Shallow, dark and FUN!!

It’s been a few years since I’ve had the opportunity to do a Northeast twilight dive. Some of our deep dives seem like night dives, but a twilight or night dive on a shallow wreck is a different story.

As we approached the wreck the sun was getting ready to set behind us. This was a low lying wooden wreck, so Bill looked carefully for a good piece to drop the hook on. By the time I cleared 20ft my light was the only thing visible before me. On the bottom, the line was right on top of a large rib. We were soon tied in, and it was time to reconnoiter.

Given this was my first dive on this wreck, my standard practice is to look around first, then decide on a plan of action. Within a few feet of the line, the telltale signs of lobster were evident. Here, there, everywhere. They were not coming out yet, but there were quite a few in some deep holes. Sea bass were everywhere, and some were quite large. Tog and ling cod where here and there. Sea Robins were all over the sand. Even a nice Conger eel was swimming about freely. It was bit startled by my light. Swimming up the main rib, there were also signs of fluke, and large ones. All of this was very bad, since my weapons were on the boat. After coaxing a 22 inch fluke into my bag, I headed to the surface for reinforcements.

The remainder of my short dive was spent mapping out the wreck in my mind, and collecting fluke along the way. Like most wooden wrecks, there was a nice chain pile at the bow. Many fish and lobster were entrenched here. Some low lying sections stood just a few inches off the sand. Here, Sea bass darted in and out in response to my light.

Back on the surface, the sun had set, and Bill was getting ready to jump in. As the divers came up they all agreed that this was a great dive, and we should do it again. At this point Captain Dan regretted leaving his gear at home. After a short while, we could tell Bill was at his safety stop by the aura of his HID light: 20-30 foot arcs of light. It’s kind of eerie to see the water lit this way at night.

If you’ve never done a night dive here in NJ, I strongly suggest giving it a try.

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