Triggers in May?

Trip to the Stolt on May 31 aboard the Independence
42 degrees on the bottom, and 55 on the surface
30 to 40 ft of vis on the top of the wreck 20 on the bottom
Lots of large tog, a few small ling cod, and large schools of cunners

NOAA was calling for 10-15 knot winds out of the west, with 2-3ft seas. They were pretty close this time, but there was very little wind. We headed out with a group from The Dive Shop for their first trip to the Stolt. The usual suspects tagged along for the ride. We made good time on the way out as the seas were near flat. Bill had us tied in quickly, and the groups started getting into the water.

Once in the water, you could see the wreck quickly. With no current or wind, the line dropped straight down to the tie in. On the top there was clear water, but you could see the thermocline below where the vis dropped to about 20 ft. I chose to take video this trip, and was rigging the lights on the way down. In the still water, it was easy to drop into some of the large holes in the wreck and film inside.

On the bottom, there was not much to see, other than a few ling cod and eelpouts. Most fish are spooked by bright lights, ling don’t seem to mind. They will even come toward the light. Perhaps they are using the light to look for food. In any event, they are not camera shy.

Swimming along the side of the wreck most of the anemones were out in bright colors. Swimming through some of the upper decks you could see the water mixing in the thermocline. Large schools of cunners darted around, and some large tog swam with them. The port side was above the thermocline. There was a slight surge here, so the school of cunners swayed back and forth with it, looking for some morsel of food to be blown off the wreck. I spent some time passing back and forth through these passages tracking the movement of the school. Like the ling, cunners are not camera shy. Some would even come up to the lens, and try to nip at their reflection.

The camera was out of video tape, so I headed up. Just under the boat, there was a fish swimming back and forth. To my surprise and delight, it was a large trigger! When I hit the surface, I handed up the camera, and someone handed down a pole spear. I quickly invited the trigger home for diner. An invitation he could not refuse. Ocean triggerfish often arrive in August, brought up in the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. It’s uncommon to see them this early in the season.

Back on the boat, Rob made his usual long dive, and returned with a large bag of scallops. Bill returned with lobster. Mark and John had been digging inside the wreck. Mark returned with some jars with what appeared to be Norwegian writing. Luke grabbed a bag of mussels. The rest returned with stories of the great conditions, and how good a dive it was.

A few reported seeing dogfish above the wreck. For the second dive, Rob timed his scallop cleaning so that other divers would be on the line. They were entertained by the sight of the dogfish darting after the shells and parts.

We were soon on our way back to the dock after another great day of diving.

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