|My 35kg welcome home present.|
Yesterday was my first dive here back home since May!! I took a drive up the coast to a spot I thought I might find a few fish to get back into the swing of things. The water looked ok from the beach and was a bit murky in the backline. It got ridiculously clean from about about 250m from shore.
Crystal clean water in winter is often not a good thing as it is often 'sterile' and not very fishy. On the reef the few fish that were around were not interested at all in coming home with me.
I decided to swim against the current to the front of the deepest ledge to see if there was anything congregating there. The plan was if there was nothing there then to head back inshore and catch some buggs.
As I got to the 20m drop there is a small finger that juts out into the strong south to north current. As I got to the spot I saw the Salmon from the surface. I have dived this ledge for 20 years and it always seemed like a good spot for Salmon but I had never seen them there before.
I turned into the current trying to hold my position over the ledge while breathing up. Flip it's harder than you think! My prep was terrible and I was breathing heavily from finning ... and possibly the excitement, but decided to dive sooner than later as I did not want them to spook and swim off.
By the time I got to the top of the ledge in 19m I was a few meters back from where the Salmon where sitting. I dropped my anchor and snuck up towards them. As I got to the ledge and I could see the one sitting on the sand I tried to keep really low and out of sight. This did not happen tho there were 3 fish and the 2 smaller ones saw me and light up as they started to move off.
S*#T! I am not going to get close enough. All I had was a 1100 roller with 16mm bands, the gun I use for reefies and small mackerel. I edged to about half a meter before the edge of the ledge and lined up. I was thinking I really need to be coming dow the ledge on this fish. While I was debating with myself what to do the fish sees me and starts to turn. Thwaack the decision was made and the spear hit the fish behind the head almost stoning it.
The fish slowly glided off into the current and I was unable to see if the spear had gone through at that distance. I bailed for the surface and was fortunate to be able to incept my float that was anchored on the ledge. I clipped of the gun and put the reel on free spool. I grabbed my 900 roller with 14mm bands and swam off after the fish following the dyneema reel line.
Eventually the fish slowed down but the current was pulling hard on the fish which pulled out all the reel line and had come to a solid stop. Deciding not to risk loosing the fish I did the long swim down after the fish and put in a securing shot with the 900 ... which when right though the fish.
It took about 20min to pull myself back to the float with the fish, which was now a whole lot bigger than I thought it first was. After sorting out a massive tangle of dyneema which had collected around one of the guns while pulling back up the current I head back inshore and got some buggs.
The swim back to shore was a killer and negotiating the shore break was fairly interesting. This however, was all was done with a decent dollop of satisfaction. I guess if there ever was away to have a 'welcome back' this is it.
P.S - if there ever was any doubt in my mind about the roller gun story this fish sorted that out.
Check out these other posts on the Roller guns:
Roller Guns In Qatar (this was my first experience with them)
Roller Gun Test (The test I did on the guns for the Ultimate Spearfishing Magazine)
Spearfishing Tuna with Roller Guns (a short vid from my last Ascension trip)