an incredible break...

Roy McDennon had planned a trip come stay with me since about 5 months ago, this weekend. Sure as shit we got one day, Saturday, were the wind dropped down to 10 - 15 knots. Roy was dying to chase a wahoo.

We hit the deep stuff and unfortunately there was just no life around. The current was reversed the wrong direction. The water was clear but when you can feel it, you can feel it. And I couldn't feel it. As pumped as I knew Roy was I recommended checking the reef as this may be many hours of his only day in the water looking at nothing. We went into the reef and the same 80 - 100 ft. vis was on top. It was absolutely incredible.

For one, the vis was epic. But I have never seen so many black groupers. We estimated 200 - 300 and we only drifted one spot. We literally only drifted over one reef that was maybe a couple hundred feet long for the entire day. We swam with turtles, 2 hammerheads, 2 tigersharks, endless yellow jacks, and quite a few AJ's.

The best part about it was that the D600 I just bought from Kei was ready to go and man was it fun. I used to do some photography for a living, and as an extreme hobbyist. But I have not really had a good camera since I started spending all my money on spearfishing about 5 years ago. The photos from this one dive trip surely substantiated the camera purchase. I wish I could write more but I think the photos should say enough.









User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » February 17th, 2016, 6:48 am


User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Straz » February 17th, 2016, 8:53 am

Duuuudddeee! I love the pics! Good to hear you were able to get out and dive.
User avatar
Straz
spearo
 
Posts: 144
Joined: March 2015
Location: San Clemente, CA

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » February 17th, 2016, 10:38 am

Thanks Drew. I'm pretty excited about how excited underwater photography has me right now.
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Hookin » February 17th, 2016, 10:46 am

Cool shots of the hammerhead and the tiger shark. Congrats on the fish too.
Alex
User avatar
Hookin
prick
 
Posts: 704
Joined: August 2013
Location: Jupiter Florida

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby chris oak » February 17th, 2016, 11:00 am

I'm glad to see one of our buddies got kei's camera set up! I've seen all your stuff popping up on IG and man what a great job JP!! I gotta invest in a camera sometime. Those latest pix are siiiiicccckkk.
User avatar
chris oak
Enforcer
 
Posts: 4504
Joined: June 2013

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » February 17th, 2016, 12:58 pm

chris oak wrote:I'm glad to see one of our buddies got kei's camera set up! I've seen all your stuff popping up on IG and man what a great job JP!! I gotta invest in a camera sometime. Those latest pix are siiiiicccckkk.


Thanks Chris.

I could not pass on it. I have been looking for a camera for a long time. Knowing it is for hobby I have had to convince myself I don't need a true professional grade camera. I've done some shooting the past few years with a Sony NEX-5n in a small housing but truth be told it never really excited me to use it. The controls are all buried in menus, the screen is hard to see, and it is built like a toy. That is coming from full magnesium bodies. So I wanted something full frame if possible and didn't care that it was brand new. I was looking at D600's that were used the week before Kei posted the camera and housing for sale. I really was not ready to pull the trigger on that expense but could not miss the opportunity.

When I got that in the water the other day, with fish everywhere, I did not miss the gun for one moment. I was kinda shocked honestly. Trying to get a photo of spooky black grouper gave me the same rush as trying to shoot one. And with this 15mm lens you have to get into polespear range to get more than a few pixels on even a nice sized grouper. I was no more than 7' or 8' away from these fish. It was challenging and very fun.

User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby John Hughes » February 17th, 2016, 8:07 pm

I really like that second shot JP. Really shows you what's going on there.
User avatar
John Hughes
cupcake
 
Posts: 3494
Joined: July 2013
Location: san pedro

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Ikan Hunter » February 17th, 2016, 9:26 pm

Great pics,that water looks crystal!!
Awesome pic of the hammerhead
Good to hear your weather finally turned it on...I wish it would over here,been a crap summer so far!
User avatar
Ikan Hunter
spearo
 
Posts: 88
Joined: November 2013
Location: Paihia Bay of Islands New Zealand

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » February 25th, 2016, 12:23 pm

It has gotten marginally better in spurts. Got out again this Tuesday after being stood up on Sunday (in which some guys got out and shot wahoo up to 66#'s) so needless to say that guy is never invited on my boat again.

