Causeway Stories -- #7
I had a Causeway episode two Sundays ago. I had never heard of any tarpon on the Pacific side. I bought myself a sea kayak about a year ago and have it rigged up for spearfishing. I take it with me whenever I go to the interior and dive the coast. I mainly use it to dive the Causeway -- San Jose Rock, and Spar Buoy about 2 to 4 afternoons a week. I have been getting fish whenever there are some and when it is clear. I went out on the kayak this particular Sunday and the water was unbelievably clear. I could see the bottom from my kayak all along the last 2 islands of the Causeway. It was about 6:30 am. I paddled out to San Jose Rock and it was a deep blue almost black color. I anchored and dove in. On my first dive down a 25 lb. snook passed by close enough to nail it and put it in the bin. There were 10 to 15 lbs. red snappers everywhere, but I insisted on looking for more snook. Ten minutes passed by and I went down alongside a rock on the side facing Taboga when 5 giant tarpons passed right next to me. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! They were all huge. I took a shot at the one closest to me. It couldn't have been more than three feet away and it took off. I zapped to the surface and held on for about a 10 minute ride that unfortunately ended with the tarpon taking off. I have a reel on my gun with about 150 feet of parachute cord. The thing is the gun had a three inch pull out tip and it seems the fish busted a hole in him that size to free himself. I went back out for 4 days in a row. The water was still crystal clear and I managed to shoot some snappers, pompano, and get some lobster. Well, I just thought is was cool that in 1965 Bob Askew had a tarpon experience on the Causeway and I had one in 1998. Some people don't believe that there are tarpon in the Pacific. I am a true believer of tarpon now.
Update: October 4, 1998