Monday, August 09, 2010

Catching the Fishing Fever

Fish Cays: North side off of Lower Cay
July 10 - 12, 2010

30 Minute Limit!
30 Minute Limit!

With light winds out of the west, we were able to drop the hook here, a place we hadn't anchored before because the winds are seldom favorable. We knew it would give us good access to the nearby, offshore reefs, even better than those off of Allans-Pensacola. No other boats ever dropped their hooks while we were anchored here. It was so quiet and peaceful, and the moonless nights sure were dark with no other boat lights around. It is too remote for even the nearest local thieves to bother us! Although, I would probably welcome an appearance from my favorite pirate, Jack Sparrow of the Black Pearl!

We went out to the reefs each morning, taking advantage of clearer skies at that time of day. Usually by the afternoon clouds would build up and block out the sun, reducing our visibility. One morning from the time we dove on the first reef and caught all the fish we are holding in the opening photo, only 30 minutes had passed. Eddie was rewarded with his biggest fish to date, a 6 lb. yellow fin grouper seen in the photo. Reef security (sharks!) had already shown up, so we decided to call it a day. It took has four times the amount of time to get ready, go out to the reef and back and then clean the fish, ourselves, and our gear than it did to catch the fish. I whined the rest of the day that we should have moved somewhere else and stayed out longer, just to look around if nothing else.

The following day, fish sightings were less, and plus, we agreed to try to focus our efforts on spearing larger fish. Wayne heard Eddie and I discussing that the two fish we were looking at 20' below were too small. But, then, I dove down, obviously going after something. Wayne had a BIG surprise when Eddie signaled to get close, and I popped to the surface with a
7.5 lb. Nassau grouper, my largest grouper catch!

While we had managed to find an area rich in fish possibilities, it didn't come easy. Every time we dove an area and shot a fish, sharks showed up. Our policy is to get out of the water and move on once the sharks show up. We know we are no match for their quickness and desire to want to get an easy meal by going after the fish on our spears or any that may have been wounded. Plus, with visibility not being the greatest, we know it's what we don't see quick enough that will get us.

We keep our fish in a 5 gallon bucket (except my hogfish which wouldn't fit in the bucket!) before they are cleaned. Thinking she is really the pack leader whose job it is to protect the kill, Ursa will guard the bucket and snarl at us when we reach to take the fish out of the bucket to clean them. Ursa and Visitor both mill around when Eddie is cleaning the fish so they will get handouts, and Uncle Eddie can be way too generous with the scraps.

Everyone is Smiling!
Everyone is Smiling!

Our refrigerator starting acting up again, and the W & E Refrigeration Co. were forced into using the coolant and peripheral supplies they had picked up in Marsh Harbor for an out island “fix”. Our refer specs say that the line pressure should be between 7-8 p.s.i., but the only gauge they had managed to find had a scale that went up to 200, graduated in tens. So, reading any small number is just a best guess. At least the fittings are compatible for getting the gas in, and Donnie had given us some tips on what to look for after adding the coolant. Apparently the line frosts over to a certain point, and the amount of frost, or lack of it, functions as an indication of how much gas is in the line. Too much gas can be just as bad as not enough gas. We are just going to have to wing it.

Besides, adding to our frustrations, the weather forecast indicates a wind change that will force us to have to move to another location for better protection. We would have liked to have remained in these productive Fish Cays a while longer.


Post a Comment