Checked the outside but almost no current and no boat. Wasn't going to waste my few hours of the afternoon drifting in the blue without water movement. Went back into the reef and it was on fire again. Jump in to school of rainbow runners, chubs, yellow jacks, yellowtail snapper, etc and here comes a school of 40# amberjacks. We don't get them that often up in the shallow stuff so even though I had fish dip up the ying yang I couldn't pass them up. I took the front guy, pretty much stoned it. It just hit a tail kick every 10 seconds or so. Being that I missed the stone shot by 1/4" last weekend and got my ass kicked on the surface I just let him bleed out a little. I was in the water by myself, just brought a friend to drive the boat for me, when I was thinking this is probably not the best idea. Before I could finish that thought a 13' Great Hammerhead comes in to eat the fish underneath me and I'm holding the shooting line :eek:

I called for the boat and the guy driving, very experienced, got the boat on top of me in what seemed like 2 seconds. I handed him the gun and jumped in the boat. The Hammer chased him in a few cirlces as we pulled him up but didn't get a bite. That was a serious rush. This hammer was so big and beautiful though. I put the fish in the box and grabbed the new camera to set up the drift again. I was dying to get photos of this shark (without the blood in the water and shaking fish). Unfortunately she moved on so I just snapped a few photos on the bottom but there was no sun and it was quite dark despite the 60' of vis.

I grabbed the gun and took a large yellow jack and called it a day. The sun was not quite going down but the clouds made it seem almost like night. The thought of a few cold beers overtook the desire to keep diving.

User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby John Hughes » February 25th, 2016, 7:02 pm

sounds like an exciting afternoon. Those yellow jacks look exactly like a yellowtail. What's the difference?
User avatar
John Hughes
cupcake
 
Posts: 3494
Joined: July 2013
Location: san pedro

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » February 25th, 2016, 7:08 pm

John Hughes wrote:sounds like an exciting afternoon. Those yellow jacks look exactly like a yellowtail. What's the difference?


The one I'm holding John? That's an amberjack.

Yellow jacks average about 12#'s (maybe smaller), whilst I've shot a dozens over 15 and two of them over 22#'s. They look much different, like this I found on the net.

Image
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby John Hughes » February 26th, 2016, 6:15 am

Well. I feel dumb. :)

I'm not familiar with any of the specie back East but I guess since the yt is in the Jack family it's going to look similar :rofl:

Keep the photos coming JP. We enjoy the change of scenery!
User avatar
John Hughes
cupcake
 
Posts: 3494
Joined: July 2013
Location: san pedro

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » February 28th, 2016, 11:20 am

haha, no problem.

I got out again yesterday (Saturday) thinking I might have another shot for some wahoo. The full moon was another day away so we were hoping the water would be moving. Got the grounds to find 40' vis and a trickle of current. Neither a good thing for wahoo. Again, didn't waste time. Just hit the reef.

The reef was still on fire. We could literally fill the boat with jacks. I passed on the Amberjacks this time and just took 3 yellow jacks to keep the fish in the fridge. Grabbed the camera at one shallow spot where there was enough light to penetrate and get some photos. Nothing crazy but better than being on land for sure. Enjoy.

Image
Image
Image
Image
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Spearing Magazine » March 3rd, 2016, 8:05 am

Great shots bud. Happy to see you with some photo artillery in your hands again. :obscene-drinkingcheers:
User avatar
Spearing Magazine
spearo
 
Posts: 275
Joined: August 2013
Location: fl

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » March 4th, 2016, 6:43 pm

Me too Jeromy, me too.

Took off some time again on Wednesday since I worked late on Tuesday. Had light winds. 1st spot, 94' to the sand, 200' long wreck, could see the groupers off the side and almost all the wreck from up top. Unreal vis, over 100'.

