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Old 06-15-2016, 11:14 PM   #1
Benny
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My First WSB Saga

Short story: I moved to Socal, looked for WSB nearly exclusively for months, and the emotional roller coaster finally came to an end.

If you packed a lunch, here's the long AF Story:

Basically since day 1 of going online to get some info on spearfishing I have always wanted to get out and hunt pelagics. Don't get me wrong, I love hunting reefs and my heart will always belong to the rugged and beautiful Northern California coast. But it doesn't take very long searching through threads and blowing up youtube videos before you discover WSB hunting.
Other than a few trips to Socal and giving some totally blind efforts of hunting seabass I had zero experience with them till I moved down here. Came down last August, farted around a bit during the end of summer then went right into bug season.

I started looking for fish sometime in March. I did a lot of dives that ended with a big fat goose egg zero fish taken, zero fish seen or heard. Being new down here it was tough to get any intel and I was for the most part relying on spots that have just historically been known to produce fish.
Right about the time I started to get discouraged and really start looking at myself from the outside wondering if I'm too loud, unprepared, wrong spots etc, I make some progress. Halfway into a dive, fairly decent viz in about 60 ft of water I punch a drop. Still to this point never even laid eyes on a seabass in my life, I drop down about mid column and start slowly pushing forward through the kelp. Just as I start coming up on an opening in the kelp I see two fat MF'n tails. And just as soon as I realize what they were, boom boom. Gone.

But now I have a taste of reality that this could actually finally happen and a bit of new motivation. After that day I went a good number of dives chasing last weekís intel, fighting to get out on a clean day, or getting some decent information but not being able to act on it due to work, life, etc.

Then the other day I put up a thread for an open spot on my boat. I had a trip cancel and the change of plans had me last minute looking for a second diver to head out for the day. Not long after that I take a call from a fellow club member 805roy. A quick exchange over the phone and we hash out a plan, both stoked to get after it.

We get to the dock before sun up and head out. Cloudy day, not much wind and we make great time to the first spot. As we pull in I let know Roy know that I am new to Socal and looking to put my first WSB in the boat. On a side note, I have been so obsessed with getting a WSB that I have shot 5 or less fish, all reefies, all year. Goes without saying that at this point I am really chomping at the bit.

I get in first and Roy starts suiting up, water is about 61, good current and shit vis. I make my way through the inside edge of the bed heading down current. My plan was to take the quick downhill and shallow side first while I get warmed up, then circle around the end of the bed and work the outside edge up current. I get about halfway across the bed and see another boat pull up and drop the hook straight across the bed from me on the outside. Shit. Pressures on now as I recognize the boat and the divers from the club. So being the really nice guy that I am I decide to cut straight across the bed to work the outside up current. This way I can let the other boat know if thereís any fish. As I go by them we BS for a minute and then about 20 yds later I start to make a drop. Soon as I start dropping I see a fish dart off from under some kelp and gone into the poop soup. 2nd WSB seen ever.
Now I am really under the gun since the other two divers are getting in the water now and I just saw a fish. I push forward another 15 yards and drop down, then again at the edge of visibility I see a fish bolt off. I see Roy is in the water now and on the outside of the kelp not far away. I kick over and he asks if I have seen anything. I let him know what I saw and ask him the same. ďya man, got one in the boat already.Ē Well shit. Iím super stoked for Roy, stoked that fish are here in numbers and want to get one on FAST before someone else does. Roy looks around for YT and the rest of us scour the bed. Doesnít take too long before the sightings are over and everyone is ready to move one.

Both boats pull anchor and move on. Me and Roy get to the next spot and drop the hook on the outside of the kelp. I am in the water for all of 10 minutes when I see a couple nice fish lazily passing right in front of me while I breath up. Iím so fugging pumped. I line up on one, pull the trigger, and hit high on its back close to its head. Fish bolts and pretty much instantly tears off. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUU************** Drag wasnít tight, shaft has a slip tip, must have just barely caught her.

