Posted by BCH DIVR on November 13, 2004 at 00:49:27:
Ocassionally, I prepare a fresh seafood dinner that consists of Malibu Barred Sand Bass and I aspired to such a meal for tonight. I and a buddy met this morning in Malibu to gather the main ingredient. The surf was small, the day was brilliant and the visibilty very good (25 ft). Other than being knocked off my feet upon entry by the first little wave, the day was very promising.
We surface swam out a 100 meters or so to the reef. Although there was no kelp rising to top of the water column viz was good enough to see it from the surface. We submerged and started searching for fish. I soon spotted one, fired my gun but missed. I reloaded and then noticed my buddy staring intently toward the horizon. A black sea bass was swimming around us, indeed very close to us. We laid our guns down and studied the fish. It was better than 3 feet long and I estimate its weight at 50 to 75 lbs. It studied us and came within 2 inches of my hand. I believe I could have easily touched it. Twice before I had seen BSB in this area though they (it?) were much smaller last year than the one found today. Curiously, the first time I spotted one, it was when handling a fish I just shot.
After the BSB left us, we continued looking for dinner. I found a nice barred bass about 14 inches long and shot it, killing it immediately. The GBSB came from nowhere and attacked it. I yanked the line but the BSB continued trying to eat it. Dinner was speared with a barbed point and being swallowed by an endangered species. I raised my hands to scare the BSB, knowing that it would look bad if I brought it back at the end of my spear. No such luck. It inhaled the barred bass in a cloud of sediment, and went on its merry way with the tail hanging out of its mouth. I found my spear with the barb intact.
I believe the BSB knew we were hunting. It appeared immediately after both shots and made away with my supper. How did it learn this tactic? I suspect there are few spearfishers in Malibu so it must be uncommon to come across a diver providing a meal.
Has anyone had a similar experience with these fish?
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