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Hogfish Mishaps

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Old 05-14-2018, 07:17 PM
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Default Hogfish Mishaps

Got out this weekend with SeaBass in hopes of getting our first hogfish and grouper of the year, but came up empty. Still a great day on the water with pretty good vis, mild current, and some cool sealife including friendly lemon sharks and a sailfish freejumping right by the boat.

Heres the video of the one hog that we saw. SeaBass saw him first and gave him a minor haircut. I then found him a little further down the reef where he gave me the easiest shot i have ever taken on a fish, but somehow came off the spear. I then chased him back and forth around some rocks until he wedged himself way underneath with no way for me to get a gun in and pull him out. Its always a gut wrenching feeling to lose a fish that you know is mortally wounded, but sometimes you just commit too many mistakes to make it happen.

Hope yall enjoy

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Old 05-15-2018, 01:29 AM
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Thanks for coming and sharing the video. Watching it helped me reflect on how things went down, what we could have done differently, ideas for gear changes.
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Old 05-15-2018, 05:12 AM
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I admire your attempt to find the wounded fish. I left a wounded mutton in a spot in the morning, when I came back in the afternoon I was able to kill it. Interesting memory, on the biggest Mutton I have ever caught or speared, 15 pounds.
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:18 AM
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Cool video thanks for sharing. Is this out of Ft Pierce? Good viz. Two years ago I shot a Hog out of Ft Pierce, I usually don't see many around here for whatever reason.
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by sway21 View Post
Cool video thanks for sharing. Is this out of Ft Pierce? Good viz. Two years ago I shot a Hog out of Ft Pierce, I usually don't see many around here for whatever reason.
This was out of Jupiter. Im not sure why they arent as prevalent around here but become more common again off the outer banks.
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:18 PM
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For some reason, my Ipad limits the amount of text I can add to a picture, so I’’ll put the text in the next post.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:57 PM
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I have two comments for you...and please don't take them as negative or criticism.

First, you need to do something with your float line. I used to use a grapple hook as well, but got twisted up in it too many times or I put it down and forgot it, it came loose and floated with the current, etc. so I had to come up with a better mouse trap (pictured above). If you still prefer to use the grapple hook, I suggest using the yellow braid poly line that you can buy at Home Depot as it is cheap and floats, so it won't get tangled as easily. I can provide up close and detailed pictures of my float system if you'd like. The safety sausage or float ball attaches to the loop coming out of the float. As you descend, you let out line and when I get to depth, I clip the carabiner to the D ring on the left shoulder strap on my bc and the line going under my arm pit. The float pulls the reel up and away from my body and the line between the carabiner is long enough that when I'm in the upright position, the reel is floating higher than my head and when I'm horizontal, the reel is floating about 1' higher than my tank. Between the reel and float is a piece of clear tubing zip tied to the rope connected to the float.....the line from the reel goes through the clear tubing and through the hole in the center of the float. On the end of the line, next to the loop, is a small stainless steel washer that stops the line from being pulled through the float when I'm reeling it in and get to the end. When it's time to go up, I simply take the line out from under my armpit and hold the reel in front of me and slowly reel in the line as I ascend. Once I finish my safety stop and I'm coming to the surface I reel it in until the stainless washer reaches the end of the float.....when you get to the surface, you have a nice, tidy float line to hand up to the person waiting for you. Generally, I will clip the carabiner to my spear gun, lobster bag, stringer or whatever I have and they can take it all in one nice package. While your diving, the float holds the reel up and away from you, keeping you hands free and allowing you to look or dig under ledges, roll right, roll left or whatever you need to do and it keeps the float up and away from you, won't get caught on your tank valve or tangled in the line from your spear and there is virtually no drag....I often forget I even have it with me. When diving in W Palm or other areas on days when there is a strong current, I will use two safety sausages with about 10' line between them. That way, when I stop to get a lobster or whatever, the current may pull one safety sausage just under the surface, but the 10' of line lets the 2nd safety sausage stay on top and visible to the boat.

You will notice there are zip ties on each end of the rope attaching it to the carabiner and reel. I was diving in W Palm using a grapple hook with 150' of line attached to a float ball like you currently use, while doing my safety stop, I was holding the grapple hook by the shaft and the rope was floating on the surface with the float ball about 100' from me and some idiot came hauling ass between myself and the float ball. He caught the line with his lower unit, one of the hooks on the grapple went between my glove and wrist and almost dislocated my shoulder as it jerked me sideways in the water. Fortunately, other than being sore, having a destroyed glove, scraped up hand and wrist and being extremely pissed off, I was ok. The people on the surface said the boat was going so fast that when it hit my rope, it stopped them so abruptly that it threw the people in the front of the boat to the floor and the person driving hit the console hard ( I hope it busted out a few of his teeth or broke his nose).......the ass wipe decided that instead of checking to see if he injured or killed anyone, he would turn tail and haul ass the opposite direction. Since I attach the carabiner to the D ring on my bc, I figured it would be a good idea to have a break away system if something like that ever happened again.

