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Tony Humphreys - Spanish mackerel Photo taken from above the water - very cool effect
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A couple of weeks later and we were off again like kids to a lollie shop, the search continued for our seafood wishlist. This time Mic, Crappa and I were joined by Cam Ashton the ‘Ranga from Ballina. We drifted several deep shoals with nothing to show so decided to have a look at a 60mtr lump we stumbled across previously. As we were to drop into 60mtrs of nothing I didn’t have my hopes set too high and generally talked crap to crappa, yes that is his nickname. De Rooy drops in and as I’m slowly putting my weightbelt on, see him dive and then his floats rocket across the surface – De Rooy pops up and says ‘WAHOO’, BS is the first words I say to Crappa and his look says it all – De Rooy you are the assiest diver I know! We jump in and give chase with De Rooy landing the first Wahoo by a spearo from our local waters that we know of from club members. We sight several more fish but learn the hard way with floats setup to stop Dogtooth tuna. With some beautiful pelagic fish in the freezer it was time for some tasty reef and coastal species. This time we ventured North to dive Crappa’s back yard. We pull up on one of Crappa’s magic mushrooms and the gorilla jumps in (can’t teach animals dive etiquette). I sit on the back and drop my fin straight into the drink, S@#* it’s 30 mtrs here, straight down I go to give chase and kick like mad to grab the fin but can’t close the gap, I kick harder trying to equalize and grab the fin, down, down, down, just then Crappa intercepts and passes me the fin. I turn and head for the surface with weightbelt on, no fins and a big ascent ahead. I make it back to the deck spent and all too hard for my first dive of the day. I rest and recoup and the gorilla swims back and throws a reasonable Red emperor into the boat and says ‘there’s nothing else down there let’s go’. We pull up on another magic mushroom and I land a nice Large-mouth nannygai. Good start to the tasty reef list. On each dive we were engulfed by Barracuda, several species of Trevally and bait, an awesome dive, none of these species
Mick and Crappa (unfortunate name) with the spoils of dirt NQ water - 2x great Barra and a THUMPING Golden snapper.
were worthy of the wishlist though. We’ll let them swim free until they meet a comp spearo. Crappa skippers the search further through the outfield. We don’t locate any more Reds but the ocean floor is covered in Golden snapper or a Fingermark as the locals would say. We come across a school of more than 100 fish, as far as you can see it was just a wall moving through the green haze, such an amazing sight. The lads shoot 1 fish each to round out the red family. No need to get greedy and I am a big believer of leaving fish for the future. I don’t shoot a Fingermark as I have some in the freezer but opt for a nice Tusky that’s milling with an identity crisis amongst the Fingermark. This fish is a big brownie points scorer with the wife as it’s her favourite fish to eat. We head over to Hinchinbrook Island so our mate Pete Coshika can have a shallow dive as he was
feeling a little sick. To show any sign of weakness in front of a man aptly named the Vanilla Gorilla, you are in for a ribbing and the verbal abuse had taken its toll on Pete. We pull up on the headland in 15m of water with 1m vis so little Pete can splash around with his floaties on. The objective here was the Barramundi and Golden snapper plus maybe a Crayfish. In the hazy vis De Rooy’s albino white face and Pufferfish impersonation shone through the gloom and was too much for the Barra. Crappa soon had a nice coastal Fingermark attracted to his recently grown 60’s Italian Stallion porn mullet and I just kept an eye on little Pete in case he got scared. We pulled into the sugar loader for some photo’s and cracked the top off a beer. Unfortunately after a few more beers our Northern Queensland species wishlist grew to also include Big-eyed tuna, Yellowfin tuna and Marlin, someone must have spiked our
by Michael Takach and Jessie Cripps
left Jess to guard the mountain of gear as I “ Iwalked towards the docks. As if the dive gear
wasn’t bait enough, the blonde security guard in charge of it all definitely wasn’t a deterrent. Luckily there were guns in that long black bag.
By Ashley Walsh 48
Weekend trips away always seem to get the blood pumping. From about a week out, the conditions were looking good so the plan was hatched to head North of Perth in search of some big, tasty fish! I think the excitement of a trip away seems to grow as you are given time to think more and more of the possibilities that lay ahead. With a week to think long and hard about what might be, concentrating on work was difficult. I couldnâ€™t stop thinking about solid Blackspot tuskfish and big Spanish mackerel that I would hopefully spear in a few days time. The days dragged out but finally Friday afternoon rolled around and before I knew it, the boat and car were stacked high with gear and we were heading North, away from the cooler Perth metro waters with greener pastures in sight.
by Jon Henderson
On the fifth dive creeping along the bottom, a dark figure suddenly appears, not buried in the sand but sitting just above it. I froze and tried to make out the shape of this thing. It moved forward slightly then I realised what it was, Jewie...
ot a good story you might get a laugh or two out of. My mate Rhys had told me that good old Timmy Mac was coming down to the Bay (Nelsons Bay) to meet some of the divers from around here and to share some knowledge and a range of Riffe gear. Can’t miss that! A quick check of my social calendar, sweet nothing on that weekend. Looks like I’m heading to the Bay. I arrive at the meeting place an hour late, just in time to catch the last bit of mackerel being cooked on the BBQ that Tim brought down. We spent the next hour or two chatting away about general dive stuff and a few stories popped up, as they do. Tim showed us his gear (not that gear) and a few photo’s from memorable past dive trips. Enough said, a few of us wanted to get wet and see Tim in action. There were several different views on where to dive with the current weather conditions, finally we all agreed to dive on one spot. We suited up and started the 1/2hr walk along the beach, 5min swim across a 60m bar to our destination. As we approached our destination we began to see how rough the conditions were. We had two options, dive the North which is rough or go South and dive some sheltered flat water. Being a group of 8 divers, (too many for diving in one spot), the younger guys headed straight for the Southern side and the others (myself included) headed North.
Beautiful Fish, Amazing Locations and a STUNNING way of life. Do you need an excuse?