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Ft. Lauderdale Report, Jan 22: Speedy 1 - Bull shark 1

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New Member
Oct 20, 2003
Emil(Apexpredator), Speedy and I headed out of Ft. Lauderdale this morning for the customary Saturday morning freediving session.

For the first time this year everything worked in our favor. The seas were calm, the skies clear and it wasn't freezing for a change...

We decided to see if we could pull one over on the bull sharks guarding the motherload of gags we had found a few months earlier, so we were of to our deepest spot for the day in 90ft. The last few times we visited this spot we had mixed results, including loosing a big gag & shaft to a GG and numerous grouper eaten by the resident bull shark, however, we also landed a few decent cubera and gags in the 20-30 range. Upon arrival we were pleased to see that you could make out the structure from the surface, and Speedy and I jumped in. Having had a really close encounter with one of the guardians late last year I was hesitant to shoot anything, so decided to film Speedy slay the local fauna, leaving my floatline on the boat, just taking a gun "just incase".

Diving down for the first time we were greated by half a dozen large gag hovering about 10-15ft from the bottom. Scanning the area we noticed vis wasn't nearly as good horizontally as it was vertically, but it didn't seem like any of the resident sharks we around. I followed Speedy with the camera, and watched him nail a 30# gag. We both kicked for the surface, while Speedy tried to keep the gag of the wreck. Good, one gag in the boat, and still no sharks... Diving down again to try and get some footage of the gags, I was greated at 60ft by the first bull. Great I thought. He wasn't very interested though, and after filming him for about 15 seconds I decided to break for the surface. I told Speedy about the shark, but he got greedy and wanted to get another gag. This time around an even bigger gag came up to greet us, and his curiousity was rewarded by a shaft through the head. Scanning the area for shark, I noticed the first one arrive for his breakfast.
Approaching fast he homed in on the fish that was franticall trying to hole up in the wreck. Having run out of air I kicked for the surface, watching in horror as his buddies arrived to finished up the scraps. Result: one lost shaft with slip-tip... At least I have it all on film...

Ok, this is getting a little long. I'll keep it short from now on.

We moved to the next spot, 60ft. Jumped in, and were greeted by good vis, and my biggest hog to date. A 24" brown snouter. Don't know how much he weighed, but I think it must have been between 8-10#. Made a dive on a black, but after having lined up for a shot decided he looked borderline legal, but Speedy though different and proceded to chase him. Turned out he was 26". My bad. Emil was having a rough day, and continued his bad luck streak when he lost an estimated 50# AJ when the barb didn't toggle. He had shot the fish through the head, and the fish took of with his float, only to pull out and leave an empty shaft and pissed off Emil.

Next spot Emil got schooled by a school of large Yellow jacks, but the clear water at this spot made him misjudge the distance, and I witnessed his shaft fall just short of the fish. I dropped down to 60ft and waited suspended 60ft above the bottom. The fish came up to great me, and after about half a minute waiting for them to come in range I was surprised by movement to my left. That's when a small school large horse eye jacks swam by, and I nailed 25#er.

On our last spot of the day Emil redeemed himself, and proceeded to nail a 20" mango, and the biggest sheepshead any of us had seen in a while, a 8#er. It was a big ******.


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Nice fish gentlemen,
400HP of engines on the boat... just as well you're paying US fuel prices!
Looks a fine boat....Lucky B@#~&ds!
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Sounds like you had a nice day out there, sans the lost equipment...
Can't see myself spearing anything when sharks are present... :)
Any chance you could dispatch some of these movies my way?
I have to get the whole compression thing figured out. Once that's done, I'll be more than happy to post a link or 2 with the footage...

You know when a male hogfish is all lit up like that with the dark spot on it's side it is in the process of spawning.....nice fish none the less but something to think about when you see them like that.
Had no idea about that. If he was indeed spawning, he has no game, 'cause he was the only hog around... Every fully developed male I've seen has that spot, regarless of what time of year it is. Do the spawn year round?

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Deepdown said:
Every fully developed male I've seen has that spot, regarless of what time of year it is. Do the spawn year round?


Yes, this is true. I've been paying attention to this and all males seem to have that sort of "birth mark" on its side...
For what it's worth, biologically, males are fairly worthless. If you bag a fertile male it's no biggy. The problem comes from removing gravid females which are loaded with eggs :girlie.

Males have a low gamete investment- which means they'll screw anything :p. The females are more discriminating b/c it takes a lot more of their finite energy to spawn :inlove. It's the classic battle of the sexes :ko. So if your worried about populations just keep shooting the males, it's selection even if it's not 'natural' :hmm .
All hog fish eventually turn in to males, taking a male means it was once a female, and most likely had a chance to reproduce in the past...Hogfish reach their reproductive age when they are around 8-9 inches, and all are female at this stage. This fish was measuring almost 26 inches, and clearly a male. I don't feel bad at all abot taking him...

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PILOT said:
You know when a male hogfish is all lit up like that with the dark spot on it's side it is in the process of spawning.....nice fish none the less but something to think about when you see them like that.

Are you sure? I thought all males carried the full mask. Its one of the features used to identify them as males? As others said, hogfish are protogeneous hermaphrodites so that fish already spawned as a female several times. I have heard of some concern over the lack of males but I think they spend more time deep(like they do in the Florida Middlegrounds) so amybe thats why we dont see more in the shallows? Interesting...
Bucket, I think he's refering to the black spot next to its pectoral fin, not the one by the tail. Regardles, Every male hog I've seen has that spot...