Met up with DamaniJ yesterday for a dive without too much drive in Pacifica. Conditions at the launch weren’t particularly pretty, but we toughed it out anyway and without too much beating. Once beyond the breakers it was choppy but manageable. After a lengthy paddle we reached our site and chose an area that looked relatively less washing machine like.
After anchoring Matt got hit by an unexpected wave and went in without a properly secured weight belt, fortunately he had a weight vest as well. Viz was fairly typical for Pacifica 5-6′ and without too much idea about where to look it began to look like his belt might be gone, disappointing.
Not long into the dive and I spotted a nice ling, Matt shot a nice greenling, and urchin were everywhere. We dove in the 30′ range for a few hours, lots of great holes for lings to hide in, lots of greenling, small perch, and small blacks, and a few good lings. A couple hours passed and while scouring the bottom I saw something shiny, I got closer and realized it was Matt’s belt, with a Marseille style buckle, thick rubber, and wedge weights he was stoked it got found. I continued hunting and found a nice scallop, I also spotted several oysters that I let be but probably should have taken. We were getting ready to head in and I was popping a few more urchin when I noticed another good sized ling. I punched him through with the gat ku and for three drops I fought to pull him out of the hole he was in. On the fourth drop my spear had come loose and I was bummed, but then it occurred to me to check around the corner and see if I could find where he went. It didn’t take long at all, found him upside down in a crevice on the other side of the hole. Speared him again and pulled him up through the crack by his gill plate. Once on my stringer I realized he was bigger than the 31″ ling I had already shot. Sat up on the boat and stretched him out on my hawg trough and guessed he was about 35-36″. Did a few more drops and then Matt and I decided to head in. I got in my boat, put my fins, mask, belt, and other gear in my hatch and pulled up my anchor. I reached back for my game clip/hoop stringer and as I go to pull the fish into the boat the clip opens up and both fish slip off. I jumped back in but could only recover the closer 31″ ling before it sank. The 36″ was gone, I was PISSED!!! I put my gear back on and did a few drops with no luck before calling it. I cursed, punched the air, and yelled the whole way back to the pull out.
It was still a good day, especially considering the viz and the location, and to be honest I’ve got meat in the freezer and I didn’t lose any points in my local club’s Diver of The Year competition (http://doty.norcalkayakanglers.com/leaderboard/list I’m IceColdChuck), but still I wanted that fish!!!
Word of warning about those POS!!! game clips made from the smaller gauge steel, I will be switching to mono line and a tuna clip for stringing fish in the future.