Posts by Reefchief

    Heres a little video I put together of a nice YJ I shot a few weeks ago. It was a sporty day with good viz. Ive seen YJs of this size around my spots for a long time but they are extremely spooky. I caught this one in the reef. He holed up pretty good like a grouper and it took me about 5-6 dives to finally get a hold of the end of my spear and start working em out.

    Nice video and hunting! Ive experienced some really bad "caught with your spear down" situations. Makes me pause a little more these days before pulling the trigger.

    One time I was beach diving, took a shot I shouldnt have on a decent grouper that was too far away. Only to turn face to face to a 30lb black holding a gun and a spear :D

    Beautiful hoo's! Hoping to get a few myself this year well see if it happens. We fill up my buddies 20ft proline with gear pretty easily so I can only imagine a 16fter.

    Only been wearing my suit a little so far this season but the fish are already coming from all around to check it out and offer themselves as sacrifice.

    Even though im fatter than i was when I bought the suit, its so comfortable all day I never take it off. Its nice to suit up at the boatramp and never feel the need to take the suit off until were heading back in.

    I love when my dad or brother break out their suits which dont get used very often. At first they cant stop laughing about putting it on because they arent good at it and usually have troubles. Not enough lube in the right places, missing beavertails etc.

    But as soon as they jump in the water and for the rest of the day they cant stop talking about how amazingly warm and comfortable it is.

    Got out again this sunday with my buddy jimmy and some friends. The winter ocean has been kind this year letting us dive a lot. Although with much of it happening in the crappy seas we've been seeing maybe we're just getting more bold and desperate. This day was no different and we started with hopes of glassy seas but were met instead with some nice solid 3-4 ft wave action. Despite the rough seas, viz was beautiful and the reef was clearly visible from the boat as we headed out. We got to one of our spots and anchored up. We spent most of the day in the same area finding a nice array of fish and bugs and having a good time diving in some pretty great conditions minus a serious swell . No groupers for me but jimmy got a nice red. And I got a bunch of hogs for a dinner I was planning. The swell made every single fan look like a grouper, and the reef we were diving is covered in fans. So I spent most of the day thinking everything was a grouper. Time flies when you're having fun, and before we knew it the sun was getting low. Ended up cleaning the boat in the dark, but it was one of those days you don't want to end.

    Dan I've got a present for you as well. It's long and silver ;)

    Beautiful fish on what looks like to be an extra beautiful day.:thumbsup2:

    I love when the ocean feels so welcoming and calm. Kind of fun when it feels like its trying to kill you too though. Its been angry here most of the winter but has been really nice recently.

    Thanks George. The Ameri-euro is actually finished. I finished it in a rush before lobster mini season and then never got a chance for nice pics and to post and then you know how to goes. Judah's gun however needs a few more sessions very soon! Who knows when I'll have time. Barely time to dive, but there's always time to dive! I'll post some pics and info of the finished Amerieuro soon.

    For a while there it was just busy weekdays and weekends. But lately the nice weekends are back and it feels great. Been shooting some nice fish and having a good time doing it. Also got in some lame free diving gopro selfie days too!

    Hahahah. All filler no killer. I love it.

    You really are getting way too good. Especially considering the lack of quality equipment and locale. If you can do this with a gopro1 and dirty SE FL summer water makes me wonder...

    Also, getting cool shots is fun but every time I put the gun down a giant fish swims by. So **** that.

    The whole "yammamoto" thing is just marketing hype terminology. Not sure which neoprene is used in Speardiver wetsuits but I can tell you they're the bee's knee's and the cats pajamas. I still have my first suit I purchased years ago and wore for 2 seasons and its in great condition.

    Dont worry much about the effectiveness of camo. A fish is going to know you are there regardless of what color you are. It might have a very small effect on someone who is otherwise a ninja diver who spends his time tucked to the reef hiding waiting for fish. But fish arent fooled in my opinion. Especially in bluewater and the shallows. In bluewater there is nothing to hide against, you will be a big blob out in the open no matter if you are red green or even blue. And in shallow waters the fish will already see you while you're on the surface. Some of the best spearo's on the planet who can use whatever they want use black and red suits and it doesn't seem to scare the fish away.