Not much there but grouper we can't shoot. No AJ's. A mutton, 5 lb's or so swam right up to my gun but I was holding the 140 and it stayed right on the sand and wreck just below me at point blank. I decided against breaking a bunch of gear. We left and got an AJ of a wreck in 140' but there wasn't much going on so we went to the reef. The vis was on top too so it made the 45 - 55' reef look insane. Not a crazy day, left at around 3:30 and headed home right before sunset. Got a few real nice hogfish, snapper, and yellow jacks to close it out.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Straz » March 4th, 2016, 8:37 pm

Just lovin the pics JP. Glad that you're getting wet.
User avatar
Straz
spearo
 
Posts: 144
Joined: March 2015
Location: San Clemente, CA

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby greekdiver » March 6th, 2016, 6:25 am

Badass :eusa-clap:
greekdiver
spearo
 
Posts: 63
Joined: November 2013

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Donzi Paul » March 6th, 2016, 10:06 am

I need to spend some time on this thread on a rainy day. :obscene-drinkingcheers: I love that B+W tiger shark image, water looks so clear.

Cheers, Don
Long Beach Neptune 1983 ...still
User avatar
Donzi Paul
sea slayer
 
Posts: 1174
Joined: July 2013
Location: Ca

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » March 6th, 2016, 1:39 pm

Thanks again to everyone that stops by.

I was approached this week by someone from an marketing firm who I've shot for before for some reef shots. It was pretty cool to catch his attention only having this housing for a few trips. I wanted to get out yesterday anyway so I made sure to look for some shallow reefs I normally wouldn't, knowing the target of his audience. The visibility just wasn't there like it has been, so I just speared for a while. You could see the bottom in 50' but there was a lot of particles in the water that like to shout back in photos. I stayed close to home and just hit the shallow stuff hoping some vis rolled in and the sun came out. Neither did but the shallow water provided my with 5 mutton snapper and 2 very nice hogfish. Two of the best tasting fish in our waters.

In the shallow water there was still particulate but enough sun penetration so take a few shots. This one little reef I have marked, is in 13' of water and is probably 50' x 25' in total. The amount of life on it was incredible. This red grouper was really big. I snapped a few photos of him and then noticed this little hawksbill turtle sheltering itself in a rock. It let me take dozens of photos in my 2 dives down to him. I was probably 10" away from his face, thats how wide this lens is. This underwater photo stuff is beyond enjoyable.

Image
Image
Image
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby John Hughes » March 8th, 2016, 5:40 am

man JP I'm amazed at the definition in those photos. Really awesome stuff. It really allows us on this coast to experience a different underwater world. Thanks for taking the time to share with us, please keep them coming!!
User avatar
John Hughes
cupcake
 
Posts: 3494
Joined: July 2013
Location: san pedro

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » March 8th, 2016, 8:04 am

John Hughes wrote:man JP I'm amazed at the definition in those photos. Really awesome stuff. It really allows us on this coast to experience a different underwater world. Thanks for taking the time to share with us, please keep them coming!!


Thanks John, you can count on it.

I am pretty impressed with the photos but it had a good learning curve. Luckily I have about 10 years experience behind DSLR's so I have been able to adjust much more quickly than someone just getting into photography. Underwater is pretty harsh on pixels. I'm fortunate Kei put together a good kit so my trials did not include tons of money switching ports and lenses. Having clear water certainly makes the photos look much better. You cannot be as lenient with settings on the camera as on land though. The editing is also much more tricky it seems.

Most of these photos I'm within 5 feet of the fish or diver, some as close as just a few inches. The lens is 180* fisheye so you have to get incredibly close to get pixels on what you want but it gives a great perspective. I will be adding a rectilinear widewangle and large dome port soon to get some shots I believe I've been missing.
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » March 20th, 2016, 5:14 pm

Well we got out yesterday on a planned 65 mile trip west. All week it's been forecast variable winds. We were greeted with 2 - 4 foot seas depending where we were. I gambled Gulf side but it was not very clear, all the way out to 42 miles from home. So, almost 20 miles to the first dive spot from there. We didn't get into the water until almost 10. We were getting our butts kicked. I have more photos i'll add but the ending was at 6:30pm, we ran back 28 miles to the wahoo grounds. Dropped my buddy Trae in with the flashers as the other guys got ready. Before they could put their fins on he is screaming "wahoo, wahoo!!!."

