The 2012 hunt

Back to the Mel page

Sent: 10/2/2012 11:38:30 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time

From: Los Angeles Fathomiers Dive Club

To: Members

Subj: October Meeting tomorrow night 10/03/12 GUEST SPEAKER MEL MITCHELL

Hopefully everyone has recovered from last weekends opener and are ready for the meeting. Tomorrow night (10/03/12) at 1930, we have our monthly meeting. This month we have a guest speaker (Mel Mitchell) who will be doing a presentation on lobster diving. For those of you who don't know Mel he is quite the accomplished lobster diver/spearo and has years of experience. Mel did this presentation a few weeks ago for the Fathomiers meeting and for those of you who couldn't make it (Including myself) or fit in the tiny room at Round Table now is your chance. Mel will be going over technique, equipment and also show a few videos as well. Should be a great presentation and one of the meetings that shouldn't be missed. For those that haven't gone out for bugs yet this year, this could be the refresher course/motivation you need to get at it. For those of you who know Mel this would be a great time to say hello.

This meeting will also be the last meeting before our Fall Classic (10/19 & 10/20/12) so this would be an opportune time to sign up for this great meet. This years Fall Classic is free to members/tennatives. We will be having another raffle this year and although we may not have a huge surplus of raffle items, the ones we will have are going to be "high end". Some of the expected items will be a GOPRO Hero 2 camera, GO PRO dive housing w/ flat lens, Leader fin blades, speargun TBD, JBL wetsuit, Riffe float, etc, etc..... We will have waivers at the meeting and I'll hopefully e-mail them out as well tonight or tomorrow. T-shirts will be for sale and at rock bottom prices. Come grab a bench, beer and pizza and listen to the Lobster Whisperer.


Yesterday I had an amazing day Big Bug hunting. Two Personal best in one day! First I caught (with tank off deep in a ledge) and released a 12.5 lb bug, a tie for my best. 12.5 lb bug Release Then, a half hour later, I found a 13.5 lb Bug sitting in a ledge. I grabbed it before it could scoot back. As I was trying to bag it the horn broke and it almost got away. I managed to get it in the bag. I feel bad that I damage it too much for a safe release but Bug hunting has it's risk for both the diver and the Bug. 13.5 lb bug Well my friend....I know we'll keep in touch. I send you my warm thoughts and the love of a friend.......Mel ( Labugman)

12.5 Pound Lobster Release

Mikey, They're back !!! Yes, the white seabass are back in the shallow kelp beds where we can find them. I went out yesterday with Todd and landed this nice 56 lb fish. I have learned from him to hold off on smaller fish. It's the secret to finding the bigger ones. On yesterdays dive I came across a 35 lb fish swimming under me but I held off once I determined it's size. after March 15th the limit is one fish per day and I wanted a bigger fish. a few minutes later I saw another one slightly bigger....but it was not what I was looking for either. Many dives later I saw my fish slowly swimming under me. A beefy one with side shoulders. He was about 5 ft off of a 30 ft bottom. I waiter until it passed and did a quiet dive coming down over the top of the fish and fired from above. He took off though the kelp and went out into open water where it was an easy thing to pull him up once he tired out. Todd showed up after I had the fish in my hands and took these pictures. Hope this finds you well. .....Take care, Mel

Mikey...Good to hear from you! Time goes on. I keep on going... like a true banana slug ...enjoying most of it. I've been doing a lot of diving for sea bass. I've only landed 2, one 30 lbs and a 56 lbs fish. I also took great pleasure in pointing my gun at a 30 and later a 40 lb fish because I wanted a bigger one....that was the day I got the 56 lbs. The limit was only one a day :) Last weekend we went to SCI for 2 days and Tom, Todd and I all got yellowtail , mine was 26, todd's was 37 and Tom got a monster at 50 lbs! All the fish were shot in an hour and the rest of the trip we saw nothing..........except that Todd had two 60 lbs blue fin tuna swim by unexpectedly!!! Needless to say, he didn't even get a shot off. Water temp was between 63 and 68 on the front side. Also, check out the video below. I Love the seascapes and the descriptions.
The novel will take lots more concentration to digest. I'll get to it in my spare time :) Glad you're almost done.

Take care....Your friend, Mel

From: ""
Sent: Sunday, August 5, 2012 4:40 PM
Subject: Black Seabass Magic

Mikey!!! I went spearfishing with Todd and Kerry to SCI and Catalina this weekend. We did well, Todd landed a 28 lb yellowtail, Kerry got a personal best 7 lb calico bass and I found a 28 lb White Seabass in the kelp.....but the highlight of the trip was the "Black Seabass Magic" dive I had. As we were cruising along Catalina on the Rapture I noticed a reef that I had no idea existed. We had been freediving but Kerry also brought along tanks. I asked him if I could borrow and unfinished tank he had so I could go down and see if there were any lobsters on it.... in case I wanted to come back next season. What I found was an unexpected surprise!!! Check out the video below. By the way, there were tons of lobsters on the reef but they were all short...Take care....Your Friend, Mel.

