I met with my friends Rob and Adam early on a Friday morning, we would be paddling out from Stillwater South for a full day of diving. Conditions were spectacular and we were greeted with 50′ visibility at the site we chose to dive. I scoured the area and spotted a couple vermillion and a single sheep, all of which were in 50′ of water and fairly skittish. I was able to ease my way over to one of the vermillion and as I came within range the timid Verm made his way to a nearby hole just before he entered I let loose my gat-ku and without engaging the flopper or penetrating more than an inch I stoned him cold.
I continued hunting and moved shallower with the hopes of spearing a large cabezon. I passed one cab, gauged his size, and let him be. Not long after I found another this was a respectable 22″ cabbie, I didn’t hesitate to run him through. Then I found my trophy. There he was at 35′ with his big white head poking out of a hole and trying to pass himself off as a rock. My polespear went straight through his eye and came out his gut. It was the largest Cab I had ever shot. It measured in at a whopping 25.75″ and 10.6 lbs. I was stoked!!! I dove the area a little longer and then decided I would make my way to the area that Rob and Adam had moved on to so I could rub the fish in their faces. I gloated for as long as I could and then I jumped back in and kept diving.
Adam had spotted another Vermillion in the area and I had noticed some interesting structure on the bottom at 50-60′. I started checking holes and then I saw it. I shined my light down one crevice and spotted a reasonable sized cab, with the two monsters that were already on my stringer I wasn’t interested. I turned the light and off to the side in another hole I saw the body of a large lingcod. I had seen many lingcod throughout the day, nothing that would have been much over 30″, this ling was massive. I surfaced and looked around to see if Adam and Rob were close enough for me to borrow a float line. I was a bit nervous to take this guy on with just my polespear. I dropped back down to check on him again, and this time he had turned around and we were face to face. I began to stretch my spear back not wanting to lose the opportunity and the fish eased his way over to the hole’s opposite exit. I couldn’t risk watching him escape and I punched him behind the neck. The beast bolted and I fought to hold on while he tried to swim out the other end of the hole. I struggled with him for a little while and did my best to wedge the end of the spear I controlled into the rocks, but soon I had to let go and surface. On the surface I let Rob and Adam know what had happened and Adam warned me their was a harbor seal swimming around that might get him. I told Adam this fish was bigger than the seal, hahaha. With composure regained I dropped back down and checked my hole, no fish, no polespear, no nothing. Uh oh. I was worried I may have made a grave mistake and would be paddling back short one polespear. But I hadn’t given up hope yet and began scouring the nearby area, by this time Rob had come over and had dropped a line down to mark the hole. A couple dives later while I was checking nearby holes, knowing he likely would not have swum far, I spotted his massive head sticking out of a small crevice. The polespear was still stuck in his side and it had become wedged in the crack with him, he was unable to back out or pull forward. Phew, Rob asked if I would like to borrow his gun and I accepted. I put one through his skull and began the long arduous process of pulling him out of that hole. Rob was good enough to spot me over the 10 or so drops down to 50′ it took to pull that beast out. He was indeed well stuck and I was coming up blue lipped after struggling with him time after time. Finally I pulled him up enough I could rip the flopper from my polespear through, this freed the fish up enough I could pull him out. At last I surfaced with my prize and indeed it was an impressive fish. It would later measure 39″ and 31 lbs. We dove several hours longer that day, I had scored a variety of tasty rockfish, two monster cabs, a nice vermillion, and a very impressive Lingcod. My stringer weighed over 70 lbs. My Gat-ku was a little bent from working that fish but it was a good feeling that I headed home with at 5:00pm when we finally left the water.