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Old 07-12-2019, 11:59 AM   #1
Bob Ballew
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Grunion Munchies, Sharks and Sea Lion Tidbits

...An interesting scenerio for halibut hunters is developing. On the positive side, there is a grunion run July 16 thru the 19th off Southern Cal beaches, with legal size flatties abundant.. On the negative; within the last 2 days, five sea lions have been found on local beaches with shark bites.
...Three sea lions washed up along the Redondo beach area, with one at Malibu and another at Long Beach. The deep water canyon off Redondo guides the adult sharks in directly toward the beach, thus, creating more opportunities for a close-up encounter. There are lots of stingrays and halibut for the small sharks to feed on (over 60 stingray injuries in just the last week at Seal Beach), so, we have to assume the sea lion injuries are caused by full size adults. One set of teeth marks were 2" apart, indicating at least a 10'er. Another full set of U-shaped marks on each side of the neck, indicates a smaller shark, probably a 6- 8'er just now learning how to hunt mammals and losing his prize...
...Since this is one of my favorite spots to hunt halibut; next week, I will be looking behind me more frequently and putting my catch on board my kayak, rather then the usual way of stringing fish on my belt.....Noon high tides with a 4' tide change may be workable late morning if that damned south swell lets off..(Thursday looking best with s/w swell 3' at 15 seconds and west swell at 2' seven seconds)...
...Lots of tuna schools on the outside, feeding on massive areas of small anchovies...good for divers; bad for fishermen, who can't get a bite due to the abundance of anchovies...Of the fish they are catching, many are lost to sea lions, creating a bad mood ,,,,,so, avoid other fishing boats and save all of us from a lot of grief and online attacks by irate fisherfolk, some of whom are armed and on land, are considered to be psychotic....

,,,"When in the ocean, walk soft and carry a big stick"....Teddy Roosevelt or perhaps, another Ballew platitude?

Last edited by Bob Ballew; 07-16-2019 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 07-12-2019, 12:02 PM   #2
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Re: Grunion Munchies, Sharks and Sea Lion Tidbits

Thank you Bob
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Old 07-12-2019, 04:07 PM   #3
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Re: Grunion Munchies, Sharks and Sea Lion Tidbits

this was posted on another forum not too long ago

Quote:
by chris oak June 22nd, 2019, 6:19 am

fyi I was diving the backside of cat near farnsworth and had a 12 foot gws come up to me. It wasn't a full on speed attack, just a fast cruise to check me out more than likely but the alarming part was it was from below and not a side cruise like the other time. The pix are screen grabs from my video which I will finish later on but just wanted to give a heads up to anyone diving that area. We were the only boat in that area at the time.

The first pix is the shark coming up from the deep, this is why the orientation of the pix was this way. I was on my second drop and leveled off maybe 15-20 feet. The moment I saw it I thought it was going to bite me on the side, I didn't panic and instead swung the gun at it but did not shoot, I'm not sure if this is why it turned away. I was absolutely shocked because of the way it just appeared. Vis was probably 20ish feet and it came out of no where and I was somewhat looking in the direction it came in. It turned when it was maybe 3 feet away. I got to the surface and immediately called out to my buddy to get the fugg out of the water and he jumped on the boat in record time.

It never showed it's dorsal fin on the surface we didn't get back in the water and took off. This was a different gws than the one I saw last year.

Dive safe guys, I have always said that the big gws are increasing around so cal, and it's only a matter of time before someone gets bit. I believe there are probably several gws that are cruising the island at any given time. Dr. Chris Lowe from csulb said that the big gws at guadalupe are chasing away the smaller gws (when I say small I'm talking 12 foot plus, not juveniles) and they are having to find new areas to live. This encounter kind of messed me up mainly because it came from below. We had a very hard time diving after that as the water wasn't particularly clear around the island.
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Old 07-12-2019, 05:29 PM   #4
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Re: Grunion Munchies, Sharks and Sea Lion Tidbits

...Looks like Chris is the poster boy for attracting big sharks this season. Once you have two encounters with the big ones, it is always in the back of your mind wondering if #3 will turn out as well....yes, I am overdue for #3...….
...After my encounter with the fifteen footer at Church Rock while diving solo, I moved down the island 5 miles and tried to resume diving...My survival oriented body and mind said, "Screw this b.s" and refused to let me dive down below 10 feet...……..I gave it up and headed the Radon back toward our condo in Avalon....When I walked in and said to Bob Stanbery, "You will never guess what just happened to me"...He looked up and said, "Whatever it was must have been interesting....Your face is pure white"...……………...That day, my reaction was the same as what soldiers experience in wartime..Today, they call it, "Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome"....Fortunately, it only lasted until the next white seabass came within range....