10/20/2012 - Mikey...Tom had gone abalone diving with some Asian guys up north. One of them told him a story about diving just outside of a secret reef for bugs. His host put him down in the open sand. After swimming awhile he came back up complaining that there was no reef......the host said just go back down and keep swimming, so he did. Eventually he saw what looked like a tractor tire laying in the sand. As he approached it he saw that it was a Lobster Bull Ring composed of about 60-80 lobsters all facing out in as circle. So....having heard this story, Tom and I went to investigate the area. As you can see, I took my scooter to cover more ground. We didn't find the massive Bull Rings, but I we did find that bugs are cool just cruising in the open sand in the daytime there! I believe that there are Bull Rings out there somewhere but we just haven't found where they are yet...we intend to keep trying.....even when we don't find one, it's fun to get them out in the open during the day like that.....I'll keep you posted. ......Mel

10/28/2012 - Had a good trip this weekend. Three were 5 lbs and one was 12 is a video of the release.

Hey Big Mikey....that bug was caught at the same little rock pile I caught the 12 lb bug with you that day...It seems to keep producing big bugs. take care....Mel

12/09/2012 - Mikey...Here's the latest Lucky Lobster in my Catch and Release program....A 10.5 lb Bug taken while being video taped on my camera mask, photographed on the Rapture, marked with an "M" and ready for release. He swam back down to the reef shortly after the picture. I'll send you the video when I's pretty grainy with the low light conditions but you get the idea...I had a good day....10.5 , 7.7, 5, 4.5 and several smaller ones. Wish you were here!! Mel

Big Mike..... I recently had and unbelievable day Bug Hunting. Check out what I wrote on the "private" Youtube video description. Your e-mail address is on the "allowed viewer" list. I want to keep this information quiet for now. I don't want it to attract too much attention for obvious reasons...... "Every Good and perfect Gift is from His hands" And today I was blessed with an unbelievable lobster catch....5 Bugs over 10 lbs.!!! One had an "M" scratched on his carapace....meaning I had caught him before. The remaining 4 were marked with an "M" and all five were Released back into the Ocean in this short video. This has probably not happened since the 1950's when men were just starting to enter the underwater world and Big Game was abundant and untouched for millions of years. That's why I take no credit for this amazing catch....It's a "Good and Perfect Gift" Enjoy......... Now Mikey, Let me fill you in with more of the details. We went out on the Rapture. You know very well where we were, you've been there before. :) The day was clear, you could see the snow capped San Bernardino mountains in the distance. There was no swell and the mild Santa Ana wind made it flat out there. The water was cool (56 degrees) and the visibility was very clear (40 feet). The first dive was at 105 feet at "8 lb Bug Ledge" where we caught a few average size bugs. The next dive was at a reef we call 007. Half way down the anchor chain I could see the reef on the 85 foot bottom. From there I spotted a Huge Bug sitting halfway out of his lair which was a large crack in a rock. It looked giant in the crystal clear water. I circled around and came over the rock from behind him for the grab. He weighed 12 lbs! After bagging him I circled around the base of the rock and where it meets the sand..... I found another Big Bug which turned out to weigh 10 lbs. Two nice ones on one dive....

The day went on....we caught a few nice ones, 2 to 4 lbs..... Then we went to one of my favorite small secret reefs. There I found a Big Bug sitting deep in a ledge but far out of reach. I searched for other openings and found a couple of holes just big enough for one arm to enter, after I knocked out the sea urchins....but not big enough for this Bug to go through. I looked in with my light and saw his I reached in and grabbed it....and held it and shook it for a full minute and a half. When I let go he started walking out to the opening of the ledge....there I waited until he came walking out....when I went for the grab he turned and swam off before I could do it. But I chased him down until he landed and I finally got him. He was just over 10 lbs. On the boat I noticed the "M" scratched on his back....We'd met before!! On the last dive of the day I decided to take the scooter and cover more ground over a series of deep rock piles I knew well. The usual spots did not have bugs but then I came across a ledge and spotted a Big one sitting sideways inside. There was a big long rock laying across and covering the front of the ledge. I pulled on it and found that it was actually pretty light. It came right off ! That bug weighed 12 lbs! On the way back to the boat I found another nice one sitting in a hole... Soon I had another 10 lbs Bug!!! So the day ended with an unbelievable catch of Big Bugs.....5 over 10 lbs!!! I'm now considering retiring from Bug Hunting..... Not really, just kidding ....But really, how can it get any better? Here's the group photo......

So, after the pictures and the "M" markings on the other 4 Bugs....all 5 of them were released back into the Ocean to live and grow for another days fun. The event was recorded on video......"Good And Perfect Gift"...5 over 10 lbs Man, do I wish you were here to participate....Come visit some day...Your friend, Mel (Labugman)

Back to start
Back to seahunt