    If you like the idea of a camo that blends into the reef and looks awesome despite knowing its mostly ineffective in hiding from fish, the Speardiver Reef camo is a good choice (it makes me feel stealthy even though I know it doesn't do much). And if camo does have some small effect the reef camo pattern is the best I've seen at blending in.

    But if you prefer the predator suit and are hesitant to buy it because you're worried it wont be as "invisible" as a reef suit on the bottom you don't have much to worry about in my opinion. Get a speardiver suit in the color you think looks the coolest or is most safe. hiding from fish shouldn't be much of a deciding factor. Personally I like the Reef camo the best, here are a couple of pics of me with the reef suit.

    Ive been pretty absent from the forums as of late. Between an insane work schedule and soaking up my son who seems to double in age every week, I maybe get one day a week for myself and I spend it in the water whenever possible. Every time I go out I plan to write a trip report with pics and stories to share with everyone but life and work keeps me away. I figured I would dump some pics ive taken diving from May - Aug

    A friend of my families ive known since I was young recently got addicted to spearfishing a while back. He owns a dependable 2002 20ft proline and likes taking it down to the elliot key area as much as he can (Not a bad friend to have :laughing:) So it has become a Sunday ritual to wake up pre dawn and make the long journey down to homestead, dive all day, and arrive back home in the dark just in time to pass out before work the next day. In exchange for 14 hour days and lots of gas money we get to dive in some incredible spots with an amazing array of absolutely beautiful sea life, viz that always seem better than everywhere else, and a couple of fish around too. Weve been diving relatively shallow as my buddy hones his diving skills, but we have recently began to explore looking for deeper spots, its like starting all over though when you become so familiar with the makeup of an area at a different depth. Sometimes we go up north for a change, but the always-better-than-everywhere-else viz of elliot keeps us coming back for more.

    Hope you guys enjoy the pics.

    We caught this guy H+L at night in the keys during mini season (snapper spawn) since he was such a badass we released him to live a 3rd life.

    Was a great day on the water with some bros. Nice viz, amazing weather and seas. Lots of big fish teasing me all day. And enough in the box for dinner.

    Cool pics as usual. You guys keep goin all the way down there and shooting barracudas and stuff, you're not eager to get out a little deeper and see whats going on?

    A few different reasons why we end up diving shallow.

    1) My buddy Jim who's boat we most often use is is a relatively new spearo. Hes starting to get to a point where he has the confidence and skills to dive deeper, but only just recently.

    2) Now that hes ready to dive deeper we have absolutely zero good spots past 40'. Finding the shallow spots we have took a lot of exploring of structure/charts and GPSing.

    3) The shallow spots we keep visiting are filled with large black groupers and have huge 15lb YJs, big triggers, macs and big cudas coming through all the time etc. Its hard to hunt smart black groupers and huge YJs in shallow water which is why we seldom actually spear them. But its fun trying. So the lack of nice fish isnt so much a lack of nice fish, but a lack of abilities to put holes in said fish. The last 3 times ive hit those spots ive just barely missed big black groupers, a nice cubera, huge YJ's and Macs, etc. Everyone else does the same thing. This causes us to keep going back.

    4) Elliot seems to have a weird shoal/shelf at the depths you would expect the next deeper reefs. Once we venture out past the patches we run into a shoal that gradually gets deeper but not reef. We may need to just keep heading out but charts dont identify much structure so we dont really have any idea how the reef works past the 3 mile line and dont want to spend a day wasting time figuring it out. The few times we've ventured out we didnt find shit.

    5) We keep planning on diving miami/north elliot where there are more easily locatable wrecks and reefs at medium/deep depths (40-60), but concerns over viz end up making us go south and back to our tried and true spots.

    I basically agree with everything you said but come on dude. Ive seen your vids and others like them. Barn door size hogs and groupers in 12 feet of water is one thing. Deep reef/wrecks in stiff currents is another.

    To the point though who would propose a difference in gear before a difference in bag limits/ fish size/ seasons etc. That's so nonsensical.

