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Tanzanian Doggies. [2008-08-01]

'Yesterday, after walking around with my gear in the office, my dive computer on my wrist, and postponing my dunga trip for 3 days, I finally decided it was a go! Weather was calm but overcast, and the sun peeked through the clouds from time to time. I finally got to the boat at 12 noon, after having some work to do at the office. Sea was flat, tide coming in, and still overcast as I cruised out to sea. There was only one local fishers boat on the site when I got there, with another about a mile north of the spot. I spoke to the fishers who hadn't got any fish yet. Water was bright blue, so the prospects were generally good. I got in to find fantastic visibility. It was great not to get thrown around as we did off the banks 2 weeks ago!

After a couple of dives I had a small Wahoo, about 8 - 10 kg come in from one side, but remain shy and just out of range. Took a long shot and hit it in the back, but I could see the barb had not penetrated and was sure to lose it. I did a few minutes later. I dove a few more times in clear but dark water, due to lack of light, and did see the big schools of rainbow runner and unicorns. On one dive, as I sank behind the schools of unicorns and rainbows, on top of the ledge, I saw a big fish to my left. I realized immediately it was a doggie, all alone, and I still had good air in my lungs. I sunk slowly toward it and it swam toward me and veered off and started to swim away when I took my shot. It was a long shot and I hit it just past the mid body line, closer toward the pectoral. Not a good shot but I saw it stop and regurgitate food before it sped off like a train. I was at 24 m when I shot it. It took the better part of an hour to bring it up.

It took the first buoy and squashed it when it reached 70m (7 bar pressure). Luckily the pouch with line opened up and the second buoy shot up to the surface. At that point I thought I'd lost it. It was just the slack from the pouch. The fish soon took the second buoy down, with all line and bungi fully extended, and I could just keep an eye on it as it sped off into the blue. The second buoy must have been down about 15m! It eventually came up and I started to recoup the line. I got to the first buoy and asked for another spear from the boat. I loaded and tied the spear to the line closer up to the second buoy, so I had some slack to play with. I pulled the fish slowly up, as it was still alive. It had pulled me about a mile away from where I shot it. I could see it a long way down in the clear water, and when it was up to about 10 m I dove down with the loaded gun, took a second shot, and pulled it to the surface. Man what a feeling it is when such a fish comes to the surface and is in your hands! Only then can one realize the sheer size of the fish one shoots! I just wish you or someone else was there to take a few pics of me in the water......

We got it on the boat and took a few pics, then I went back in the water for 2 - 3 more drifts, but there was no fish. I think I was lucky to see this fish. We had some great sashimi last night!!!

Good hunting to you all'

Eric Allard


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