Spearfishing Scamp & AJs at MP243 CutOffs & MP280 - March 10, 2017© Photos Posted by Mark Miller © Hi-Res Source
This was a shake down trip for the PRIMOFISH that finally came back from repairs after over a month. In fact the issues began back in July with a fuel tank hole rubbed in by some trash between the tank and rear bulkhead. After a $4800 fuel tank replacement some issues still lingered. Initially more work was done with the tank, hoses, and filters but eventually another $2200 was dumped in for new pumps, screens, spark plugs, fuel lines, and a complete cleaning. Apparently it is right now and performed flawlessly on this trip. On board was Jennifer Day (Vancleave), Omar Vasquez (Ocean Springs), Lisa Segarra (Ocean Springs), as well as JP & Cris Monteverde (Biloxi). The forecast was for slick seas and lots of sunshine but as we headed out we were greeted with cloudy skys and choppy waves. Un-Deterred we continued to the MP243 Cutoff Rigs, one of our favorite stops for Scamp Grouper. Lisa & JP were certfied Divers but had not been in the water for a couple years so we deferred them to wait for an oil platform for their dives. This is a deep water spot (195 feet) with the platforms rising to no more than 115 feet from the surface. Jennifer & Omar partnered up and I went in afterward as I was busy making sure the vessel was setup safely with drift and deco lines. Omar resurfaced not long after dropping in with an Amberjack so that slowed me even more. I eventually got in and got my Scamp (16 lbs). I eased toward the bottom to see what was around and saw a big red snapper and a very large Gag Grouper (See the Video). Omar dropped down again and ended up taking Jennifer's gun because of a problem with his gun. He broke the safety on the gun trying to figure out how to turn it off but eventually landed a Scamp as well (14 lbs). Jennifer came up empty. We then picked up and went southeast to MP264 where our friend Austin Powell had setup with 4 fellow freedivers. They gave us a poor report so we proceeded even further south to the MP280 Platform. We setup there for Omar to take his 2 Students down and I followed with my Camera. Omar had a cool skeleton suit that he put on for show. The students did well and after they surfaced we went to the nearby MP280 Cutoff. This is a unique structure that comes up from 310 feet up to within 70 feet of the surface. The area is small near the surface and drops at an angle to the southeast. I ended up with a 62 pound AJ and Jennifer got her one that went 52 pounds. After that we pulled up to the VK-734 Platform where JP went down with Omar on his very first Spearfishing adventure. He showed his compentence by landing a 27 pound Almaco Jack. A real trophy. His wife Cris was bubble watching all day and struggled with sea sickness but nontheless claims she enjoyed the trip. This trip encompassed 170 miles, 111 gallons of fuel, and 14 hours.