He loaded the gun, went down, perfect shot with a reel gun. I got in backed him up as he landed the fish in about 4 or 5 minutes. We got some killer photos. More to this story tomorrow. Enjoy.

Image
Image
Image
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Jstiver09 » March 23rd, 2016, 2:38 am

The visibility has been unbelievable down there it looks like! Nice report JP


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Jstiver09
polespearo
 
Posts: 49
Joined: December 2015

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Schwaman » March 23rd, 2016, 3:52 am

great fotos as usual, this thread is always a highlight.
thanks for that
User avatar
Schwaman
spearo
 
Posts: 329
Joined: October 2013
Location: Thousand Oaks

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby GreasyGar » April 11th, 2016, 2:28 pm

This thread is awesome!
User avatar
GreasyGar
spearo
 
Posts: 69
Joined: August 2013

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » April 20th, 2016, 6:20 am

Thanks everyone.

I got to get out this past weekend. The wind laid down but the viz was not spectacular. The trip was 3 guys and 3 women so we couldn't go to hardcore. Did some deep drops to get a mutton, found one early. Once we had enough for everyone for dinner we moved in shallow so the girls could swim around not scared for their life. Got some pretty cool photos of tropicals and a red grouper that followed me around for a bit. Enjoy.


Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Donzi Paul » April 20th, 2016, 6:29 am

Amazing images, I love the composition.

Thanks for the awesome thread mate,

Cheers, Don
Long Beach Neptune 1983 ...still
User avatar
Donzi Paul
sea slayer
 
Posts: 1174
Joined: July 2013
Location: Ca

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Trace » May 19th, 2016, 7:11 pm

Loving the pics, thank you
User avatar
Trace
kook
 
Posts: 501
Joined: July 2013

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Bill McIntyre » May 19th, 2016, 8:44 pm

Trace wrote:Loving the pics, thank you


They are fantastic. Why did I decide to retire in California rather than going back to Florida whee I came from?

However, I think we should have seen some photos of the girls swimming around in the shallows.
email me at wsbhtr@cox.net
User avatar
Bill McIntyre
billie mac
 
Posts: 3359
Joined: July 2013
Location: San Clemente, CA

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » May 20th, 2016, 9:20 am

haha, unfortunately those pics of the girls were when I took a different photographer on my boat. That is the only one I was sent. I took those girls on other occasions but I don't have pictures of that :D

I wrote a long post on here a few weeks back but I timed out and lost the entire thing so with a few minutes to spare I'll summarize.

May 1st is the first day of Grouper season here for the South Atlantic. So, we've all been frothing for 4 long months. I had a few guys come down from as far north as Jupiter, a 5 hour drive. We were pretty excited as the viz was great 2 weekends prior and the wind was supposed to be good. Come the morning of and the wind was howling right down the bow of where we were going. To make a long story short there were boats everywhere, every spot I had marked out of Key West had a boat fishing or diving.

So I asked 2 guys to get dressed and just check the reef in between the ledges. Still good areas just not the ledge. You couldn't see the bottom like we normally can and the water had no hint of blue. I dropped them in 60'. By the time they breathed up though we were in 102'. So Trea goes down and says the viz was awful, he got to 70' and couldn't see bottom. His buddy Chip jumps in the boat and Trae is lagging behind. I see a large shadow start to appear, rising up, about 40' behind Trea. I sternly tell Trea "Get in the boat... Now" while he was at the transom. He looks at me like "what's going on?" I said a giant Tiger Shark just followed you to the boat. As I said that it comes all the way to the surface and gets even bigger. Now you can see it has an enormous white belly. It was an approximately 13' Great White. I kept the motors running and stayed there to see if it would come back to get curious but it just dropped off into the green.

The rest of the story is pretty short. We went 20 miles west of that shark and dove some other great areas but also covered with boats. It took us all damn day but we earned 4 grouper and a few other snappers. It was not the great day with giant grouper and epic viz that we had been seeing but we were thankful. I guess we should be lucky we got home without any teeth marks in us.

