I hope all is well with you. I just wanted to shoot you a couple of pictures from 1st WSB this season. She went 48lbs and I took her with my 60" magnum. I hadn't really shot that gun since I got my 50" GR, but she did just what I remembered her doing, namely putting the hurt to big WSB. In fact, her last two fish went 56lbs and 48lbs. Thanks for the great guns!
A New PB and a Special Bonus!
After striking out on the last few dives with no sightings, I started to get anxious about whether I would meet my end of summer goal of getting a 20lb WSB. After hearing some dope on where a few fish had been taken in the last week, I called two buddies and made the decision to try an evening dive and see if we could land some fish. We launched the boat and were on our way by about 4:30pm.
We pulled up to our spot and were pleasantly greeted with nice viz and 64 degree water. The only downside was that the current was absolutely ripping and had almost all the kelp laid down to about 15'. We anchored up and I threw out the current line and we all hopped in. I was still getting situated in the water and trying to find my spot on the submerged bed. I poked my head up to check on the position of the other diver to make sure everyone was OK. As soon as I put my head back down into the water I saw a big tail sweep past the kelp in front of me about 15' down. I dropped down and caught her as she was leaving the kelp stalks for open water. This was easily the biggest WSB I have ever seen, longer than my 60" Wong and thick. She was at my edge of viability (15' or so), I was directly behind her and waited for her to turn, as soon as she did I rushed the shot and got that familiar feeling. Nothing. I missed a shot on a monster. I quickly reloaded but she did not come back around.
I spent the next 2 hours kicking around and using the current to push me through where I had seen my fish. I was seeing plenty of nice calicos and some good sized sheepshead, but I wanted a WSB. I headed back up current do make some more drifts and as I was on the surface I saw another big tail about 15' down. I made my drop and was greeted with a nice WSB swimming away from me. She was smaller than the first one I saw, but still much larger than what I have seen lately. I made sure to carefully line up my shot and followed her closely waiting for her to turn. As if she had no fear of me, or no idea I was there, she turned slightly and I pulled the trigger. This time I was greeted with that not so familiar feeling of floatline ripping through my hands.
I let my 12' bungie go through my hands before I applied any pressure, I did not want to risk a tear off on this fish. I surfaced and gave a quick yell to my buddy in the boat to let him know I was on a fish. Although he probably could have guessed the way I was getting towed around. Since the current was ripping, most of the kelp was laid down and she had no where to tie-off. I kicked and followed her while getting towed around the area for about 10-15 minutes. Finally she made a deep drop on a kelp stock and I though she had tied up.
By this time my buddy had come over to see if I needed any help. I asked him to dive down and check to see if my shot was holding, and if not to put a second shot into her. He informed me that I had a deep belly shot, but it looked like it was holding. I rested for a few moments to get my breath and calm myself down. When I dove down I found her laying on the bottom, struggling to breath. I pulled her up to the surface, brained her for good measure and swam her back to the boat.
After pulling her up I knew I had surpassed my 20lb goal, but I was stoked when she went 38lbs. She was 51" long and completely spawned out, there was almost nothing in her roe sacks. She would probably have been heavier a little earlier in the season, but I was just stoked to have landed such a nice fish. She was implanted with PIER tags and I contacted them to return the tags. They informed me that they give out a $200 reward for returned tags, so that was an awesome bonus.
Great evening on the water, new PB fish and $200 in my pocket. Not to shabby for one evening.
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Saturday, January 19, 2019