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Thread: Tarpon for a dive buddy

  1. #11
    If it was a 3' tarpon (as was mentioned in the OP), it DEFINITELY was NOT "Charlie." Charlie is 7-8' long and almost 12" thick... he's a monster and he's super aggressive with using lights. He'll swim where ever your light is, which includes in the 18" between your belly and the bottom... and he loves HIDs.

    I watched Charlie try to eat a good sized 'cuda... but the 'cuda bit back. I was yelling and laughing through my regulator as it was quite the show.

    The tarpon DO become a bit annoying when you're trying to see other stuff, but in general they're just part of any night dive in Bonaire. Interestingly, they don't become super aggressive in their hunting until it's really dark. As the sun sets and the "shift change" is happening, they start to show up and just kind of hang out... when it's dark and quiet, they start the hunt. No little fishy is safe.

  2. #12
    Grand Master Spammer
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    Wow, that sounds like so much fun! I dive to see critters anyway, so that would be right up my alley.

  3. #13
    Guppy
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    03/17/2008
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    Was diving in Bonaire last week. We stayed at the Plaza, so we did a couple of night dives at 18 Palms. Last year we had one tarpon following us, this year we had two following us.

    One of the divers in our group had never dove at night before, so she was a little leary of the tarpon. To her credit she came back for a second night dive. Usually the tarpon disappear when you get back into the shallows, but on our second night dive, these two tarpon followed us right to our exit point.

    We also saw a few eels free swimming, octopus, reef squid and lobster. All in all a couple of real nice dives.

  4. #14
    Shark
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    Wow that sounds like a very cool experience. I am new scuba but have been sailing my whole life. We would entertain our selves for hours shining the light off the boat watching tarpon hunt. I cant wait to in the middle of it! I got to get my self down there!

    on a side note wooo hooo 10 posts down and 240 to go!!!!!!

    cheers,

    Brian D.

  5. #15
    Guppy
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    Me and a buddy had the same experience in bonaire last year, we had two tarpon (5-6') and a huuuuggggge tiger grouper in on the action, pretty surreal , we ended up turning off our lights after a while (both being classically trained marine biologists- we knew better) and just enjoying the rest of the dive by the moonlight without artificial lighting. It is pretty amazing to see the carnage that can ensue by spotlighting fish, just don't do too many

    p.s.- the dog snappers at the Flower Gardens do the same thing, pretty amazing to watch them hunt

  6. #16
    Grouper
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    09/28/2007
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    La Jolla, CA
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    Every night dive I did in Bonaire was tarpon-escorted. Shining my light on the little fishies...was forcing the cruel hand of fate. I found that a lot of the tarpon seemed a little sluggish. Perhaps they weren't sufficiently motivated to sample the spotlighted entree. :-)

  7. #17
    TadPole
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    Night dive off of Belize, one BIG MOFO green moray was following the dive group, and nailed a 12" diameter blue tang by using our dive lights.......those critters are smart, and sleeping fish are Dumb!
    - Dave
    "Be a world Traveler, not a tourist! Happy Bubbles will follow."

  8. #18
    Grouper
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    Same experience here – was in Bonaire back in Sept and on every night dive there was at least one tarpon. One night dive on hilma hooker wreck we had three tarpon hunting around us. It’s really hard to focus on anything else when you have them hunting so close to you.
    ...way down here, you need a reason to move!

  9. #19
    Guppy
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    07/31/2007
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    Happens in fresh water too :)

    Had the same sort of thing happen at the Mermet Springs quarry. A couple of good-sized bass followed us around on the wall, using our lights to hunt. Definitely fun to watch.

  10. #20
    Grouper
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    09/13/2007
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    We also watched a lot of the tarpon in Bonaire. It was our first night dive and thought it was pretty cool.

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