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Sometimes you find'em

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
3,965
755
218
70
Sarasota, Fla
We take several diving trips to the Bahamas on my boat (24 ft 1/0) every summer. Dinner comes from our slings and maybe a few more on the last day to take home with us. Mostly we sight see, often going to more and more out of the way places, hoping to find those unspoiled places, never get enough. On the last trip, we got seriously into the fish only once, but it was really good. Here’s the story.

I jumped in the water with Frank, my 19 year old son, 40 ft depth, 90 foot vis, nice reef, shoot a hogfish for dinner and then another to make sure. No sharks yet, which was unusual for that area. Should I get another?? As I get back in the water, I hear Frank say “Here they come!” Oh well, we didn’t need another fish anyway. The sharks were not aggressive and there were a lot of fish around, so we stayed to play. Several hogs, lots of chubs and other reef fish, many dog snapper, big dog snapper, up to maybe 60 pounds. I didn’t know they got that big. A real neat spot.

Then a 20 pound black grouper showed up, then another, then a 30 pounder, and a 40, and a 60 pounder, biggest black I’ve seen in several years, all milling around under us, more and more fish showing up. They were too spooky for us to get within 15 or 20 feet , but we began to see where they were coming from and slowly worked our way, with the fish, in that direction. A hundred yards or so, 50 ft depth, big coral head, 10-15 ft high. Huge numbers of fish swirling around, big schools of grunts, goat fish, chubs, various snappers, plus all the big snapper and grouper. There must have been a thousand fish in sight, all in motion. It was wild. This was clearly grouper home. As they got closer to home, and maybe got used to us, we started to get closer. We got within touching distance of a couple of twenty pounders and easy spearing range of the 30 and 40 pounder. The 60 was too spooky. I guess that’s how he got that big. We played for an hour or two, feeling very lucky and very privileged to be there.

I’ve seen places like this before, but it has been a long time. We’ll be back in a couple of years; I hope they will still be there.

Connor
 

cdavis

Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2003
3,965
755
218
70
Sarasota, Fla
2016. Well, it took a little longer than I expected, but I finally got back to this spot. The fish were still there, some VERY big grouper, but much less friendly than in 2005. Mostly we got a glimpse of them as they dived into their hole in the big coral head. The area, including Hole in the Wall, is being speared by Bahamian commercial divers. Can't blame'em, its how they make a living, but I've seen this story before (and done my part). It doesn't end well. In another 10 years (or less) the fish will be gone.

Makes me sad.
 

Pinniped72

Well-Known Member
May 18, 2013
391
209
83
Hampshire
Sad indeed, we are in the middle of a mass extinction, humanity is the proverbial Nero, fiddling whilst Rome burns, or in our case, oceans acidify and fish are driven out of existence , it doesn't end well:(........ for the fish, or us!
 

spearoprelsey

New Member
Aug 7, 2016
13
2
3
27
LA
That's a great story. I can't even imagine how inspiring it would be to have so many different kinds of fish swimming around you.
 

Johny Depth

Member
Sep 27, 2020
53
19
13
51
italy
This encounter is rare these days .A treasure in our minds a treasure lost from the sea as time goes by others do not get to see,. Thank you for your story
 
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