Fellow TFer Sapidusandsuds (Paul ) hung up an anchor off Podickery two weekends ago. He had to cut the rode and was not able to put a jug on it due to rough water. He B-mailed me the GPS numbers and last week I went diving for it. Found two anchors but not his. He was able to free up a weekday and we agreed to meet at Sandy Point for another try. Not sure diving on a 13th is good or bad but it was Monday so what the heck. With slack water predicted at 10:45 - it was no need to leave early. Met at Sandy Point at 8:30 - plan was to catch some Spot - go diving - then look for Rock. Found Spot about 20 feet south of the bridge in 13 feet of water - on the 13th . Unlucky day for them. We caught about 12 of them and then noticed some breaking fish here/there. They were small Rock but figured it was worth trying for bigger Rock before slack water came. The current was incoming and not too dirty. Water temp. was 78* and we started looking for Rock south of the bridge out in 35 feet. Saw a few marks down about 15 feet and with a light north breeze - the boat basically set still over them. We put Spot over and it was not long before Paul had a good hit. He allowed a nice 6 count- set the hook and fought the Rock 1/2 way to the boat. It spit out the Spot that was fouled hooked. This happens now/then - the 5/0 J hook rolls into the Spot instead of hooking the Rock. Bad luck or the 13th ? Paul rebaited and before he got his Spot in the water - I got a nice hit. This one stayed hooked and soon a fat 29 incher was iced down. Great start . Paul got hit again and hooked a nice 24 incher. That one was not even unhooked when I got number three - a nice 22 incher. We were using medium size Spot - maybe 6-7 inches but these " little " Rock had no trouble eating them.
Paul got the next one but it pulled loose. I had another hit but the Rock pulled the Spot off the hook. We had fished about 30 minutes and moved less then 100 feet - bay was flat and very few boats out. Paul got the next Rock and the hook held but not by much. As I netted it - I could see the hook barely in the corner of it's jaw. The hook held - in fact we used needle nose pliers to remove it. We ran north to Podickery and Paul let 3 very lucky Spot loose near the crab pot line.
We slowly motored to Paul's GPS numbers and dropped a marker bouy as referance. The numbers were about 100 feet south ( more/less ) of where his anchor was hung. Dragged the grapple along bottom with the last of incoming current. It was so calm - we had to motor at 1 1/2 knots - kinda trolling the grapple for the snag. There are old cables in the area - in fact my GPS has waypoints just 1/8 mile south of Paul's numbers. I watched the fishfinder for anything odd on bottom as Paul fed out the line. We caught some old fishing line but not the snag nor his 100 feet of rode. Back/forth we trolled the grapple but felt only sand/shell bottom. The current was slack and it was frustrating not being able to find the snag. The GPS track showed us covering the area well but no luck - 13th again .
Saw some Cownose Rays rolling along the surface - lord I hate those things when I dive and hoped they stayed on the surface. Finally worked slowly south past the marker jug and the grapple found a snag. Most likely the cable - whatever it was - we were stuck to it. The current by now was starting out but not too fast. Paul helped me gear up and over I went. Sure enough- the grapple was on the cable in 25 feet. Water was nice all the way down but once on the bottom - the temp. dropped a few degrees and so did the visibility. Did not take long to find an anchor - a danforth type. Paul lost a very good plow type. Now it may not be the one I was after but it was certainly brought up. Went back down and found a rope. Followed it to another danforth - looked almost new as I brought it to the boat. Paul tossed me a line and pulled me to the boat against the now strong current. It's tough diving in current but decided one more try. Followed the cable as best I could in the now near zero visibility. Got fouled in some old fishing line but cut it loose. This is often caught on anchor chain so I worked back/forth hoping to feel an anchor. My knee bumped into an anchor fluke and I put the lift bag on it. Sent the lift bag up and allowed the chain to run through my gloves. It kept going and going - felt like 20 feet or so . I went up the chain and Paul tossed me a line again. As he pulled me and the anchor in - suddenly the anchor line pulled tight. It was still caught up on the bottom. Had to go back down and cut the fishing line holding it loose. The current pulled me and the lift bag south and Paul had his hands full pulling us to the boat. With three anchors and not a lot of air left - I went down and unsnagged the grapple anchor.
Paul can use the 20 feet of chain and plans to borrow a spare anchor until I can hopefully find his lost one. Hope to try again later in the week. Cleaned up the boat and ran back to the ramp. 13th was not too bad - at least for a Monday. Now the 13th in November is on a Friday - no way I diving then .