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I saw a mussel diver recently for the first time in years. It used to be a common site on the Tennessee River. I don’t know if this happens anywhere else in the country. I know it’s illegal in many places. These guys are an interesting breed. They dive down and collect mussels shells that they sell.  The shells are used in the cultured pearl industry as I understand it. They usually don’t have a lot invested in their equipment. You will see an empty boat with a diver flag and a gas powered air compressor will be running. They dive with just an air hose connected to the compressor. Many times I’ve noticed that the compressor will sound like it’s on it’s last leg. I remember once seeing a boat surrounded by a cloud of thick blue smoke from the air compressor and I was amazed that the guy could breath with all the smoke. It has to take a lot of nerve to dive down in zero visibility and feel around the bottom for shells. I can imagine they have a lot of stories to tell. I’m wondering if any of you ever see this in the waters you fish?

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Welcome to bass resource 😛

 

Just kidding,  you must have posted this in the wrong spot.  

 

Wild!  Thats some redneck stuff right there.  Hopefully they are using good air filters at least,  air is far from clean out of a standard compressor.  Especially a gas powered one where the fumes will be mixed in.  

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Howdy and welcome to our fishing family! 😎

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I enjoy freediving but I won't dive for mussles in the murky conditions you mentioned and prefer diving in clear water. For lobsters I will dive in low visibility waters and even then I don't do it often.

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12 hours ago, Tennessee Boy said:

I saw a mussel diver recently for the first time in years. It used to be a common site on the Tennessee River.It has to take a lot of nerve to dive down in zero visibility and feel around the bottom for shells. I can imagine they have a lot of stories to tell. I’m wondering if any of you ever see this in the waters you fish?

The Tennessee river sounds like a place with low water visibility but at least divers don't have to worry about sharks, stingrays, moray eels, barracudas, alligators, and crocodiles like we have here in South Florida. I have freedived with all the animals I mentioned and yes you have to be very calm when diving with these animals. Maybe the divers in your area have seen giant catfish since I have read reports from divers saying they saw catfish bigger than a man near the dams. It might be true since blue catfish in excess of 300 pounds where caught in the 1800's and maybe some still get that big but aren't caught.

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On 7/7/2018 at 2:19 AM, soflabasser said:

The Tennessee river sounds like a place with low water visibility but at least divers don't have to worry about sharks, stingrays, moray eels, barracudas, alligators, and crocodiles like we have here in South Florida. 

I don't care to swim with anything that might eat me.  I don't think there are too many dangerous animals in the Tennessee River.  Probably the worst would be a Cottonmouth Snake.  I don't know if they would bite a diver.  

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20 hours ago, Tennessee Boy said:

I don't care to swim with anything that might eat me.  I don't think there are too many dangerous animals in the Tennessee River.  Probably the worst would be a Cottonmouth Snake.  I don't know if they would bite a diver.  

Have seen plenty of cottonmouths,Burmese pythons, and other types of snakes while fishing in South Florida but have not seen these snakes while diving. Diving is a sport that is not for everyone and I agree there are potential dangers for anyone that dives. For me it's worth all the training, money, and time I have invested since it's extremely beautiful down there and freediving is a great form of cardiovascular exercise.

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