E R N I E ' S H O U S E O F W H O O P A S S
Kerazi1 from the forums sent these huge grouper pictures. No idea where he got them.
OK..here we go. Heres the story on the big warsaw first.
I spent the last year plotting and planning. New and better equipment, lots of designing and testing of everything. Finally got it all done, planned the trip out and we loaded down HeadHunter with 60 tanks, 10 stage bottles, 4 O2 bottles, 400 gallons of diesel, 3000 lbs of ice and about 5 million pounds of misc equipment.
Along on the trip were myself, Spearten, SimplyScuba, Jazzien, BucketOne and the Moose. We left port Wednesday evening and SpearTen and I did the 425' dive around 11:00 Friday morning. It was a neap tide and I prayed for fish, viz and low current. We got to the wreck, a huge freighter that stood 50 feet high in 425 feet. It had a great fish show on it and we all just kinda stared at the color screen. Kevin Bruington had made me one of his custom buoys (thanks Kev) and we pitched it to the wreck with 32 Lbs of lead. Direct hit! Great!
SpearTen and I geared up, 5 tanks, 5 regs and all the other tech gear the dive required. We rolled and began the 3 minute descent. On a deep ocean dive like this, you never know what water conditions are until you descend as they can change every few feet. Perfect conditions!!! Perfect! The wreck came into view around 250 feet and we touched down at 375' on the deck. With no BS, I've never dove in any clearer water anywhere at anytime. You could see 150 feet plus in any direction and it was light and blue, no lights needed.
There were a half dozen Warsaws in the 40-100 Lb range close to us when I spotted the monster facing me about 100 feet away. I got my bouyancy trimmed out and he came charging down the wreck towards me. Time began to slow down as many years of effort and dreams all came down to a few seconds. He went into an aggressive mode, changed colors and threw up his dorsal fin. Awesome. Just frigging awesome.
I had made a couple of barbless shafts up, sharpened to a 2 inch long needle point. I pointed my 52 inch SS Hornet and slammed a free shaft into the sweet spot. OMG, I almost rolled him. He started shaking back and forth and I slammed shaft number two into his head. I swam over and grabbed him and was thinking OK now WTF. We crashed into the wreck at 397' and I had my hands full. He was still moving around a little and I decided that I didn't want my 46 year old ass tied to this fish at this depth.
I put a PH on my kill spike and slammed into his head. I'm not sure now whether it was neccessary or not, but at the time it seemed like the prudent thing to do. I had been planning on lift bagging him up, but decided to pump air into his mouth and swim him up a few feet. 20 feet up and 10 seconds of pumped air later, he took off and I watched him blast towards the surface. Awesome.
I turned and watched SpearTen slam a spear into a 73 Lb Warsaws head and stone it. Great shot! We were a minute under our planned bottom time and decided to head on up. We met Jazzien(our first support diver) at 170 feet and I said "Did you get him?" and he answered that he had watched it blast by him and it should be on the surface. Bucket came free diving down to a hundred feet (thats insane) and wrote out 400 LBS on my slate. We finished up our lenghtly deco as we watched large Wahoo swimming around us in the 84 degree water. Unreal.
It took all four of the guys and a block and tackle to get the fish on the boat. We took some pics and headed toward some shallower water. Awesome. What an awesome dive. Theres just too few moments like this in ones life. I'd like to thank all the guys for their support and efforts to make this happen. A special thanks to Zeagle and Spearfishing Specialities for making the gear that made this possible.
A final and very special thanks to my brother-in-law SpearTen, for all his help and work towards making this happen. It takes a lot of guts to roll off a perfectly good boat in 425' with 200 Lbs of steel strapped to your back. I owe you bro.
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