After a much too long off season of indulgence and living a bad
lifestyle, it's comes time to redirect my focus to more healthier
things. After several scrubbed attempts at spearfishing,
I was surprised this evening when my friend Jack deVilliers rang
me to see if I wanted to try to make a dive in Gulf Shores. The tide
would be right at 10:00 p.m. and if we left now, we might make it.

So much for plans, I grabbed the basics and threw them in
my van and waited for his arrival. He showed up at my house
about 8 and off we went. I just knew we would miss the high
tide but I tried not to think about it as the water has been murky
lately. We took the Foley Express toll bridge just to save a few
precious minutes and in retrospect it was worth the $2.00 as
when we arrived at our dive location, the current was barely
moving in which gave us just enough time to suit up and start
the walk down to our entry point. The visibility didn't look
that good from the public fishing area but we went anyway and
ended up with about 3 foot vis. making the pole spear the weapon
of choice.

As we walked toward the beach we could see the dredging equipment
floating in the channel and lucky for us it was not pumping. We
walked by balancing on the 3' pipe laying on the beach as much as
we could to avoid walking in the powdery sand.

When we finally got to the beach we realized that the dredging crews
had filled in nearly all of the west jetty, leaving us only about 50'
to the channel. We made the best of it as we dived for an hour and a
half in this spot.

Bait fish and small squid were in abundance and the place looked
primed for flounder. The water temperature felt like it was 68
degrees in my estimation as my Raptor dive computer is suffering
from another dead battery. We saw lots of blow fish, some small
sting rays, big sheepshead and mullet.

Soon enough we came upon our objective... flounders. Jack got
the first one and we jockeyed back and forth after that. Once the
jetty was sufficiently covered, I swam over to the dredging
pipe and they were laying all around it too. Jack was working
it in closer. After we had shot enough for our own personal use
we called it a night.

I guess we could have stayed and way laid what was left there but
as I find myself getting older, so goes the greed, I think...
Jack after all was the one suggesting we go since we had plenty.
Maybe he's the one maturing... NOT!

We walked back to the van and coaxed a couple of fishermen to
take a picture for our website and made it back home around
2:30 a.m.

This was my first dive as a grand parent and I hope to make
many more although my recovery time from these late nights
are getting harder to overcome.

Mike Wade
Stickmen Freedivers
Mobile, Alabama