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Posted by JRM on November 29, 2000 at 10:18:05:

As a partial trip report, I saw about a 2 foot sunfish while freedive hunting off Refugio State Beach north of Santa Barbara last Saturday. It was amazing, and pretty much fearless. I had just surfaced in the middle of a kelp padi, and was relaxing when it pretty much swam right up to me. I watched it for about five minutes. They are really interesting looking. Not quite as big as the bruiser in Monterey, but a fun sighting.

After nearly getting strip-searched by Fish & Game (he went through the bags, ice-chest, kayak dry-bags, and pretty much the whole van), I asked if they were common out there. He said he'd never heard of a sighting in the area. For some reason he didn't want to believe that I was the only game-taker of the two of us (never mind my wife's camera sitting on the table next to the gun). I've never had a F&G guy get that anal before (and I am Mr. GetChecked. Don't do anything illegal if I'm in the vicinity, because I haven't been able to have the F&G beacon surgically removed from my body yet. For some reason everywhere I go they're waiting for me).

But after all that, it still was a pretty good day. Well, OK, it got a lot better when I watched my in-laws get rolled trying to get their kayak in through the surf :-) But that's another tale...

So, anyone know how common it is to see sunfish in SoCal?

Oh, and I was on the vision on Sunday and the only long haired wierdos I saw were paying customers. Of course, there were a few people hung over the side! We ended up diving Talcott Shoal because the swells and surge were bad. But I got a great chance to try out the new tip on my pole-spear. Many thanks to the good advice I got from this board about it. I managed to some really nice fish.


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