North Carolina Blues: Mark Laboccetta and Friends
Thursday, June 26, 2015
(North Carolina) Drove all night from Wilmington to Hatteras with young gun Luca from Maverick America.
We got an early week call from friend Taylor Creech saying conditions were shaping up to be prime. The 31' Contender was in water ready to roll. We rolled into the OBX at 3am, got 3 hours of overdue shuteye, woke up and headed to the dock.
We loaded the boat and rolled out of Oregon Inlet. The crew were Aaron AKA Capt. George’s Seafood, Josh Malbon and Taylor Creech my friends from high school and Luca DellaSanta.
The ride out was a bit snotty and actually the whole day was pretty snotty - dodging thunderstorms. We hit the water around 8:30am greeted by entourages of fliers, blue water, and a sounder loaded with a bait ball over deep structure nearly 200’ deep.
Typical of cobia; it came up to see what we were all about out of the blue deep gloom and gave Luca the chance at the first Cobia. A few ‘hoos were milling about checking out the flasher. Taylor took a pot shot at one and I was down about 50 yards away when out of the corner of my eye I saw a missile scream by right in front of my mask at 90 degrees. A split second behind him a wounded torpedo followed trailing a stream of spear bubbles and drag impeding it’s perfect hydrodynamic shape from escaping. The line went slack resulting in an early day tear-off.
We kept playing around with wahoo and a few intermittent African Pompano’s popped up. Taylor Creech popped one. I popped the other with my reel gun. I tried to shoot a two in one and wanked my barb in the process. Still I was able to land one fish and fortunately the second one escaped in fairly good shape. Relegated now to the unlimited blue water gun, the big Jordan Hamilton six bander, I started diving trying to seal the deal with wahoo. This all went down after a mid-morning lull in the action and a break on the boat. Thunder storms clouds stood tall while the horzion remained black. After a mid-morning rain douse 40 miles offshore, we climbed back in the water and were immediately greeted with some mahi-mahi action.
Josh Malbon popped a nice gaffer dolphin about 10-15lbs. I dropped down as deep as I could with my shoulder cannon, probably 50-60’. Under a school of cudas a big cubera came up to smell a piece of the action. I took the longest shot of my life on the cubera as he was nose diving back down into the deep. Shot went tight a solid 25’ out. Slip-tip dispatched. Took down my Maverick Norprene 50’ Bungee, stretched it all the way out and still didn’t tear off. After five minutes of tug of war the heavy bottom fish was in the boat. It made my day, probably my year so far.
Right after I shot it Josh speared a big false albacore. The barracudas and the sharks went nuts. I went out there tohelp with my back up gun with the tweaked barb from the earlier pompano. By the time I got to him the fish was dust to dust, or meat to water? Drifting around in the maelstrom of bait and post false albacore feast excitement, I dove down again. Saw a cobia and had a clean shot. Passed it up in hopes of the yellowfin that was circling around the perimeter. Got to the surface, and spot a nice ONO watching my broadside. I took a shot with the spearshaft with a broken barb! Stoned! Quivering fish now under full attack by barracudas. A couple “in the meat” gouges later I managed to withhold my prize away from those rabid dogs.
Back at the boat the action is still coming in. We see a nice mahi-mahi from the boat. Taylor lines up the shot near the surface and boom one of the nicest mahis I’ve seen spearfishing in years. Twenty-five pound bull dolphin. We’re pretty stoked at this point. As if it’s not enough, the lonesome hunter known as Josh Malbon is drifting out on his own in the deep when another even bigger wahoo comes in on him. Stoned shot - with the Scott Merlo four band tuna gun. Looking at our bloddy decks and full coolers, we decide as it’s time to call it.
The tally: Two Wahoo, two mahi, two pompano, a cobia, and a 71lb cubera snapper and a rainbow runner.
Good to see Taylor Creech and Josh Malbon after not diving together for years. Guys we couldn’t have asked for a better rendezvous. Nice meeting you Aaron and hope to dive with you guys again soon.
- Mark Laboccetta