Went spearfishing with my buddy Johnny again yesterday. This time we went to an actual snorkeling reef that the state has put near to shore in the bay. I had hoped that we could get into some sheepshead, spadefish, mullet, or maybe even black snapper.
Once there, however, we realized we were in for a tough time. Visibility was poor due to some recent rain and finding anything to shoot was difficult. I used my pole spear again while Johnny used an old speargun that his dad gave to him. One problem with the speargun that we hadn’t foreseen was that you have to shoot the speargun with it extended in front of you. Well, the water was so murky that Johnny couldn’t see the tip of his spear, much less a fish beyond that to shoot.
I was able to see several small sheepshead and even found one that I deemed big enough to shoot (even though barely legal). I had read somewhere that the reef was made with bridge rubble from the old I-10 bridge that was destroyed during hurricane Ivan. However, when we dove to the bottom, we couldn’t find anything but sand.
Once the we got home, we uploaded the videos and got a surprise. My HD GoPro Hero saw better than I could in murky water. Like 1.5x’s better. It was weird. There were numerous fish that I never saw with my snorkel and mask that actually showed up on the video. And the biggest surprise was that I found the reef in the video. You’ll see it at one point during the video. It’s a big reef ball silhouetted against the green murk. I certainly never saw it, but the camera did.
Overall, I had a great time. I got a chance to practice free diving in slightly deeper water than I’m used to (about 15 ft), and realized that I need more practice. I wish that it had been clearer, and after seeing the videos, I -really- want to go back. Hopefully next time I can actually see farther than 5 feet.