There’s a shore dive in Hawaii that is one of spearfishing's worst kept secrets. I’ve been diving and struggling there for years. I’ve had some pretty cool sightings and even shot a few nice fish but nothing compared to the pics I’d see posted online seemingly daily. It was one of those places you should have been here yesterday, or this morning, or last week, but never quite when I was there. Last week I hit it perfectly and it was a day to remember.
Perrin James was filming Mark Healey for some makeup commercial or something and they invited me along. Mark was flying in early and we were all meeting at the site for an early morning dive. Somehow Mark and Perrin got the airports messed up and ended up on opposite sides of the island. It looked like I was getting a head start. I arrived to
our site, suited up and got in solo for the long swim to the grounds. Current was ripping and being one of the slower swimmers I’m not used to being the chum/flasher carrier. I fought the current to an outer FAD and tied off. I wasn’t quite sure how I’d make it back but probably wouldn’t shoot anything anyways so just figured I’d wait on the guys to meet me out there. I started swimming up current leaving my flasher and the chum bag and just tossing handfuls of sardines. The wahoo were everywhere.
I’ve struggled with wahoo my whole life. The number I’ve seen vs. the number I’ve landed is totally embarrassing.
Me and Justin Lee were out just a few days before looking for his birthday fish and I missed a point blank shot. Normally I’d have just let him shoot it being his birthday but it was the end of a really slow day and he was already down shooting opelu with the three-prong. So I dove and just missed completely.
With this so fresh in my mind and no one around to scare the fish, I settled in and really took my time. I finally took a close shot on a bigger one and hit hard right where I was aiming between the anal and pec fins. The fish took off into the current and sounded my Riffe buoy a solid 30 feet. I was very thankful it swam up current of the FAD. I landed him easily and drifted back to the buoy and tied him off. I rested and reloaded and saw Perrins truck pull up on the shore. I was stoked to get some epic pics. I thought maybe I’d get one more before they got out there. I went back to my pattern of swim drift chum and saw a lot more fish. Again I wanted to be close though. After drifting a good bit behind the buoy I had one get too close and stuck it right where I wanted to. He took off like a rocket but in the wrong direction. I really put the heat on this one as I watched my FAD rapidly drift away. I landed him at what was probably an irresponsible distance away from my little floating tether to the bottom. After a long swim back up current I secured him to the buoy. I was now pretty curious where everyone else was and thought I’d swim in. There was no way I could drag the chum flasher and fish so I left everything tied up and swam the fish in. Perrin and Mark were nowhere to be found. Eventually I made it to shore and Sam jumped in to take some pics. Apparently Mark had left his speargun bands on his kitchen counter back in Oahu. I had two in the box and was happy to go find Mark and lend him my gun. Swimming back out that was my plan but somehow we again missed each other. I ended up solo back on my lonely buoy surrounded by fish. They were a little smarter now but still very prevalent. I was a little pickier as well giving a pass to the smaller guys. Eventually, I settled on a 25 lb fish and shot it a bit low but it held. Secured to the flasher with the sun getting lower I tried a drift on the deeper side looking for some ahi. Mid drift I had a baby whale shark full on cuddle me. It was as if he wanted to fit me in his mouth or something but he would not leave me alone. After a quick fin ride he swam back into the blue. I swam in still never having seen Mark or Perrin. They were in and had already heard about the day I had.
In the morning Justin was flying in with bands for Mark. We camped on site and figured we would be the first ones there in the am. We were wrong. I woke up to people talking close by about how someone was here first, then I heard them realize our gear was all still in the truck and they could beat us out. I figured it was time to get out of bed. We suited up, Justin showed up, guns were rigged and we were swimming out shortly after first light.
It was a different ocean. The current shut off and the fish were gone. Shoulda been here yesterday.
We picked away at some fish Justin got a good one and Mark got a small one but it was nothing like the day before. There were a few other guys out there all pressuring the fish in the same area. It was a completely different experience than I’d had only the day before. We came in for lunch and took off the suits and packed to go home. Not sure who it was but we decided we were bitches to not give it one last go. We swam back out in the late afternoon completely exhausted for one last dive. We saw a few but nothing crazy and they were a bit skittish. Justin landed a good one and we made for shore. Four dives in two days, I was tired and ready for a bed. One of the best dives I’ve had in a while, great company, and certainly the best shore dive ever. I’d like to think I got some wahoo confidence back as well as finally started figuring out a spot that’s plagued me for years.