By, Michael Daubenberger
Out of commission.
That’s what happens when you spear yourself in the hand.
No need to worry with Sara on board to step
in as the head spearfisherwoman.
first trip out since the accident, we were in search of lunch.
Within 10 minutes Sara had spotted it, a
I watched from the
surface while Sara dove down and made a perfect shot.
Not bad for her first grouper.
Four days later we went out again.
Sara with the pole spear and myself with the
Time to get back on the
After a number of tries, I had my
first success, a Marget from the Grunt family of fish.
Sara followed it up with a Nassau Grouper
just to show me up.
For our last fish in the Exumas, Sara and I decided to get
some small pan fryers. Porgies of
course. Again we got one fish each.
From the Exumas we moved on to Cat Island.
A fifty-mile crossing and a great chance to
hook into a pelagic fish.
We were hoping
for a Mahi Mahi and that’s what we got.
A nice one too!
Sara fought the
fish, Otto got the helm and I grabbed the gaffe hook.
It was our first Mahi Mahi since Matt and
Cindy were onboard in May.
A long time
|Blood bath from the mahi mahi|
Our trip up Cat Island took us
to the Devils Backbone located on the north end of the Island.
The Devils Backbone is an intricate passage
littered with coral heads.
place to stop, snorkel, and spearfish?
We made the stop indeed and it was worth it.
The snorkeling was world class and the fish
During the stop I speared
a small bar jack and a white grunt.
Onward to the Abacos!!
We didn’t know what to expect.
anticipated seeing less fish and less big fish due to the population on the
islands and proximity to Florida.
couldn’t have been more wrong!!
first snorkeling session was at the northwest end of Great Guana Cay.
It was a protected land and sea park so no
The reef was amazing and so was
the abundance of fish.
Huge schools of
iridescent tiny fish filled the seas and groupers could be seen poking their
heads out from under the coral heads.
Three days later we made our first entry into the water with spears in
The location, No Name Cay, the
reefs, just as vibrant.
Sara and I
snorkeled for two hours, chased out of the water only by the time of day.
Our loot, two Spanish Hogfish, and a
Ty arrived and we headed to the west end of Manjack
We arrived under the threat of
tropical storm (Debbie).
She keep us off
of the outer reefs but not out of the water.
Upon arrival we jumped in the dinghy to find some dinner.
Not much fish, and not much reef but we were
able to find a Strawberry Grouper.
The next day we headed out and gave Ty the reins to the three-pronged
spear to kill a lionfish.
was small, real small.
Not an easy
target, so Ty swam down for a practice shot 2 inches from the fish’s head.
The fish did not flinch.
His next shot was a dead bulls-eye.
The fish was trapped between the three prongs
of the spear.
Not a single one of them
puncturing its delicate flesh.
have sold it to and aquarium unharmed.
We continued to snorkel and I
found a school of porgies.
I speared three nice ones on
With my ego soaring as I
trained my eyes on a Nassau Grouper.
Again, a direct shot and another fish in the boat.
We drifted off shore and Sara caught my
attention pointing to a monster fish.
first though was a shark!
No it was a
fish, a Cero.
The Cero is a fish that is
constantly on the move, fast, agile, and not often speared.
This one I was able to get within range
expecting my 6-foot spear to swim away with the fish.
The fish I did spear, but swim away, he did
He made it about twenty feet before
I was able to grab the spear and haul him back to the boat.
Our day of fishing was done.
Our next stop was Moraine Cay.
A wonderland for snorkelers and
The coral heads
rose from 15 feet up to the surface with channels, caves, and tunnels
To say the least, we spent
days exploring and still just scratched the surface.
The fish were everywhere but they were also a
Our first trip out we
came home empty handed.
The next trip
out was more rewarding.
I spotted a
grouper and headed down.
As I approached,
the fish spooked so I poked my head in a cave nearby and spotted a nice
The shot, right behind the
gills and the fish took off with the spear.
The fight was on.
He drug the
spear deep under a rock ledge were I could just reach the end of the
The fish was stuck, real
I tugged and rotated and tugged
and finally as I was just nearing the end of my breath, I got him out.
Sara and I jumped in the dinghy and ditched
the giant Barracuda that had is eye on our prize.
Our next fish, a hogfish speared for our neighbors on the
Their favorite type of
Again in the afternoon we headed out and Sara took
her turn with the Hawaiian sling.
first attempt ever she swam down twenty feet to approach a good-sized
She got there and waited, waited
for the fish to turn allowing for the perfect shot and the perfect shot it
On Sara’s first attempt with a
Hawaiian sling she had speared a fish.
Not many people can say that about their wife.
But I can.
It was time for us to get our favorite type of fish.
The Nassau Grouper.
Sara and I went out to find it.
Sara spotted the fish and I went down to get it.
A nice Nassau Grouper!!
Our next stop was a reef behind Allens Pensicola Cay.
We watched the thunderclouds in the distance
and decided we were not in danger so we jumped in the dinghy and headed out to
Again we got a Nassau
In Foxtown after dropping off Tyler we met a couple in the
bar with a suggestion for our next stop.
Carter Cay, the land of Black Grouper and Mutton Snapper.
We arrived, anchored and hopped in the dinghy
for a drift dive down the cut.
drifted down and got a Yellowfin Grouper.
That evening I followed it up with a hogfish.
In the morning we went out on slack tide.
I dove down after a big Mutton Snapper and
gave it a shot.
Right behind the
The fish swam off and I followed
as he snuck into a hole.
I reached for
the spear, it shook, and the fish swam out the other end.
A 6 foot nurse shark joined in on the
excitement and bit the tip of the spear then drifted up towards the Sara and
Sara jumped in and I
Unfortunately I still needed
to go back down and get the spear.
were told later that by a couple of Bahamian fisherman not to spearfish in the
cut because the sharks swim in packs in there.
Luckily we didn’t see any shark packs.
Later in the day we went out with our friend Bruce from Johnny Wasabi
and got two Nassau Grouper.
Our final stop in the Abacos was Double Breasted Cay.
One last chance to fill up the freezer and
fill it up we did.
In total, we netted four
Hogfish, two Mutton Snapper, one lionfish, one Strawberry Grouper, one Schoolmaster and one