FADs deployed on Barataria Bay - October 30, 2015© Photos Posted by Mark Miller © Hi-Res Source
This was an end of Summer trip to deploy FADs in FH-13 and FH-2. The weather had already gotten very windy with 45 knot Gales blowing up 14 foot seas last week. The forecast was for a small weather window and we thought we could take advantage to get this job done before the Winter Winds become an everyday occurance. Unfortunately the weather forecast was wrong again and it was fairly choppy with winds up in the 15-18 knot range instead of the 5-10 knot 1-2 foot forecast. Onboard with me was Bob Brown, Skip Roberts, Tom Rigalo, and Jason Jones. Tim Shivers took his boat "the Southern Spear-it" out there with Vincent Bruhl and Dyllan Camplejohn to assist. First dive was on the Mike Jenner to add a Carpet FAD. Skip did the honors with Bob assisting. Their Vis Report was poor but we went ahead and setup over the Barataria Bay to deploy some 15 noodle FADs that JR Titmus manufactured from swimming noodles. Our initial plan was to send the whole lot down tied to Tim's anchor but buyoancy problems caused us to rethink and we just went up and down deploying them one at a time. Observations were limited with the poor visibility but there were was an abundance of baitfish (Hardtails and Cigar Minnows) as well as Spadefish. Also seen was a small lionfish and the large tail of a Goliath Grouper inside the Barataria Bay (See 5:00 into Video). Our previously deployed American Flag and 2 Carpet Flags did not survive the recent rough conditions. Due to building sea conditions, we aborted our efforts to deploy the rest of the Carpet FADs and shifted toward getting our last limit of Mississippi State Water Red Snappers since the season closes the next day until June 1. Although the conditions were not ideal, we made the best of it, encompassing 70 miles, 45 gallons of fuel, and 8 hours.