I'll let Roger Rude tell the story. He wrote, “I was searching a rock structure in 20 feet of water when I came upon a rock gully. As it opened up below me, I could see some large abalones along a hole on the side. I dropped my ab iron, which was attached to a float connected to my dive board, and returned to the surface for air.
“On my next dive, I followed my float line back to the hole and measured three large abalones. I saw one more off to the side, nestled on the ceiling of the hole. This one clicked on my ten-inch gauge.” Roger retrieved his ab iron and easily popped it off the rock.
Roger wrote further, “At the end of my breath, I grabbed the ab and headed for the surface. On the surface I carefully measured it and confirmed it was over ten inches. This was my 40th abalone over ten inches, a small milestone towards the completion of my bucket list of a lifetime goal of 100.”
Here's a photo of one of Roger's other 39 trophy abalones. He looks pretty darn happy, doesn't he?!
Roger's diving partner, Jack Likins, has already recorded his 100th 10-inch abalone, considered trophy abalones, an amazing feat and Roger’s goal. Many divers never get a single trophy abalone. It takes skill, peak conditioning, intelligence and a dash of luck.
Roger took a video of finding the abalone in the first photo. You can see it here: https://youtu.be/auqn-MkmV7g
Thanks to Jack for allowing me to share his photos of Roger, and thanks to Roger for sharing his experience. Roger did tell me the abalone in the video did come off the rock amazingly easily.