Now Iím pretty bent. Even though it seemed I barely hit the fish, I feel terrible for wounding it and I blew a total ďhere I am buddy, all yours for the takingĒ shot. I turn around and see Roy swimming around checking shit out near the boat. He goes on to tell me how he made a drop and saw about 20 fish just scatter as he worked towards the bottom. Now its back on and I start scouring the area, just praying for another shot. Current ends up totally dropping off and not another fish seen. We make the call to make a quick stop at the first spot on our way in and call it a day from there.
We pull up and Roy hangs in the boat while I drop in for a look. I search the area that fish were seen earlier and am coming up empty. Current is still great here, vis is still shit. As I get to the far up current side of the bed I make a drop to the bottom. As I level out to start pushing forward I see what I thought was a smaller WSB tucked behind a kelp stalk. (The really shitty vis had been playing with my eyes all day at this point) As I get a bit closer I see that itís a toooad calico. Iím pretty gassed out and ready to call it a day anyways, so I start slowly aiming in on this calico. At the last second I think to myself this is not why Iím here, donít do it. So I start making my ascent, and as I get a few feet from the surface I see a fish just barely within visibility slowly swimming away at about a 45 degree angle. I aim in and just as its tail is disappearing I fire one off. I felt like I heard it hit but couldnít see it. Nothing is taking line off my reel but I never felt a tug from the shaft as if I whiffed it. I grab my shooting line and start to pull it in. Its gets a little tension and I feel some twitching so I keep pulling and out of the poop soup darkness appears the most beautiful fish Iíd ever seen doing the ol squiggly wiggly dance. It was like something out of a movie where hot chick floats out of a misty backdrop into view. I pulled her in for a big ol hug and stared at her in absolute admiration. Popped up and help her out of the water and gave a fat Turtle Man yee yee yee yeeeeeeee.

Me and Roy were both so pumped! I think it was easy to see how much this meant to me and he was routing for me all day showed nothing but confidence that it was moments from happening at all times. This was an awesome day, it was the first and only kill on the gun I purposely built for this, both came in with fish and I made a new friend. Roy's a solid dude, fishy AF, and although we only have one dive together I'd hand the keys over to him right now if he needed a boat for the day.

There are a few people out there that made this possible for me through various methods of support and I have nothing but the utmost appreciation for it. Iíd call out your names but you are all first class stand up guys that would play it off like you barely had a hand in it. I put a lot into this and benefited even more from what others have put into it, and I feel really fortunate to have been able see it through. Everyone close to me or anyone I have talked to for more than 20 minutes knows I wanted this bad and they have all cheered me on.

Now all I can think about is getting a bigger one.

At 19 lbs this fish is a far sight from a beast, but the effort that went into it has made it a trophy to me. If youíre still awake, hereís a few shots

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Old 06-15-2016, 11:31 PM   #2
jaxwax
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Re: My First WSB Saga

Fuuuuck yeah stoked. Excellent write up Benny and congrats on your fish! Fortunately for you both that calico did his Jedi mind trick on you
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Old 06-15-2016, 11:49 PM   #3
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Re: My First WSB Saga

Way to go dude nice fish!

Many more to come I'm sure. Just wait till you start shooting Yt

Ps, Careful with Roy, he's a feg
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:02 AM   #4
HEX
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Re: My First WSB Saga

I read the whole thing
Good seeing you guys out there and thanks for letting Kevin borrow the gun, good juju right there.
Unfortunately we were not so lucky connecting on fish

Congrats Benny you deserve it
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:30 AM   #5
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Re: My First WSB Saga

Sick! Nice fish, good job sticking it out and not giving up.
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:42 AM   #6
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Re: My First WSB Saga

Good job Benny!
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Old 06-16-2016, 01:04 AM   #7
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Re: My First WSB Saga

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Old 06-16-2016, 01:08 AM   #8
no bananas
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Re: My First WSB Saga

Thanks for taking the time to share your experience. I was right there with you all along. Super stoked for you. Good job.
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Old 06-16-2016, 08:36 AM   #9
one_drake
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Re: My First WSB Saga

you can thank me personally for the intel. Glad you fellas found the fish.
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Old 06-16-2016, 08:55 AM   #10
Joshua R.
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Re: My First WSB Saga

stoked for you Benny. Right on!
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Old 06-16-2016, 10:04 AM   #11
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Re: My First WSB Saga

Congratulations on your WSB #1. Enjoyed the write up. "poop soup darkness" + kelp = WSB.
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:13 AM   #12
FullFlavorPike
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Re: My First WSB Saga

Nice looking fish there. Enjoy every cbass nugget!
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:19 AM   #13
skram
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Re: My First WSB Saga

Great story and nice fish! I would love to get over there and spear some different species one day
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:44 AM   #14
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Re: My First WSB Saga

Congrats on getting the 1st WSB! I think itll be a good read when things get slow at the office later today.
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:47 AM   #15
Benny
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Re: My First WSB Saga

Thanks guys! I'm glad this finally came to share mode. Still so stoked, and really looking forward to the rest of this year.
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