    It makes a huge different for some species, but oddly enough it makes absolutely no difference for probably the most pressured fish in the area (hogs) people may infact shoot MORE 12" hogs if they only allow slings and polespears because that will be the only easy thing to spear. Also keep in mind almost all of BNP is sub 50ft coralhead stuff.

    Just some unfounded misconceptions.

    Chief, reading that article the only thing I see that would affect us is this bit Even so a chance to really be productive with a sling and polespear is not such a bad thing. Still I don't see how they'd differentiate between fish taken with a speargun or polespear/sling.

    Yeah Dan I was actually pleasantly surprised when I went to find recent information on their plans. A year ago I read some of the proposals they were putting out and they basically all read like a PETA members Scuba paradise dream idea. It looks like they have seriously backed away from the more drastic plans. But its obvious to me they want it closed to fishing, its just a matter of how much the public fights for it to not be.

    The commercial/rec thing is bonkers, the idea that crazy restrictions are put on rec spearos while commercial fishermen,spearos, and bait guys basically have free reign is just insanity and goes to prove what drives these politics. Red snapper is a good example.

    If it does ban the use of guns it makes a big issue for us practically. How are you supposed to prove that you didn't stop and spear in the park when you have guns and fish with spear holes in em? We all go through the park from homestead, black point, mattheson even Crandon really.

    I see enforcement having way too much leeway for this to be well applied. The judge is supposed to be the fact finder and the officer is the gatherer of evidence. In this scenario(and many many on the water) the officer doesn't know the law ergo he doesn't do the right inquiry and there is no good approach with the judge.

    Dont forget BNP extends 3 miles out as well. Pretty much everything under 40ft from fowey light to the start of john pennekamp is BNP.

    Good News, but* - Florida Sportsman

    Looks like they are considering all kinds of wacky stuff that will aim to limit fishing and spearfishing in the area. Although it looks like they may be backing away from the more aggressive proposals I was reading about earlier.


    Possible management actions to achieve substantial improvement of fisheries resources could include considerable increases in minimum size limits, designation of slot limits, substantial decreases in bag limits, and seasonal and/or spatial closures. Under Alternative 4, lobster mini-season would be eliminated in the Park and regulations would be enacted to prohibit the use of an air supply or gear with a trigger mechanism while spearfish- ing.

    Powerhead or spearhead, I believe that the big shark that will get you, will blind side you with a big hit. You won't see it coming. A bazooka isn't going to help you then.

    The curious ones that come in a circle and you can poke….or shoot, maybe a big tiger would keep working it's way in but….

    Just don't think about it. Worry more about wrecking your car.

    I agree that any aggressive hungry man eating attack is likely to be a quick surprise. Even most of the small shark bites in the carrib seem to be from the ones not seen. Sharks are im sure keenly attuned to how aware we are of them and plan accordingly.

    Shark behavior seems to vary from place to place and species to species. I hear about some places with insanely aggressive sharks (usually smaller sharks) and see videos of big 15 foot tigers in hawaii coming to check out spearos multiple times. But all my experiences with sharks here in South Florida have pretty much involved small to medium sharks really wanting the fish on my stringer and really not wanting anything to do with me.

    When I see a shark messing with my fish I usually swim at them aggressively and that scares them away. I then take my fish out of the water and that usually sends them off permanently. Ive yet to even need to really poke a shark, as swimming at them usually causes them to swim in the opposite direction. Much like my style of spearfishing.

    That said, animal behavior is not predictable and I dont trust that all sharks will be so intimidated or focused on the fish. For those I carry powerheads I never plan to use. But if I ever find myself in a situation with a shark that wont leave me alone its getting the PH.

    Last weekend I was followed by a pesky 5ft bull that kept finding us every time we put fish in the water.Saw him 3-4 times during the day despite moving spots. Late in the day I saw him going after my stringer and chased him away. I called the boat over to take my fish but got distracted by a fish swimming by. Not long after that I felt a nice solid tug and instantly knew it was the shark taking my hogs. I then pulled in as I expected, an empty stringer and thought "dammit im an idiot, a fishless idiot"

    I tend to put my head on a swivel when im handling fish as I feel this is the time I am going to get bit. Struggling bloody fish and a hungry shark. But it seems most sharks around here dont show up until fish has been soaking in the water a while.