First Place Largest at Pensacola Classic LionFish Tournament on October 6, 2019© Photos Posted by Mark Primo Miller © Hi-Res Source
This was the 2nd day of our 3 day weekend in Orange Beach Alabama and time for the Pensacola Lionfish Classic Shootout. We hit mostly public spots toward the East side but circled back West and found our big boy at a public spot that I had been to before (which I will lookup later and come back to post). I had it as an old wreck but we were pleasantly surprised to find it had been enhanced with a bunch of new large material. Omar and I dropped down to find the big Lionfish just as we hit the bottom. My Zook was full of chum that I put in it to bring in the fish so I unscrewed the cap and dumped the chum so I would have room for the Lionfish. About that time a big red snapper showed up in the chum so I decided to poke him first since I was sure the Lionfish wasn't going anywhere. Omar had a speargun only and I assumed he would shoot another snapper. Somehow on this rare occasion, unbenounced to me, my GoPro was not running. While I was getting my Red Snapper off my spear, Omar unsnapped my lionfish spear and dissapeared. Just as I got the snapper situated, I started looking for the Zook Cap and Funnel. I found the Cap but the funnel was nowhere to be found (I think it floated up to the surface). Then here comes Omar with the big lionfish we saw. I put him in the Zook but had to keep my hand over the top to keep him from coming out. Then I realized my GoPro wasn't running and turned it on. We continued our hunt and I put several more Lionfish in, but lost several more due to the lost funnel. I would put one in as another swam out. Eventually I was concerned about losing the big boy so I stopped. Somewhere in the confusion, I dropped my lionfish spear but was able to go back over my tracks and find it. It was a crazy but beautiful dive and got us $1,000, just enough to pay for our Condo. What Teamwork! The Lionfish Beast measured 439mm. Also worth noting was an exceptional dive on an Army Tank by Todd and Garret where they had a great Sea Turtle encounter and got their limit of red snapper. What a great trip overall with good weather and visibility. See the previous day's post for our trip out to the Shelf. The trip this day encompassed 54 miles, 37 gallons of fuel, and 8 hours.