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Two buddies and I met up at dawn in Monterey.

A storm had been raging all night, and I honestly wasn’t sure if it would be too rough to dive…but as soon as the sun was up I could see that the ocean was flat and quiet and we were all excited to get in.

Paddled out to the first spot and jumped into 30-35 foot visibility.

I took a small cab chilling back in a hole and then skewered a nice size Opaleye. Cool looking fish that are more common in SoCal, but there are isolated populations in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties.

Nelson pointed out a small male Ling guarding a big egg nest…really cool to see!

Then I found a good sized male Cabezon guarding an egg nest. We all spent some time checking him out before leaving him to do his daddy duties.

At the next spot, there were small to medium sized male Lings EVERYWHERE and Nathan pointed out a decent 24 incher chilling out in the open that I took after giving him a chance to swim away…sorry buddy, you can only tempt me so much.

Nelson found a nice 28 inch Ling in a hole and asked me if I wanted to shoot it…he already had one Ling and was gonna hold off for a bigger one for his last one of the day…I already had one as well, but this was a pretty solid fish so I did the honors and planted my shaft into her face.

Took another medium sized cab and then we moved spots…

By now the wind had picked up and made paddling tough…but Nelson and I were in the BigTuna so had double paddle power to keep us moving while heading right into the wind. My Aqua-Bound Manta Ray Carbon 250 also helped provide the needed horsepower to get us where we needed to be.

The next area also had stellar viz and Lings everywhere…saw a Ling on almost every single drop…I even saw a Ling chasing a Ling.

Found one little pinnacle with a nice school of fat chunky blues so took a few…then went back to looking in holes and found a big old Ling head. Much bigger than any of the fish we had seen all day…course I already had my limit.

Surfaced and looked around and luckily Nelson was close enough for me to call him over. It was really cool to be able to look in the back side of the hole and see Nelson’s spear inch closer and closer to the big Lings head and then as soon as he took the shot and the shaft went in the Ling’s eye the fish started barrel rolling in the hole!!

When he pulled the fish out it was a stocky 33-34 inch female that was totally spawned out with an empty belly. Perfect.

Then right in the same area I spotted a solid female sheep…spent awhile searching for her and spotted her once more but could never get a shot so we decided to move one last time.

Our last spot was pretty dead and I was thinking we should have just hunted more where we were before instead of moving…swam back to the kayak and was gonna jump in, and then decided to just hunt a little more and see what was over behind the kayak…

Found a nice pinnacle and a thick school of small blues. Dropped down to to the bottom at 45 feet and cruised up the side of the pinnacle scanning the cracks and ledges…peeked over the top and there was a nice sheep suspended above me.

Inched within range and took the shot at the earliest opportunity. Shaft went in from below the pectoral fin and out the other side of the head. Not going anywhere.

Pulled the sheep in, let out a whoop of joy and swam back to the yak.

Gutted and scaled fish on the water and paddled back in with Nelson for a celebratory beer on the beach, a mini photo shoot and some show and tell with people walking by.

Another great adventure shared with good friends! So glad I decided it was worth going down to the beach to check it out instead of just listening to the rain fall and staying in bed!

Here is a little vid and a few pics. Of course the battery on the gopro ran out before the biggest Ling and the Sheep.