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Old 06-05-2018, 01:43 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 82
Intro and first WSB...I'm hooked

Hey everyone, I've been a lurker on here for years and unfortunately haven't been diving near as much as I want to. I'm a thin blooded Floridian who grew up diving out of Tampa Bay, in the FL Keys, and the Bahamas...so I'm about as spoiled as it gets. When I first moved out to San Diego the cold and the murk turned me off, and I got into surfing instead.

Lately I've been getting back into it...hopping in the water at different spots, figuring out what the fish are out here and what the regs are, dialing in conditions etc...not a lot of shooting but a lot of learning.

This past weekend the lady friend was in town and she wanted to go shoot some fish. She's used to NorCal diving so it was no big deal for her (yes...she's a keeper). We found some kelp and had been bobbing around for about 20 minutes with no luck. I had seen a little something in the distance (about 10-15' vis in the kelp) but nothing in range, and nothing big. At one point I popped back under the surface and after about 15 seconds I saw the last thing I expected.

I've read about WSB, heard people give talks about them, heard how elusive they are and skittish and all that...so much so that I pretty much wrote off seeing one until I had put a lot more time in the water.

But there it was, right in front of me, and I pulled the trigger. Not the best shot I've ever had, but it held. The fish was just legal so nothing to write home about...but I hadn't shot a fish in years, and to land one of these creatures had me through the roof. I told the lady that I was ready to stay out or head in...didn't matter because I was so stoked (and we had a wedding to drive up to in LA). She wanted to stay out.

About 15 minutes later I was working around the patty, still getting comfortable swimming in and out of kelp with a fish on my waist, and once again...I could not believe what I saw. Another shadow heading my way...and this one was big. Big enough that it scared me to pull the trigger, but when it turned I knew I'd never see it again, so I shot.

The fish took off, and took about 3/4 of my reel with it. When it stopped spooling I tried to pull it in a bit, but it felt like it got hung up on the kelp. I went down there and honestly wasn't sure what I was going to do with a tangled up pissed off fish that size...I had my knife on me but this was out of my comfort zone. Unfortunately when I got down there, the fish was gone.

In the words of Ron Burgundy, I was in a glass case of emotion for the rest of the weekend. So mad that I let that fish get away...partly for bragging rights, but much more because I'd essentially ended that creatures life for no reason. I've since heard that they're very soft and a slip tip is pretty much required...so maybe it was the fact I was using a flopper that let it get away.

At the same time I was kicking myself, I was through the roof with excitement. Seeing that thing emerge out of the shadows, knowing what it was and how ridiculously lucky I was to be there in front of it, was a feeling I won't forget. I completely understand how people dedicate their lives to hunting this fish, since I think I just became one of those.

Anyways, thanks to everyone who posts up on here, I've been learning a ton and am looking forward to putting in a lot more time in the water this summer. Cheers!
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Old 06-05-2018, 02:11 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Redondo Beach, CA
Posts: 121
Post Re: Intro and first WSB...I'm hooked

Congrats on your first WSB!
Just a word of advice to keep you out of trouble:
From March 15th to June 16th the legal White seabass bag limit is reduced to 1 fish south of Pt. Conception...
Fish smell funny underwater
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:26 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: San Diego
Posts: 79
Re: Intro and first WSB...I'm hooked

Learn the regs first!
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