Conditions were UNREAL at Casino Point in Catalina on last Sunday. 50 ft. viz, 73 degree water and great sunny weather. Casino Point in Catalina Island is a well-known MPA (marine protected area) and the fish were out in force. I think they know they are safe J. Tons of large sheephead, blacksmith, and the biggest kelp bass I have ever seen. On dive 1 we descended down and then followed the slope into the clearing and then around past the Jacques Cousteau monument. Pro tip: As the kelp thins out to the large clearing at about 45-65 feet, hover motionless about 10-15 feet off the bottom and look down. The clearing is like a freeway for bat rays.
On dive 2 we kept it shallow because this is the time of year that the juvenile garibaldis are in abundance. They are the tiny orange fish (1-2”) with iridescent blue spots. Look under rocks and ledges and you will find them. But be careful for large garibaldis are known as territorial of the damsel fish, even coming after divers when you get too close. Pro tip: put some frozen peas in your pocket and they will come right up to you to investigate the smell and you can nail a killer photo. Don’t feed them though. While the garibaldis might be virtually harmless, the kelp bass and the sheephead pack a good set of teeth and will not differentiate a pea from the tip of your finger. Next week I will be diving on the Magician dive boat in search of some giant black sea bass. It seems that everyone has been spotting them but me. Till next time this is Jason your local divemaster signing off from Eco Dive Center.