Image
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » May 24th, 2016, 4:35 am

Boy this last weekend we had a blast. Unfortunately I did not have my A game as I woke up with a killer headache after not being to sleep all night.

Steven, on the other hand, had a career day. He ended up landing a 40# black and mutton that was somewhere from 18 - 20#. Absolute monster fish. Patrick who is only 17 is beginning to become a great diver. Last trip he landed a nice wahoo and this trip he got the first grouper. I didn't do shit until about the last hour of the trip when we found the mutton snapper in 80 - 100' of water. My headache finally went away. We did about 4 drops each on a short drift that started in 110' and we'd dive as soon as the ledge showed at about 95'. We landed 4 muttons over 10#'s and to top it off when I was pulling my last one up a 25' whale shark came right up to us and stuck around for a minute to play.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Last edited by castronova on May 26th, 2016, 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby dam » May 24th, 2016, 10:05 am

Wanna trade places? Last weekend I dove in cold mud with nothing to show for. Your pictures make me so depressed. :(
User avatar
dam
sea slayer
 
Posts: 1953
Joined: June 2013

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Bill McIntyre » May 24th, 2016, 10:41 am

dam wrote:Wanna trade places? Last weekend I dove in cold mud with nothing to show for. Your pictures make me so depressed. :(


JP, you don't even have to trade places. Just take Dam off of our hands.
email me at wsbhtr@cox.net
User avatar
Bill McIntyre
billie mac
 
Posts: 3359
Joined: July 2013
Location: San Clemente, CA

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby dam » May 24th, 2016, 10:49 am

Bill McIntyre wrote:
dam wrote:Wanna trade places? Last weekend I dove in cold mud with nothing to show for. Your pictures make me so depressed. :(


JP, you don't even have to trade places. Just take Dam off of our hands.


LOL! :rofl: You'll have to excuse Bill. He's been having a rough season.
User avatar
dam
sea slayer
 
Posts: 1953
Joined: June 2013

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » May 24th, 2016, 11:56 am

Bill McIntyre wrote:
dam wrote:Wanna trade places? Last weekend I dove in cold mud with nothing to show for. Your pictures make me so depressed. :(


JP, you don't even have to trade places. Just take Dam off of our hands.


Dang Dam, he doesn't want you and he doesn't want me either!

4 more days Dam, 4 more days.
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Freeryde » May 30th, 2016, 6:27 am

JP I was diving all your secret spots last week when I came out to visit my brother. I did a small report called "tropical isle" but it's in the CA section. Anyway I too saw a big black blob coming into view on one of my dives. All I could tell was that it was giant and dark colored. I guess I have been in CA way too long because I thought oh that must be a whale and swam toward it to get a look. It ended up being an absolute giant of a tiger shark and I couldn't get back to the anchored boat since the current was ripping. Super scary. The pics you have been posting are some of the best I have ever seen taken by anyone! Keep up the good work
Joe Newlon
User avatar
Freeryde
sea slayer
 
Posts: 1124
Joined: July 2013

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » June 5th, 2016, 2:50 pm

Hey Joe, I saw you made a post about diving down here and hoped you would create a thread. I'll go check it out. Sorry for the late response, I was in Baja.

Thanks for the love on the photos. I have more coming soon...
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » June 5th, 2016, 4:01 pm

Alright, well I'm back from the DVH hosted by Sea Sniper and Sea Sniper Baja. What a freakin trip. Sea Sniper Baja has everything so dialed in I really could not have expected more. Chay and Linda have a breathtaking property that is super comfortable and 100% set-up for spearfishing. Even for 20 guys (which I'm sure is more than a normal trip they intend to handle).

I'll give my experience quickly, show my photos, and hope Dam makes a thread or I will later so he can add on.

