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  • Writer's pictureSteven Hopkinson


It's still super calm out, the sea around Roatan is like a bathtub. Everything's being sucked up for Dorian. Our thoughts naturally go to those in the Abacos and in the USA who are feeling the brunt of the impact of this horrific storm. But we've got flat seas and the Roatan International Lionfish Tournament is coming up in October so we wanted to make sure our spears were still sharp so I hopped on M/V Maxina with Captain Buck, the most amazing hostess Amy, Pete and a couple other guys and we went out lionfish hunting (or lionfishing).

It was so calm we saw a couple large pods of dolphins having a blast, leaping out of the sea in groups of three and four. It was pretty special. No video, they were a little off in the distance, wouldn't come out on a GoPro but it was nice. When we dropped in on our first dive, a drift dive pretty far east, we heard the dolphins in the water. Buck even had an encounter with them at depth, talk about a special time!

I didn't get any lionfish the first dive. Hell, I didn't even see one single lionfish aside from the one Buck speared in front of me. Didn't take my spear out of the zookeeper, it was sheathed the entire dive. Visibility, for some reason wasn't great, so I also missed the nurse shark on the first dive, but I did get a good video of the spotted eagle ray that we saw on the second dive, a little closer in towards Turquoise Bay, somewhere near Punta Blanca.

And I managed to slay three lionfish on the second dive, making for a fairly poor showing overall but at least I salvaged the day with a few decent size ones. Of course, there was the one that got away when I shot at a group of two, and one of them wiggled off my spear when I was shoving it into the keeper, but I managed to spear him again as he was trying to find a spot to hide in the coral.

Not a terrible showing, but I'm gonna have to step up my game if I want to be able to win some of the sweet cash prizes that they're giving away in the week long lionfish tournament they're doing on Roatan October 6th - 11th. They're giving away like $5,000 in prizes, just for diving and killing some lionfish. There are prizes for the biggest, smallest, etc. but don't think that means leave the medium sized ones alone because there's also a prize for the most lionfish caught by a team.

If you're thinking of signing up for the tournament but don't have a team, drop me a line, let's talk. And if you want to donate to the tournament or sponsor one of the prizes, I know the organizers would be happy to hear from you!


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