First Post-Injury Dive

1stLing2017

My last dive was in October and since then have been dealing with a painful knee injury (partial tear of the quadriceps tendon in the lateral patellar retinaculum).

Not being able to get out on the water has been HARD for me, but have finally regained full range of motion and got some strength back through Physical Therapy and finally felt confident enough to give diving a try.

Met up with my buddy Steve at my house before first light, loaded up the gear and headed to the beach.

Was very glad to have Steve there with me because besides being a super cool guy and great dive partner, I really don’t feel strong enough yet to carry my kayak by myself.

Waves were still pretty big from the recent swell, but the storms have brought a bunch of sand into the beach which makes launching easier and we both got out without any issues. The Kraken punched out through the surf easily and it felt awesome to be paddling again!

The first two spots were pretty much a bust…surgy and didn’t see any fish I wanted to take home, and a lot of the holes were stuffed with wood and kelp from the recent storms.

BUT, it felt SOOOOO GOOOD to be back in the water!!! Just diving up and down was a joy, my knee felt fine and even though I didn’t push it (went to a max of 45 feet and most dives were between 25 and 40 with short bottom times) I didn’t feel as out of shape as I was afraid I would.

After about 50 dives we decided to try one last spot so went to an area where I have had fun in the past…ton of fish out here and took a kelpy, grassy and small cab for the fryer and then started looking hard for a Ling.

Structure was killer and I felt optimistic I could find one if I looked hard enough…

Passed the 65 dive mark and saw that Steve had jumped out of the water and was sitting on his kayak so knew I didn’t have much time left…

Passed the 70 dive mark and could tell I was starting to get tired so figured I would go to 75 dives and then call it quits…

Did a drop and finally saw what I was looking for…a nice size brown head with a big golden eye staring at me from under a boulder.

Before

Shot her right through her eye and shoved my spear in to make sure it went all the way through to secure her and headed back to surface to catch my breath.

I was afraid the fish might be hard to get out given the small hole I shot her though, but was easily able to move the spear over to a bigger opening and get her out.

After

Can you see the Ling eye hiding under the boulder on the pic on the left?? : )

BeforeAfter

Beautiful meaty fish, not very long at only 29 inches, but still was a GREAT way to end my first dive post-injury!!

LingWhole

Steve and I paddled back in with the sun shining and had no problems landing on the nice sandy beach.

Had a few beers, took a few pics and headed home.

The next morning I cleaned the fish, used the eggs from the Ling for a scramble with some cheese, garlic powder, Tony Chacheres and bacon and it turned out super tasty!!

LingFilets LingEggScramble

At night the inlaws came over and I cooked the Ling head and collars as an appetizer, made tacos with the Ling filets and had the rockies and cabezon fried whole and picked the meat off for more tacos.

Thanks again to Steve for coming out with me, and thanks to everyone who has been supportive while I have been dealing with this injury.

Here’s a quick vid of the Ling.

Thanks for looking!

Sincerely,

Jim

Comments on “First Post-Injury Dive”

  1. Kenneth Sisk
    February 11, 2017 at 8:00 am

    That is a pretty cool video. It really shows the experience it takes to find that fish. I never would have saw that. I’m glad to hear that you are back doing what you love after your injury. Always persevere, a keep fishing!

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