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Old 11-04-2009, 05:44 PM
conchxpress conchxpress is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: South Tampa, Key West
Posts: 244
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I was doing one of my first Keys dives off of Pennecamp a number of years ago and upon entering the water, I found myself in a school of cudas. There must have been a hundred of them. Small ones at the top of the water column and bigger as you went down. I thought they were more of a solitary hunter. Near the bottom, cruising between the coral heads were a couple of seven footers. Of course I wasn't alarmed because the dive master told us that barracudas won't hurt you.!! As I descended, the whole school would orient themselves in my direction. Spooky having all those teeth staring at you. After that, tho, I swapped out my shiny stainless dive watch for a black one.

I was watching a fishing show a couple of nights ago, and Mark Sosin was fishing for sharks in Key West. As I watched, I figured out that they were fishing in the channels off the northwest flats. They would throw the bait onto the flats and retrieve them so they would pop into the channel. They landed a couple of good sized lemon sharks. 6 feet +. I've read on the fishing forums of fisherman catching bull sharks out there, also. Whenever I've done the flats, I've always tried to attempt any new things on the flats themselves, so I wouldn't crash in the channels and have to become a troll bait trying to retrieve my board. Haven't heard of any close encounters on Smathers though. There have been attacks closer to White Street and Higgs beach by bathers trying to feed the nice birdies diving into the water.
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