South County Dive Report - Bag o Bugs



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Posted by finfan on February 05, 2005 at 06:30:34:

After watching the winds blow the right way the last few days, a buddy and I decided to give a local hole (or should I say cave) a shot last night. Tough to dive when the swell is up, but last night was perfect. Got a late start with a trailer light problem so we went from making one dive as oppossed to two like we planned. As it was, wouldn't need two dives.

Water is still pretty murked up. At 10-12 ft you could make at the sand on the bottom, but still had kind of a cloudy look. Overall I would say probably a good 8 to 10 ft of visability. I've dove worse so that didn't bother us.

We were surprised and a little worried that no traps were nearby. Usually the area is heavily trapped. At first we saw a lot of shorts and got a couple of legals (just barelies). We had worked over three or four fingers of this cave system, when we stumbled on the honey hole. I couldn't believe it when I cam into a pocket that had probably 3 or 4 bugs better than 3 pounds each in it. We had a blast, there were bugs everywhere and the size was incredible. We finished the dive with air, because we couldn't fit anymore in our bags. It was a good thing since we ended up with 14 overall (after having to throw back a couple of squeakers).

The final quality was just amazing. Largest was probably just over 5 pounds, but we had one limit that the smallest was probably 2 to 2.5 pounds with all the rest up to the 5 pounds. The second limit was normal quality wit a few near 2 pounds and even a couple that just made it. Clearly it was one of the best single lobster dives I have ever made off the Coast. I guess those MLPAS really do work, established in the channel islands and already re-populating the South coast area (Sorry, just had to get a little dig in).

My buddy took some pictures, when he sends them to me, I'll try and post them.

A word of warning - make sure your totally legal. We we're stopped by the Coast Guard coming back in at Dana Point harbor and check by F&G just as soon as we took the first bug out of the live well to take the pictures. Both CG and F&G were absolutely top professionals. They were pleasant, very talkative. Never even felt like we were being scrutinized, but you know we were. Of course we had our boat equipment up to task, licenses handy and the bugs were all legal size. The DFG guy couldn't believe the size, but he still checked several of the smaller ones. Normally they just pick out what they think is the smallest, but this guy did several. I think he was using it as a way to count the limits and just didn't want to look like he was checking for that. Both searches were totally cool even though it was near mid-night and all I really wanted to do is go to bed.

14 bugs, quality was the best, one dive. Pretty fun evening.

Time to heat up the butter!


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