Diving, for me, was very tough. I did not do very well all week. I arrived with a little virus, blisters in my mouth, stolen glands in my neck. Day 1 I shot a 14# cabrilla and thats it. Day 2 I was sick, body aches, headache, tired as can be. I hit a few pargo caves but couldn't get the timing as they went in and out. Didn't see any AJ's. Day 3 I dove with some guys in shallower waters and there wasn't much there. Went out to the blue water and I whiffed on a wahoo that was not very big, maybe 25#, so it didn't break my heart.

Then we had a rest day. Which I needed desperately. We sat around in a big group drinking beer and tequila telling stories with a view most people dream of. Right off our balcony was a 100 yard beach that gazed onto Ceralvo. We slept in the next day and had a big breakfast. We sat around on the beach, drank beer, went in the water, walked down to the restaurant for lunch. We had a great time.

Day 4 I dove with Harry for the first time of the trip (we were playing musical boats). We went south in search of pargo. I don't mean to be rude, but chasing AJ's that kinda swim right up to you, isn't what I wanted to do in Baja. I would like to shoot a giant one but I wanted to hunt fish I don't have here. That is pargo and marlin for the most part. I ended up shooting a nice sized fish pretty early. Harry and I were battling about 4 knots of current though with the float on the reel line it was hard to get dives. After a few dives each a big pull and only the shaft came out. Harry said he tried to stab the fish again but couldn't get it. I tried a few times but couldn't see in the cave after the viz got worse. Harry ended up shooting it's twin, right in front of me as I went in to look for the injured fish again. I never got another shot.

Day 5, last day. I was over diving to be honest. Had no luck whatsoever and now couldn't shoot or land anything when I did. It was back to the original teams which was me and Stevie, my friend from Key West. We found the pargos again but they were here and there. Hard to target and moving really fast. I saw the really big one I had found the day before. After about an hour I headed into the channel leading to the cave and it came across and I hit right behind the pec fin. This thing went crazy and kicked and pulled as hard as I possible could. It was definitely a monster fish and I can see I had it out of the cave. It did a few violent circles and got back under just enough to wrap the cable. It completed about 3 more circles wrapping the cable with impressive power until it ripped itself off my bent shaft. I couldn't believe what I just witnessed. Another chance come and gone. I was done. Done done.

Stevie goes down and lands another that came out to the cave entrance and it comes right out. No digging necessary.

I told Stevie I was done with Baja this trip and he stayed in for another drift. I stayed with him for safety with no gun but I was about 50' away just looking into nothing in frustration. He yells at me asking if I had just seen "that." I didn't care about "that" or anything else at this point. He said he just saw over 20 fish go into the caves we had been hunting.

Fuck...

Okay, it's only 9:30am or so. I asked the pangero for mi pistola. The current died in a quickness and went it did these fish started going in and out and swimming all over. Stevie did a dive and said he saw a big one in the back entrance of a cave. I went down and there was a nice one just hanging under the lip of the ledge. Every other of the 100 fish i'd hunted had ran deep into the cave in what seemed like milliseconds. I took the shot as quick as possible, right behind the head. Tugged like a maniac on the way up. It came out, then got jammed in a small crevice that I could tell would not leave too much difficulty to get out. I could see the shaft. One dive and he came right out and finally I landed my fish. I couldn't tell if I was happy or pissed to be happy because I don't want to be. I was bitter and now, I wanted another.

We jumped back in and the fish were still there, swimming in and out in the slack current. I saw a few outside and watched were they went. I dove on another back entrance and another fish was hiding under the edge, not in the cave. Took a shot the went through behind the pec fin. Problem is I was too close and couldn't swim away fast enough with the cable to gain ground. It went into a cave and was stuck, good. I found it around a corner after following the cable. I told stevie where the fish was and that I could see the shaft. He took a dive and went inside and worked the fish out. It came out and wrapped on the edge of the next rock but 3/4 out and I could see it on the bottom. The cable was still wrapped through the cave though. I took Stevies gun, went down, shot the fish and then unclipped my shaft line so we didn't have to go back in the cave. It pulled right out as the fish came to the surface.

