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Gag Season is Now Open!!!

Discussion in 'Underwater Hunting' started by IncreaseMyT, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. IncreaseMyT

    IncreaseMyT Banned

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Naples, FL
    So pumped, I headed am out in 3 hours gotta get some sleep. Some buddies went out today and scoped the spots, with the south wind for WEEKS that clear Caribbean water will be pushed our way and it should be great vis.

    Wish me luck, will post results.

    CuzzA likes this.
  2. CuzzA

    CuzzA Percoidea Wetwork for Hire ScubaBoard Supporter

    Good luck, we'll be out next week. By then I'm sure they'll know the game is on.
    IncreaseMyT likes this.
  3. IncreaseMyT

    IncreaseMyT Banned

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Naples, FL
    Awesome day on the water, I got skunked on gags but two of my buddies got one, there were 4 of us on the boat. First dive was about 45 miles off in 80 foot of water. It was a wreck we call gravy train.

    Dive #1
    Elapsed time: 29 minutes
    Vis: 25 ft
    Max depth: 79 ft
    Min temp: 76
    Average depth: 63 ft
    Start pressure: 3,398
    End pressure: 110
    F02: 33%

    It was crawling with snapper and permit and unfortunately right when we dropped in the gags took off, my buddy was able to tag a 28 incher as they were swimming away. There were about 6 goliaths on the wreck and the mangroves, at least the big ones, were tucked under the bow of the wreck and under the goliath.

    I saw a nice size keeper so I took the shot and immediately one of the goliaths jumped on it, so I swam down the line and was able to scare him off with the butt end of my gun. It took me longer than usually to get this mangrove on the stringer because I shot it late and in the gut.

    Once I finally did get it on the stringer I dropped back down and eyed up the hole under the bow and there was a flash of almost fluorescent green, I swear I thought I saw a dragon :) Then I look behind the smaller snapper and there is a huge mangrove behind one of them at least 25 inches probably closer to 30 and I got the shot off and the minute it hit the whole underside of the wreck went crazy, I think I may have went through the snapper and clipped a goliath.

    I start reeling in my line as fast as I could and somehow after thrashing around in the hole he wiggles off my spear and it totally sucked cause it would have been the biggest mangrove I have ever gotten.

    So I am re-loading and there it is, the biggest eel I had ever seen in my life, longer than me so plus 6 foot and he was a brilliant green color, swear it looked like a dragon, he swam from the hole I was shooting in to the other side of the wreck. That made me pucker up a little.

    Meanwhile I am messing with the mangroves my buddy is on the other side of the wreck shooting two really nice size permit. I figured this out cause as I was reloading I saw him get drug to the other side of the wreck by the bigger one lol.

    So I finish loading and one of the bigger goliaths decides to come out from under the wreck and swim up behind me, eyeballing the snapper I have on my stringer. We have a staring contest for a couple minutes and he takes off so I find another decent size mangrove under the bow, nothing like the one earlier though. I get reloaded, my watch is beeping I am down to about 800 lbs but I am right on the front of the wreck where we dropped in so I just have to go straight up to the boat. So I find another pretty decent size mangrove and I take the shot and totally miss lol *facepalm* and now my spear is stuck in the sand and some net right under the wreck and I am hesitant to get down there because these goliath's are all stirred up and I literally shot into one of their beds. Plus, as a newer diver I usually come up at 800 lbs.

    So I get down to my spear and I am jerking left and right and its not coming up I need to get my knife under the tab on the spear and flip it up to pull it out but I decide not to risk it and undo my swivel and leave my spear in the ground under the wreck and thankfully my buddy came in behind me and was able to get it out. I do my safety stop and head back to the boat.

    Dive #2
    Elapsed time 18 mins
    Vis: 20 ft
    Max depth: 64
    Average depth: 47
    Min temp: 77
    Start pressuse: 2,890
    End pressure 602
    F02: 33%
    No gags on this wreck, at lease once we got down there. I used an aluminum 80 and I realized today they are just not worth using for me anymore. They are too light, it throws off my buoyancy and I just suck way to much air at 290 pounds. I shoot 2 nice size snapper on this wreck and decide I am gonna bounce cause of this dumb tank that I got lol. I literally had to do my safety stop upside down to keep from rising too fast, I got all the air out of my BCD but with no air in this tank anymore it is pushing me up like a bobber.

    About 3 minutes after I come up 2 of my buddies surfaced and they asked me if I saw that "suit" (bull shark) stroll by at the end, thankfully I did not cause I could barely keep my buoyancy anyway if I would saw him I would have been out.

    Dive # 3
    Elapsed time: 33 minutes
    Vis: 20 ft
    Max depth: 77 feet
    Average depth: 63 ft
    Min temp: 76
    Start pressure: 3,398
    End pressure: 464
    F02: 32%

    These were long ledges and there were goliath hugged under a lot of them and when we dropped in one of the biggest barracudas I have ever seen, right on the bottom which is weird cause you will usually encounter them on your safety stop. Then I saw a huge school of angel fish and usually behind them will be a hog fish or two, but no luck, just a short red grouper. Me and one of my buddies decide to go right and head down the ledge, the current was taking us in that direction and it ended up being a mistake because the action pittered out. We waste most of the dive doing this before we turned around and headed back with about 1400 lbs of air so I was swimming a little faster, on the way over we really took our time searching the ledges.

    About halfway back I see the goliath again, or one group of them and then sure enough I see a nice size fish maybe 25-30 inches swimming in front of me but it looks really white with a dark tail and I am trying to figure out if he was a juvenile goliath or what, then I realize its a gag. I am still working on my fish identification and I can get them right, but sizing them up and identifying them and then shooting them is still tough for me to do quickly and I took too long and the gag had noticed me and started swimming fast. So I swim faster and so does he, he ends up hitting a hole in the limestone and dirt flies everywhere. So I see a tail sticking out of the hole next to it and I initially think we scared one of those angel fish into a hole and doooope its a big hogfish lol. So I rush the shot and miss!!! errrrrrr..

    Running low on air and I may have enough time to shoot a fish but not enough time to find one under these ledges so I bail and head back to the boat.

    My buddy comes up with my gag of course, or at least we think it was that one.

    Dive#4, 5 and 6 were much farther in on ledge and 2 wrecks. We had thought maybe the bigger gags were in a little shallower so we do two dives in 35 ft of water. The visibility is horrible, maybe 3 or 4 ft. I bail on the ledge dive and spend about 15 minutes on the wreck and don't find much but a school of yellow tail snapper.

    The last dive of the day was on a wreck really close to home port in about 20 foot of water, we usually stop by there on the way in to see if we can find some stainless steel anchors. No luck on the stainless but found 2 pretty nice anchors and then called it a day.

    Out of the 4 of us we had 2 gags, 3 permit, 2 hogfish, and a mess of large mangroves. Definitely still learning here and need to work on my aim, and how to be more quiet and sneak up on the gags.

    All in all a great day though wouldn't have rather done anything else.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
  4. MaxPat

    MaxPat Registered

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Slidell
    Nice report! Sounds like a good day.
    IncreaseMyT likes this.
  5. IncreaseMyT

    IncreaseMyT Banned

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Naples, FL
    Yea this is still one of my favorite dives, the water was really clear because it was right after that tropical storm that came through from the south, this brought clear Caribbean water here.

    First time I saw a Moray, it is still the biggest one i've seen too. Can't wait for fall so the bigger fish come back in shallower :) I really want to get Cobia.
    MaxPat likes this.

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