Labor Day 2013 Dive report LION FISH STING - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 09-03-2013, 11:17 PM   #1
SaltWaterDave
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Default Labor Day 2013 Dive report LION FISH STING

We got a bit of a late start on Monday with the weather rolling thru and all. But we got out and dove with no complications. By the time that we fueled the boat and launched the rain was over and never once got rained on the whole day, despite water spouts in the bay. The radar showed the storms coming thru but they all showed them inshore, so we left the hill and had a good day offshore.

We had 4 divers, planned on 3 dives a piece with it being a late start. Otherwise we would plan on 4 dives a piece. I misplaced my GoPro so no dive or boat footage on this day. The theme for the day was Lionfish, but we got some meat for the cooler too. We stayed pretty close on the first dive and dropped the first two divers, the current proved too strong and that dive was aborted, erring on the side of caution. So further out we went. The further south we headed, the calmer it got. Finally ending up on average about 20 miles out we started our routine of diving 2 divers up 2 divers down.

On my second dive I was hit by a lion fish while trying to manage them and collecting them on my polespear, on my left hand, middle finger middle knuckle. My best description of this is hitting yourself full swing with a molten red hot hammer. And as quick and bad as the pain hit at depth, it just got worse once I got topside. Once there I tried all the usual tricks, I held it over my head, I even PEED ON IT, I put it in my wetsuit to find some heat, I held it in the sun, I put it in the water coming from the boat motor. NONE of this helped until I unscrewed the hose bib connector from the Yamaha 225 and got to the HOT water. Now, by hot I mean I could not hold my hand in the water for more than about 5 seconds.....BUT IT WORKED. I would cup my hand and hold the hot water in it to ease the pain. The pain was bad, and it traveled from my middle knuckle down to my hand and made my whole hand ache. But the hot water from the hose connection worked very well. By the time my surface interval was over and I spent several minutes soaking my hand in the hot water the pain was gone and I was ready to go again.

Just for a day of lion fish Killing I had come up with a few ideas, one of them was a lion fish collection bag. I have seen the bags for sale at the local dive shops and they def. seemed that the holes on the bottom were going to be too small to allow enough water to flow thru while swimming, so I came up with an idea to (1) beat the price the local shops were charging and (2) overcome the problem that I could foresee with the lack of water flow thru the bags currently being marketed. My idea was to use the existing concept of a lobster bag that has the one way trap door to stuff the lion fish or lobster in with a bottom zipper but to beef up the protection factor with an inexpensive liner. I found that you can get the old military "waterproof" sleeping bag bags, rubberized interior canvas exterior, online for about $2.50 a piece. So ordered those here Amazon.com: Buying Choices: USGI Army Navy Waterproof Laundry Bag ("Dry Bag"), Set of 2 . Then I cut a hole in the bottom just big enough to fit over a lobster inn here Amazon.com: Lobster Inn Bag with Zipper Closure: Sports & Outdoors I attached the rubberized bag over the lobster inn with a piece of ruber tubing that I had lying around.

With this setup there is plenty of water flow, a bottom zipper to allow for easy dumping into the cooler and no escape for any wiley creatures that are stuffed into it.

Today the pain in my hand would best be described as the day after hitting yourself with a molten red hot hammer. So now I will be searching for a new pair of puncture resistant gloves, I am thinking leather.

The tally for the day was 5 trigger, 2 scamp, 1 gag, 19 lion fish (one of which must be some kind of record) and a very sore hand. But there were some lessons learned and some knowledge passed. Sorry no video.


Sorry, here are the links to purchase the set-up...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000DYNPU/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004RE6W3E/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Last edited by naclh2oDave; 09-04-2013 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:20 PM   #2
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The next part of this episode is that I think I may have also figured out a better way to cook these tasty little critters. And do not mistake this, these are tasty critters! On several occasions I have gone thru the whole process of cleaning, gutting and filleting these sometimes quite small fish. But I accidentally figured out that if you hose them with a good stream of water the scales come right off. So I figured that just like a blue gill fish fry if you knock off the heads, dig out the guts and of course cut off all of the spines these little critters should fry up nicely. Report to follow...
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:06 AM   #3
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Hurts don't it!
Nice tip on the hose bib off the engine trick. I'll have to research a little.... I'm not sure what that does to the engine - but if I can prove to my buddy ( the boat owner ) that it does no harm ....I'll surely be doing that next time!
Nice bag. I don't think that the water flow is that big of an issue ...until you try to pull the bag into the boat.....then its a PITA.
I think I'm gonna try to tie a rope through the 2 holes - as a handle ....and lift it out of the water from the bottom. If lionfish don't escape through the top when its lifted this way it will quickly drain the water...and solve the main issue with the dive shop bags.

I like to prep my fish just like you are....but I use a pair of shears to clean them...including the cut around the gut cavity and past the head.
***Keep killing these suckers....and be safe!***
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:14 AM   #4
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Great report, awesome job with the heat application. I still haven't cooked them whole yet, I'm the guy filleting every single one!
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Old 09-04-2013, 09:10 AM   #5
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Thanks guys. Yeah I use a good pair of shears too, I always start with them first cutting every fin off. Not shown in the pictures.

One interesting observation that I made while cleaning the lion fish is that no flies came in to check out the gut bucket or the meat. As soon as I was done done with the last lion and started with the trigger fish the flies came in. I wonder if they know something that I don't know...

Last edited by naclh2oDave; 09-04-2013 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:53 PM   #6
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Sorry for the dumb question but you said that your going to fry them right? What do you do about the bones?

Also I saw a youtube video of a guy harvesting lion fish using a pole spear and when he had them on the spear he snipped all the fins off while still on the bottom. SO there is no chance of getting stung as long as your wearing protective gloves like he was. Then there is no need for a big bag to lug them all around in either.

Last edited by Disco; 09-04-2013 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disco View Post
Sorry for the dumb question but you said that your going to fry them right? What do you do about the bones?

Also I saw a youtube video of a guy harvesting lion fish using a pole spear and when he had them on the spear he snipped all the fins off while still on the bottom. SO there is no chance of getting stung as long as your wearing protective gloves like he was. Then there is no need for a big bag to lug them all around in either.
You can cut the fins at depth if you are only collecting a few fish.
If you are collecting a bunch of fish....you will not have time to cut all those fins....its a waste of dive time.
I quit cutting the fins...and started getting 20-50 per dive...instead of 5-10.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:09 PM   #8
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There are two kinds of spearfishermen who target lionfish, those that have been stuck and those that will be stuck.
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Old 09-05-2013, 02:36 AM   #9
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Nice report Dave, good luck with the hand!
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Old 09-05-2013, 02:42 AM   #10
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oops, repost
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Last edited by coolbluestreak; 09-05-2013 at 02:43 AM. Reason: repost
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