International Underwater Spearfishing Association
World Record  
5.4 kg. ,   11.9 lbs.
Bowfin    Amia calva
Record Category: Men Speargun

Diver: Steel Rockett
Date: 9/27/2019

It was a slow time of year for commercial spearfishing in Key West so me and my mate Anthony decided to drive up north to Georgia for some First- time Hunting and Freshwater Spearfishing. On the drive up, we checked in with Georgia fish and Game for more info- the rules for spearfishing in Georgia were simple - all fish except Gamefish are legal to harvest by spear. After researching all the Gamefish species, we then knew what to target. The plan was to find a big catfish and maybe some other big bottomfish after diving a few lakes and rivers.The first lake we dove was about 7ft vis and had some wreckage including a sunken airplane at 50ft but every fish we saw was either Bass or bluegill (Gamefish). We then tried a river about 10 miles away which had almost 10ft vis which was nice. Since i was using my new 60in Koah,Speargun, this visibility would help me shoot without having to hip-fire like i had originally planned on. During the dive i noticed many structures but in the end, the only big fish i saw besides carp were Bass. So we left the water at dusk and planned on scouting more the following day. The next morning we drove over to the dam to talk to the local fishermen in the area. They ended up mentioning a river known for big catfish. Problem was, it happened to be known for big Alligators and dirty water. A few weeks before we arrived they actually pulled a 12ft Gator out of it. We thought this river might be a good choice though since it sounded less likely that people fished it due to its conditions. If there were gators at least i'd be able to get some good footage too. When we arrived, i noticed the river consisted of jagged rocks and blackish water with under 5ft vis on the bottom. I knew i would have to hipfire in order to hunt with a bluewater gun. We jumped in and i split off to the left while Anthony and his friend Forest went right. The first fish i saw were more big bass, some bigger than 5lbs and a few carp. Still no catfish. As i was hunting the edge of the rocks, i noticed the shadow of a large dark bottomfish slowly looming away from me. i quickly turned my GOPRO on, tucked my gun to my side and pulled the trigger with my thumb. Instantly the shape started freaking out , slamming the shaft into the bottom and jerking side to side. i thought forsure it was a big catfish finally. i could tell the shaft had hit it in the back of the head though so there was no chance of it coming off.I slowly pulled the fish in. As it got closer i realized it wasnt a catfish and it resembled none of the gamefish i had read about.. I threw it on my stringer and kept diving in search of a catfish until dusk came. When we left the water i researched freshwater species until i found it- a ''Bowfin.'' i contacted my good Friend GR Tarr at Red Tide Spearfishing who was happy to sell me a certified scale. i then weighed it and it ended up being 11.9lbs. So in the end no Catfish, but i ended up with my first world record so i cant complain!

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