Holy shit, another nice fish. I had finally figured it out and had the circumstances to match my bitter persistence. It was 11 am and those 2 fish made me take 52 dives to 60'. Stevie had brought a bottle of tequila. We celebrated on a flat panga ride back to the ramp. We could weigh three fish, we had three fish. We were having a blast but we were tired. We had both cramped pulling the last fish up.

All of this fails in comparison to the people I met on this trip. The guys that were part of this adventure were all stellar people. I have made what I'm sure will end up being life long friends. Of course, after 7 bottles of tequila and 20 cases of beer, the bromance was thick. Haha. I am lucky to be on this trip and meet all these great people. Here are some of pick's of my top pics and edits.
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » June 5th, 2016, 4:19 pm

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby Bill McIntyre » June 5th, 2016, 4:53 pm

Great pics.

This is way beyond Key West. :)
email me at wsbhtr@cox.net
User avatar
Bill McIntyre
billie mac
 
Posts: 3359
Joined: July 2013
Location: San Clemente, CA

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » June 6th, 2016, 7:02 am

That's the truth.
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby John Hughes » June 6th, 2016, 6:48 pm

Unreal JP, thanks for sharing those pics and your experience. Those are some monster Pargo but I know how much more a trip like that can provide than fish. Good times, good friends and great new spots. I'm sure even though it was a bit rough (as most Baja trips can be) you were glad you stuck it out and overcame. Nice job!
User avatar
John Hughes
cupcake
 
Posts: 3494
Joined: July 2013
Location: san pedro

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » June 7th, 2016, 9:34 am

John Hughes wrote:Unreal JP, thanks for sharing those pics and your experience. Those are some monster Pargo but I know how much more a trip like that can provide than fish. Good times, good friends and great new spots. I'm sure even though it was a bit rough (as most Baja trips can be) you were glad you stuck it out and overcame. Nice job!


Thanks John. You are right, as frustrated as I was not getting much fish in the beginning partly from luck, sickness, and also my not getting in shape for the trip, I don't think it ever got brought back to camp. I was happy for everyone getting fish. Many guys got PB's and a couple WR were broken. It was fun to watch and all of it came with camaraderie and laughs.

Sitting around telling stories, drinking beer and tequila, and meeting great people beats it all. And yes, I'm glad I got my sappy ass back in the water and pushed hard until the end. Made it all that much sweeter.
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » June 7th, 2016, 11:58 am

I should also mention that all the pargos taken by the Florida boys (8) were with Abellan Denton 110's or 120's, on reel, with 8mm flopper shafts. :eusa-clap: :D
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby greekdiver » June 8th, 2016, 6:13 am

All all yellowtails were taken by Florida divers :D

greekdiver
spearo
 
Posts: 63
Joined: November 2013

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby dam » June 9th, 2016, 8:25 pm

Oh man, I didn't know you guys had your cameras rolling. Please tell me you got footage of the pargo pwnage.

I had a great time hanging out with everyone. I also learned a bunch of new tricks from you guys as well. The Florida divers are legit! And here I thought you were all like Bill Mac but you certainly proved me wrong. JP, I didn't know you were battling a cold. No wonder Harry and Steven walked all over you on the first days. Way to persevere and come back strong, buddy! That B&W pargo photo is so sick!
User avatar
dam
sea slayer
 
Posts: 1953
Joined: June 2013

Re: Key West and Beyond...

Postby castronova » June 24th, 2016, 11:21 am

Yeah man! I was sucking it up for a few days there. I have been starting slow every trip it seems like. Just need to dive more, that's all.

I have some more videos from the trip I need put up for you guys but I've been busy. Just sold my trusty Yamaha 200 HPDI's and will be repowering over the next 2 weeks with 2016 Suzuki 200apx's with fly-by-wire controls and digital gauges. I'm pretty freaking excited but there is still a lot of work to do since I'll be de-rigging and installing the new motors myself. With that I'll be adding a new amp, 2 more speakers, and under gunnel lights I wired but never installed. The boat will be almost completely up to date when I'm done.

...if I ever get done.
User avatar
castronova
prick
 
Posts: 823
Joined: August 2013
Location: The Conch Republic

PreviousNext

Return to Florida

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users

  • Supported by