International Underwater Spearfishing Association
World Record  
16.7 kg. ,   36.8 lbs.
Coralgrouper, Leopard    Plectropomus leopardus
Record Category: Men Speargun

Diver: Daryl M. C. Wong
Date: 6/5/2019
Location: UNITED STATES


On June 5th while diving in French Polynesia, I speared a nice sized Leopard Grouper or Tonu as they are called by Tahitians. My dive buddies and I were diving a ledge in the atolls lagoon. On one side of the ledge it was 10 ft and the other side dropping down to 75 ft. On the deep side there were big schools of Mu. The main reason I was there. To try and shoot a bigger Mu than my record one. A few days previously at the same spot I had seen a big grouper like fish, but it was too far down the ledge and could barely make it out in the slightly murky water. On this day, I went to the same spot and made a drop down the ledge to a spot in 60 ft of water and went under the small overhang I found the last time I was there. The big school of Mu slowly started coming in. But not before I ran out of air. Coming back up to the surface I breathed up for 5 minutes and then dropped back down. By then the school of mu was closer to the ledge. I tucked away back under the ledge and this time started to scratch the side of a rock with a clam shell. Slowly the Mu came back in. But this time I could see a big dark shadow in the background and it was moving towards me. It was the same big grouper fish I saw the other day. This time the large grouper brushed past the school of mu and came front and center. I could see it was good size. But having forgotten to bring a reel for my squid bone hybrid, I had to decide whether to shoot and change losing my gun if the shot was bad or pass on the big fish. The grouper came within range and like most groupers, faced me straight on for a few seconds and then did a slight turn to look again. I made the split decision to take my best shot and was able to stone the grouper! My host was impressed. Said it was a nice fish for the lagoon, and there were bigger ones outside the lagoon. Back at the house, I wanted to show him how to tape and measure fish so that he could turn in records for the big fish he shoots. We had looked and all the fish we had shot in his fish ID book of Tahitian reef fishes and determined that in the days previously we had speared at least 5 other fish that were not recorded as records. So with this big grouper, I showed him how to measure, take pictures of the tape on the fish, length, girth and also of the weight on the scale. Since I didn't know if Marianos fish scale was certified even though he uses it to sell fish, I asked Pat Hayes to use the luggage scale we brought. And weighed the fish on both scales. That way we can cross certify the scale when we returned home. Looking back into the IUSA site, I noticed that the record for this specific grouper was about half the weight of this fish so decided to turn this fish in for a record.

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