Last edited by Bob Ballew; 07-12-2019 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 07-12-2019, 08:19 PM   #5
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Re: Grunion Munchies, Sharks and Sea Lion Tidbits

Bob, I’ve seen 6’ GWS attack sea lions. Any idea what the bite radius was? Maybe it’s a juvenile learning to hunt mammals.
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Old 07-12-2019, 08:25 PM   #6
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Re: Grunion Munchies, Sharks and Sea Lion Tidbits

See above add-on info....(even a "baby" 5 footer weighs in at 500 pounds..Like a well fed cowgirl,.it takes a lot of chow to keep that chunky body moving)….

Last edited by Bob Ballew; 07-13-2019 at 05:18 AM.
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:10 PM   #7
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Re: Grunion Munchies, Sharks and Sea Lion Tidbits

FYI, a big GWS was spotted today at ship rock. Keep your eyes open out there
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:28 AM   #8
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Re: Grunion Munchies, Sharks and Sea Lion Tidbits

Gonna be headed to Fort Brag soon so if you guys wouldn't mind keeping all "your" GWS down there in SoCal I'd sure appreciate it...
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Old 07-13-2019, 02:30 PM   #9
Bob Ballew
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Re: Grunion Munchies, Sharks and Sea Lion Tidbits

Aaaah, is nothing sacred these days?....first, it was the pee-in-your-wetsuit free divers on all my "secret spots"; then, sea lions I had to punch on the nose to recover my yellowtail;...now, I will have to kick sharks off my spots just land a nice seabass.....It's enough to make a man take up Saturday nite bowling......

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Old 07-13-2019, 08:01 PM   #10
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Re: Grunion Munchies, Sharks and Sea Lion Tidbits

GWS are supposed to eat seals, thats what they do and thats what we want them to do....Right? .... Things that go bump in the night. My friend saw a 15'er behind Anacapa a few weeks ago. He was on the boat when he saw it. But he may not have been on the boat when it saw him. They dont have Youtube or Reddit so they love to come get a closer look. Just we usually don't see them. Lots and lots of GWS in our area. If you don't think you can cope with an up close and personal, you may panic and that can kill you too. Be safe, don't carry fish on you.
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Old 07-13-2019, 11:01 PM   #11
Bob Ballew
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Re: Grunion Munchies, Sharks and Sea Lion Tidbits

It is not the great whites I am concerned with...it is having to swim thru an ocean of pee after free divers have been on my spots....why, no self-respecting white seabass would be caught dead swimming thru an area after that!!
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Old 07-14-2019, 04:34 PM   #12
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Re: Grunion Munchies, Sharks and Sea Lion Tidbits

It is however strange that no diver has been hit so far despite the large number of GWS in recent years, and the large number of divers in these areas.

I guess they're not actively pursuing us yet.
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Old 07-15-2019, 10:43 AM   #13
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Re: Grunion Munchies, Sharks and Sea Lion Tidbits

...It is a good bet that the man-in-the grey-suit had something to do with the disappearance of a female scuba diver at Ship Rock a year or two ago. She was a very experienced instructor and her body was never found, as far as I know. We can put the odds in our favor by avoiding all areas where seals and sea lions congregate. The one that almost got me was actively feeding on seals, as there was a seal rookery on the beach inside of Church Rock. After a swordfish boat crew harpooned it the next day while it was chasing seals across the surface, they found 300 lbs of seal meat in its' stomach..It weighed in at 2800 lbs and measured out at 15 1/2'...
...Still, I am too damn young to spend my life chasing heavy balls down the gutter on Saturday nite…..

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Old 07-15-2019, 11:07 AM   #14
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Re: Grunion Munchies, Sharks and Sea Lion Tidbits

Quote:
Originally Posted by campione View Post
It is however strange that no diver has been hit so far despite the large number of GWS in recent years, and the large number of divers in these areas.

I guess they're not actively pursuing us yet.
Well actually, a freediver was hit in Carmel a few years ago. He was torn up pretty badly but survived.
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Old 07-15-2019, 11:29 AM   #15
Bob Ballew
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Re: Grunion Munchies, Sharks and Sea Lion Tidbits

A free diver was killed in northern CA when a gw bit off his head, a female swimmer killed while swimming with seals near a pier and a commercial urchin diver was killed at San Miguel island when a white took off a leg as he was starting to climb up the dive ladder on his boat...in two separate incidents at Catalina, female kayakers were attacked but, the sharks bit their paddleboards and they escaped injury...probably another one or two I don't know of...But, considering the thousands of hours divers, surfers and swimmers spend each year in the ocean, the attack ratio is still extremely low...thank the abundance of sea lions for that....

...Tho' the sea wolf be protected
………... by an ill-informed ban,
He may still be deterred,
….….by many a well-armed man....

Last edited by Bob Ballew; 07-17-2019 at 01:39 PM.
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