- Jun 7, 2022
- Detector(s) used
Garrett ace 400
Minelab Equinox 800
Minelab Pro-find 35
- Primary Interest:
- All Treasure Hunting
got any scotch bonnets down there BB?@newnan man
It is a confusing process of regulations that must be watched and studied each year. Rules set forth by florida regarding fishing and sea life management are fluid and change very frequently from year to year. This year it seems the limit on recreational shell limits has increased by 5 additional shells from last years 15, to this year's 20. So we break it down like this. Im allowed 20 shells per person total. I'm not allowed to have more than 5 specimans of one species at a time. So my take would be something like this. 5 horse conchs, 5 milk conchs, 5 imperial helmets, and 5 coweries. So we have a total of 20 shells, with no more than 5 of each species !! Most days I'll collect between 5-10 total shells because I'm fairly picky about quality and size. First on the list is the imperial helmet.....they bring me wholesale prices that range from 80-160 for me. They are often sold retail for 500 $. You can see that one must be abreast of all changes in the laws from year to year, and honestly I've met no one else except for a small group of us here in the keys that even know your allowed to do this type of harvesting. Even fewer know how to track and capture the elusive imperial helmet. Here's how it works !!
In order to capture these conch one must be at 20-35 foot depths very early in the morning....like 8-10 am is best. These animals are nocturnal predators and feed on sea biscuits. Once you have located the grazing patches for the sea biscuits then you can start searching for the helmets. If your lucky you will spot them burying themselves in the sand with a sea biscuit in there mouth. Once they have beded the only way to spot them is by just one knuckle of there shell barley protruding from the sand. It takes a highly trained eye to spot this tiny clue in 35 feet of water. March April and may they come out in mass to breed, and the best time to find them is an out going tide on the full moon during these breeding cycles in the spring. To remove the animal without making a hole in the shell is another secret of the trade and would be worthy of another paragraph to explain. Perhaps another day, but you can see it's a very well thought out endeavor with many factors contributing to the overall harvest. The most critical is the preservation of breeding stock. The time we made 12000$ was a huge learning experience with our buyer scolding me about harvesting chipped and damaged specimans. A single chip can knock a significant amount of money off the shell, and your taking the breeders out of circulation and you will harm population by not taking only the most perfect specimans. Anyway I hope that clarifies a little....none of this is done in a thoughtless way, and much planning and stratagey goes into each hunt !!
Nicely put BB... Did you mean to explain that in a Poetic manner?Often times it takes quite a bit of explanation to accurately explain the process of the ocean life.....the way of the water is not so cut and dried as say office life. For those of us pursuing a life at sea, it can often seem daunting trying to explain the life we lead....it can often be impossible for the more land locked people to fully understand. It's taken 15 years for my bosses to look over at me in the morning and notice that I have all my foul weather gear on. If I have my foul weather gear on before we leave the dock.....well.....you might want to put yours on also or it's gonna be a short wet trip. 🤔 and I don't really care if we have to turn around and abort because the weather is bad and no one else brought there rain gear.....I get the same $$$ if we fish all day, or abort after an hour !! 15 years is a long time to learn this lesson !!
Its been unusually warm this December and that has allowed us to get in the water for some #shelldiving !! Its been pretty good and I was able to get some great collector grade #shells !! Managed a doubleheader on this #horseconch these predatory conchs are ruthless hunters, and this one was just finishing a #fightingconch !! This beautiful 18 incher was nearly flawless, and was carefully cleaned to preserve both the shell and meat.
In the video you can see the typical way the horse conch kills its prey...they smother there prey with there huge orange foot !! @shellingmomma
#cannibalsnail #bigshells #skindiving #skindive