So far I have caught a grand total of 10,399 lionfish
Lionfish came to Grand Cayman in 2009 and we spotted our first one here in September of that year. However, I didn’t start recording my kills until 17th June 2010. So how many lionfish have I caught in each year? I have caught:
- 2009 = Zero (I didn’t start recording my kills until June 2010).
- 2010 = 314
- 2011 = 463
- 2012 = 635
- 2013 = 1,379
- 2014 = 2,286
- 2015 = 2,034
- 2016 = 2,285
- 2017 = 962
- 2018 = 39
The 39 lionfish that I have caught so far in 2018 were split as follows:
- 6 in January 2018.
- 15 in February 2018.
- 18 in March 2018.
My best ever total on one dive was 54 lionfish. On two dives it was 82 lionfish and on three dives it was 98 lionfish. The highest poundage I ever caught was the day I caught 98 lionfish, they weighed a mighty 84 pounds. And my best monthly total was 402 lionfish in July 2016.
We have found that over the years the lionfish we saw on average did get bigger and bigger, however, this did change in 2014. From then we now seem to see less small and large individuals, with the majority now being medium size. However, in 2017 we saw a big change in the number of lionfish on our reefs. We are seeing far fewer than previous years, but so far we do not know why??? When we know the reason for sure I’ll let you know. And 2018 is continuing how 2017 ended with not many lionfish sightings and therefore very few kills.
Our Department Of Environment (DOE) asks us each month to report to them when we catch lionfish. For each dive where we catch lionfish, the DOE wants to know the date, the dive site, the number of lionfish caught and their size, as follows:
- Small lionfish are less than 6 inches long.
- Medium lionfish are between 6 and 12 inches long.
- Large lionfish are over 12 inches long.
Of the 18 lionfish I caught in February, their sizes were as follows:
- 3 were small.
- 15 were medium.
- 0 were large.
The way our DOE measure the lionfish is a little different to the way they are measured for the official country and world records. The Cayman DOE measure the lionfish, excluding the tail, while the official island and world records measure the WHOLE fish.
When I caught my lionfish number TEN THOUSAND on the 30th July 2017 I did get some press coverage here in the Cayman Islands. I was front-page news as you can see below:
The Cayman Compass is a daily newspaper but the Fun News paper is a six-monthly edition, so I was front page news every day for SIX MONTHS.
And finally, if you want to catch lots of lionfish like me then it helps to have good air consumption. If you can improve your air consumption on each dive then you’ll get better value for money AND have more time to catch more lionfish. So why not buy MY pdf ebook Save Your Breath which highlights dozens of ways to improve your air consumption – click on the link here for Save Your Breath and read all about it.