International Underwater Spearfishing Association
WORLD RECORD
43.6 kg. ,   96.2 lbs.
Halibut, Pacific    Hippoglossus stenolepis
Record Category: Men Sling / Polespear

Diver: John tinghino
Date: 9/30/2017
Location: UNITED STATES


On September 30th at 6a.m. we left the harbor in Kodiak city to begin our first week of an 8 week long hunting charter. I work for ninilchik charters and we take 4 hunters a week on a trip of a lifetime. Their main target being the black tail deer of Kodiak. After 6 hours or so of sailing up the coast heading towards Larsen bay we anchored up to let the hunters off and stretch their legs and get a lay of the land. After skiffing the hunters to shore I decided to suit up and check out the underwater scene. I have been itching to get in the water for months. I previously have only dove two dives in Alaska and 2 dives in northern Cali. The rest of my freediving experiences have been solely based out of South Florida. I know quite the extreme. When I was in Cali I purchased a 7mm wetsuit and flew up with my diveR fins and my sea stinger polespear. I jump in the water and to my amazement come to find out that the viz is super clear,relatively speaking. We were anchored in 70ft of water and I could just make out bottom. I would take that any day even in Florida. Brandon Kosht, deckhand on our sister ship the Sundy, proceeded to chop up a few herring to make a small chum slick. Being that it has been months since I have done any freediving I did not want to push it to hard and also the fact that I was solo diving deeper waters. But on my third drop I spotted a halibut! Knowing that there is no Pacific halibut recorded on polespear I knew it would be a record. I maneuvered to close the gap and lined up the shot. When I let the pole fly it went all of 3 inches and bounced back . I quickly realized the bouy line was way to short. We only fed out 80ft of rope and being in 70ft it wasn't cutting it. So I pulled as much of the slack that I could reloaded for the second shot and sent it. I was in disbelief that I connected and the halibut went darting out. As I was surfacing the bouy went screaming by (deflating under the pressure) I surfaced screaming bloody murder out of excitement and Jamey Penca came in with the skiff. I was a little unsteady about the shot and was afraid to pull the tip out of the fish. So for about 12-15mins I played the game of tug-of-war. I told Jamey that I thought It was a good 20lb fish at first but then as I got it up closer to the surface I found out it was bigger...much bigger. I managed to get a hold of the gill and quickly hauled it up into the skiff unassisted ..which was pretty amazing to life this fish up and over. After some celebratory high fives we cruised to the beach to take some photos. Now this is where the real dilemma began. Here we are in the middle of nowhere off the coast of Kodiak with no scale or anyway to get to a scale to weigh this monster and no way of finding out what the regualtions for the world record are. I always hoped this day would happen but never imagined it actually happening. Garret Lambert, captain of the Sundy, had the idea to call our float plane pilot to see if he can assist. At this poin

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