Second comment I had for you was about the hog fish getting off your spear. From what I can see in your video, it looks like the hog fish was too close to the rocks when you shot him. From the tip of your spear to the end of your flopper, it looks to be 6-8"s. My guess would be that when you shot, if the fish was a foot or less away from the rocks, the tip of the spear went through the fish and hit the rocks on the backside and stopped it before it went far enough through for the flopper to penetrate fully and open up. That allowed the fish to shake the spear. I've had that same problem shooting grouper under ledges, they lay right up against the rock and give you a great side shot, but you can't get the spear to stick....I've shot one before and had to grab the end of the spear and hold it up against the rocks while trying to grab the fish and pull it up the spear shaft far enough for the flopper to deploy. Not the easiest thing when the fish is going ape shit and they usually end up getting away, frustrating me even further.

If you would like close up pictures or measurements of my float/reel combo, just let me know. I took trial and error over a few dives to figure out the correct lengths of rope, float size, etc, but I have made a few of them for friends now and they love them. Needs to be the plastic reel as the metal reels need quite a bit of flotation and become cumbersome and heavy, creating a lot of drag. You can make one for about $50 in materials.....I could make one for you, but I'll charge $75 plus shipping or $50 with free delivery when you offer to take me diving on your boat off Ft Pierce when lobster season opens
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Last edited by Diverboy; 05-16-2018 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 05-17-2018, 02:35 AM
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Thanks for the write-up Diverboy - feedback and criticism very much appreciated. I like several aspects of your float system. Your story of the guy running over the line is eye-opening and I understand your ziptie break-away - very smart. Going to tinker with my rig and incorporate many of your ideas.

Come join us man and school me on scuba float systems. I keep my boat in Jupiter, WaterGator's boat is in Fort Pierce.

Last edited by Sea_Bass; 05-17-2018 at 06:14 AM.
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Old 05-17-2018, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Sea_Bass View Post
Thanks for the write-up Diverboy - feedback and criticism very much appreciated. I like several aspects of your float system. Your story of the guy running over the line is eye-opening and I understand your ziptie break-away - very smart. Going to tinker with my rig and incorporate many of your ideas.

Come join us man and school me on scuba float systems. I keep my boat in Jupiter, WaterGator's boat is in Fort Pierce.
To the OP or shooter in the video. Change your angle ( go wide, down and in) on that hogfish and he goes nowhere. No need to shoot that or any fish from that angle, it'll save you fish in the long run.

Good Luck,

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Old 05-17-2018, 05:50 PM
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Yeah, that was a tough shot (lower percentage). Hogfish are camouflage fish, he didn't think you saw him. Swim up a little further to the side next time to get a better broadside shot without looking at him directly. I've lost too many to take a tough shot like that these days.
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Old 05-17-2018, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Jaizzen View Post


To the OP or shooter in the video. Change your angle ( go wide, down and in) on that hogfish and he goes nowhere. No need to shoot that or any fish from that angle, it'll save you fish in the long run.

Good Luck,

Jaizzen
I agree with you there. I think I just got a little bit of buck fever with that being the first opportunity Ive had on a hog in a while and them taunting me throughout the winter.
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Watergator View Post
I agree with you there. I think I just got a little bit of buck fever with that being the first opportunity Ive had on a hog in a while and them taunting me throughout the winter.
Happens.... Hogfish is the least intelligent fish on the reef (next to a red grouper), he's not going anywhere.

Get him next time.

J
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:39 AM
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Diverboy makes some great points. I was going to comment on the shot placement/timing as well, but my perspective is one that may help you as well as it is a little different.

Am I mistaken, or did you have both bands back? You may have too much power - I use a 60" gun, but even when I was using a 48" gun I used only 1 band about 99% of the time. Only time I ever pull two bands back is if I'm making a long range shot on a large fish (Grouper, AJ, etc.) - in fact, I shot my last cobia and AJ using only 1 band.

It is possible that a combination of too much power and being too close to rocks/bottom contributed to the shaft popping back out.
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by AlreadyThere View Post
Yeah, that was a tough shot (lower percentage). Hogfish are camouflage fish, he didn't think you saw him. Swim up a little further to the side next time to get a better broadside shot without looking at him directly. I've lost too many to take a tough shot like that these days.

This. Shoot a little more broadside but still forward, aim for a dime about a dime up and back from his gill plate.

The forward shot will put the shaft through and the flopper will engage which lock him on if you don't stone him. Number one mistake is shooting at a target ( whole fish, sporting clay, deer) instead of a spot on the target ( specific area on fish, clock position on clay, lung/heart on deer).

I would also switch that tow line.


Have fun, and good spearing the future!
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Old 05-31-2018, 11:27 AM
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Your gonna miss fish.
Your going to take hail mary shots and wonder how in the hell did I get that fish. Your gonna have fish point blank and miss. Fish are gonna pull off, fish are gonna swim away with your shaft. Don't over think it and go kill stuff.
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Old 06-04-2018, 04:19 PM
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Things like this happen to all of us.... Thank you for sharing, it makes me think twice when underwater...
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Old 06-04-2018, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by lazyboi1212 View Post
Your gonna miss fish.
Your going to take hail mary shots and wonder how in the hell did I get that fish. Your gonna have fish point blank and miss. Fish are gonna pull off, fish are gonna swim away with your shaft. Don't over think it and go kill stuff.
Yep, Ive been doing this for a while so Ive had my fair share of mysterious incidents. I didnt expect have my entire diving career picked apart from this one clip, but thats how it goes sometimes.
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