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Ended up with the day free to dive and a good looking forecast so was at the beach before first light. First dive of 2014, first dive on my new all black 2014 Cuda14.

Have been paddling a bunch of different boats since I sold my 2013 Cuda and I honestly missed it! Felt good to be back in one!! Paddled out to explore new territory and was treated to stellar 30+ viz. Could make out the bottom while sitting in my yak. It was pretty rough where I was at though and paddling was like being in a mine field…invisible underwater pinnacles would all of a sudden explode into waves whenever a set came through! Tried 4 or 5 different reefs along this stretch of coast and hunted down to 50+ feet. My goal for the day was to get a few different species for Diver Of The Year 2014.

My first fish of the day was a suicidal Ling that swam RIGHT up to me while I was laying on a boulder at 45 feet. Literally didn’t move my gun, just pulled the trigger and the shaft went right through his eye. Nice meaty 28 incher.

Then I subdued a monstrous black and yellow! Epic battle that got me my new Personal Best! ; )

Next I found a cool vertical crack…started at the bottom and worked my way up exploring and shining my light into the dark recesses…abalone, small rockies, urchins, crabs…toothy lower jaw of a nice Ling…I knew this section of the vertical crack was too narrow for me to squeeze the Ling though so angled my shot from the top and down…and totally missed. Shaft struck the rock right next to the Ling’s head. Didn’t even flinch. Went to surface, reloaded gun, swam back down and Ling was still there. I didn’t miss the second time and shaft went right through the eye. Pulled the second suicidal Ling of the day out and it was a nice fat almost 30 incher. Tail hanging out of the mouth…think he was so full of fish that he was in a food coma and couldn’t move?

Picked up a decent blue, black and kelpy and then found a small ~25 inch monkey that I took as well. Moved spots again and started looking for cabbies. Plenty of decent males out guarding nests, but didn’t want any of those. Then I found one of the coolest things I have seen in awhile…vertical crack with two BIG wolf eels in it! Hard to tell length of wolf eels from looking at the heads, but these heads and necks were massive. These were obviously a pair of mature adults and I know they mate for life, so assume they have been together living and reproducing in this crack for years. Could have easily taken both, but decided not to. Have taken two wolf eels in the past and they were both delicious, but decided it was time to let these two live and keep making baby wolves for the area.

I already had enough meat and figured I could use some good karma so just spent an hour or so dropping down and checking them out. SO COOL!! Can’t wait to come back with a GoPro and film them. Took note of some landmarks both above and below water, and feel confident I can find them again. Kept hunting and under a boulder I found a nice Monkey head. Placed a perfect shot right through his face and out the other side and swam up with him…solid 29.5 inches. 29 inches or over is a trophy size Monkey IMO.

Finally found a decent cab back in a hole that wasn’t guarding eggs so took him for dinner, then made the long paddle back to the beach.

Great first day on the water for 2014 and it felt AWESOME to be out there!

Few pics. GoPro died last month so no vid, but am working on getting a new one soon.