Photo of the Week: A Wolf Eel on the USS Hogan Wreck
It's pretty much the perfect San Diego dive site--the conditions are usually excellent, the sea life is abundant, and the depth and distance from port are such that the site has an air of exclusivity to it.
The Hogan wreck is also so rife with wolf eels that it almost--note I said almost--renders them old hat.
Most recreational divers don't realize that wolf eels are actually super common on the deeper technical dive sites. Of course they pop up from time to time in shallower depths, and generally achieve quick celebrity status when they set up shop somewhere easily accessible like La Jolla Shores. But on the deep wrecks, tech divers see them all the time. At 125', the Hogan wreck is the only dive site in the San Diego area where recreational divers can reliably see a lot of wolf eels in one place.
This wolf eel was one of a handful I spotted on my dive without even trying. It was without a doubt the biggest one I saw: its head was easily 7-8 inches in diameter. It's living in one of the boilers on the wreck.
(Settings: f/9 at 1/40 sec, ISO 250, with my Tokina AF 10-17mm Fisheye Lens.)