With the water warming up, the Curtis Coast Spearfishing Club (CCSC) called for a social dive day and weigh-in last weekend - the perfect excuse to spend a day on the water, followed by a BBQ and cold beers. These social diving days are a great way to meet new divers, be introduced to the club as a new diver in the area, and exchange juicy spearfishing tales with those who share in your addiction for the world of underwater hunting.
The weather was a great 6kn all day, with a few boats full of eager divers heading to the reef. Unfortunately, both the outer reefs and inner reefs saw so much shark action that most divers struggled to land a single fish for the day! Having dived the area a few times, I was surprised by the number of big
bronze whaler sharks that were hanging out in packs of five or more. They didn't miss a beat when a speargun was fired and we were followed by them for most of the day, with the best fish landed being a nice Mangrove Jack by Richard Alec Barronet. When we eventually tired of fighting sharks for fish we headed to a nearby island to snorkel, collect some shells and top up on fuel before heading closer in to Gladstone.
Here, we met up with another local dive boat who was out for the social day. They had similar tales of being sharked all day long, but the guys still decided to give it a shot. Most of the guys speared big Spanish, only to have them lost to more sharks than they have ever seen in the area! Once the fish were quickly consumed, the sharks even continuously buzzed the divers on the surface. It was clear that we weren't going to get any really good fish in, so we called it a day around 2pm and headed back to Gladstone, full of adrenalin.
Despite the shark issues, which some have chalked up to the impending fish spawning season, it was a great day on the water had by all.
At the BBQ, we exchanged stories not only about the days events but about various charters we had been on, places we had dived and fish we had encountered - all while munching on snags or BBQ'd Crayfish and enjoying a much needed cold beverage! Beautiful conditions, perfectly warm weather, great people and exciting adrenalin-packed moments made it one of those truly enjoyable days on the water. A big thanks to the CCSC organising committee for hosting the day, providing the snacks and keeping the Gladstone spearfishing community a close and active group. I'm looking forward to more social diving days with CCSC, and hopefully getting to land some fish between the sharks!
CCSC committee member, Mark, splits a Crayfish that local diver Cameron grabbed while diving.
Crayfish on the BBQ - the simple things in life are best!
Enjoying a few snags and beers each, while the kids run around!