Bug Hunt Story (long)

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Posted by Roach Killer on October 24, 2001 at 14:35:54:

Malibu Bug Hunt

It wasn’t the best night for a dive at ‘my secret Malibu spot’, but it still turned out great. The surf was coming in at 2-3 feet, the tide was a low 0.4 feet, and underwater visibility was 3-10 feet. The surge was churning the bottom up pretty good in some places. I was excited about trying out my new 7mm suit, so I paid little mind to the less than perfect conditions. This was going to be Tim’s second time out diving for bugs, and he was hoping to get his first legal. Upon suiting up we soon realized that had I left the other pair of fins at home, you now the ones I let Tim use last time. You see Tim is my neighbor, and after seeing me bring home all these bugs all the time, and hearing the stories, well Tim just had to go. He bought a light, and borrowed some gear and he was ready. So me forgetting the fins was not good at all. He said, “don’t worry about it, I’ll be fine.” But how could I in good conscience send him into this surf and current to fend for himself without and fins? But I couldn’t exactly give up my fins, and take the risk of going home skunked for the first time this season, could I??? So what we did was each take one fin, and believe me when I say that I will never forget the other fins again.
Now it was about 8pm when we got in the water, the sun had set about 2 hours earlier. I quickly found out how hard it was to swim with only one fin on. You basically end up using just one leg to kick and the other just kind of stabilizes you. After a little while you switch the fin to the other leg, because your leg muscles are burning so bad. Well after beginning to get the hang of the swimming I started to see some bugs, but they were obviously short. I went down around a large rock and saw some antenna. Judging from the size and spacing I guessed it was a keeper. I went up got some air and assessed the situation. He was under the front of a deep ledge if my grab was fast enough I should be able to get him. I struggled to get down about 12 feet, but I got there and grabbed some eel grass to hold position as the surge came. The surge tried to take me but I held firm and as soon as it let up I grabbed. Got’em, measured it, and I was right, he’s a keeper, so he’s in the bag. Five minutes later walking across the sand is another legal. I have to fight to get down but he’s in the bag too. At that point I checked with Tim. He was seeing some bugs, but nothing legal, so I told him to follow me I was going down to the reef where I saw the bigger ones last time. It was a long swim, and vis just kept getting worse and worse. About where I thought we should be looking and vis had dropped to 3 feet. We conferred and decided to go back in and walk back to better vis. On the way in things got a little clearer so we moved down the reef some more. I saw a bug under some eel grass and went down and grabbed. Darn eel grass got in the way, but I thought I saw where he went. I looked around for about 3 minutes, and right when I was about to give up I saw him clinging to the side of a boulder. This time I got him and there was no need to measure this one he went straight in the bag. With three in the bag and vis looking a lot better in the shallows of the reef, I found Tim to see if he still wanted to go back down the beach. Tim said he grabbed a few shorts, and was seeing more bugs so we decided to stay on the reef. I gave Tim the other fin so that he might have a better chance of getting a legal, and I went in to the shallows finless. Now I was working in the surf area in about 2-5 feet of water. I did my best to push off the bottom and pull myself along by the eel grass. I also had to pay close attention to the surge, so that I could feel when the set waves came in. When the set wave came I dove down to the bottom, grabbed the eel grass, and held on for dear life. After one of these set waves came by I was picked up off the bottom and pulled back 20 feet into about 3 feet of water. When I got my bearings straight, I looked down to see a BIG bug lying right below me between a few small rocks. Now remember I have no fins, and also I have found out that with my 7mm suit I am a little under-weighted. So without giving away my presence I move about ten feet away, and stand up. He is now inshore from me so I wait for the surge to come, then at front of the surge I jump up, to get some downward momentum, and dive in like a hawk on mouse. I barely get down to him for the grab, and I pounced with my right hand. I have him, but not for long with this grip on this big of a bug, but lucky for me my left hand had already released the light and was going in for backup. I almost let him get away, but thanks to past mistakes that I’ve learned from he goes in the bag too. He turned out to be about a 4 pounder, not bad for no fins. After a little while longer we head back in, I’ve got four nice bugs, and Tim has one he says he has to measure. He asks me to show him exactly how to measure it, because he’s not sure. I didn’t need to measure it to know that it was well short, at least an inch short, but I show him the proper technique and we release the bug. Then we hiked back to the car, it was nice to be carrying a game bag that heavy up back to the car. Even though the night was far from perfect, it turned out to be a great night to dive ‘my secret Malibu spot’. The next evening Tim came over and we had a little BBQ. I usually boil my lobster, but these turned into a great BBQ feast!!!!!! Yummmmmmmmmm ….. think I’ll go out tonight …… mental note:


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