Posted by seahunt on August 20, 2001 at 21:44:12:
This is what Shel told me:
When I came up after first seeing the bug I said that the bug was
one of the largest I had ever seen if not the largest. Bill Magee
then asked if it had eyes the size of golfballs. This was in
reference to a different story regarding Capt. Mike Roach and a
halibut he had seen. Anyway, the lobster I had seen was a case of
"greener grass" as I have seen and captured many lobsters at the
9 1/2 pound mark and above.
This is what Joe told me:
Shel came up to the boat and said that there was this huge bug, but
it was back in a hole too small for him to get to. I was smaller
than him so he wanted tome to work in and get the bug.
Shel, Seamus Callaghan, I and another diver went into a small cave
at about 35 feet. At its back was a small hole going further in.
There was a nice sized bug way back in it.
I got my tank off and went in, but just couldn't get far enough back.
We all went up again for what was our third strategy meet and I said
I thought I could get it if I took off my weight belt.
We all went back down in the cave and I got off my tank and
weights. Unfortunately, I didn't have much air left. This time I
could get in further and was working towards the bug. I figured
no matter how far I got in, the other divers would eventually pull
me out. I got in a further and then I had to turn my head sideways
and that let me make it a bit further, but about this time, I got
a squeeze on my leg that meant low air. I kicked them off and worked
just a bit more in with both my hands over my head. It was totally
black at that point, but I got two hands on the bug and started
kicking my feet together. Shel and the other divers pulled me back,
hand over hand. It was 9 1/2 pounds.
Lobster hunting is a wild and fantastically challenging sport. For
some divers, it is a way of life. I and some others, feel that Shel
has been the best lobster hunter in the 1990's (like Wayno was in
the 80's) and still is currently now in 2001. This may or may not
be important to you, but the people that know him and and call
themselves lobster hunters, respect him a lot. What makes 'the best
lobster hunter'. It's not necessarily the most taken. It is devotion
to the sport and consistancey at getting the big bugs. There is no
one more devoted and no one that can more consistantly pull the big
bugs. A lot of people get bugs, but few even see 10 pound bugs. Shel
gets them regularly.
Then when it's all done, he lets the big ones go. Anything over
8 pounds he releases, because he believes that these are the most
important breeders. And if he didn't get the big one that day, he
will trade his smaller lobsters for the big one on the boat and
then he'll release it. Even without that, he'd be a guy with some
class, but that just shows a bit more.
And Joe, well, there are a lot of people that wish they could do
near as well as him.
Enjoy the diving, seahunt
For more about California diving (and elsewhere) check out
PS. Shel is in some of the Backplate Diver pics.
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