International Underwater Spearfishing Association
World Record  
12.3 kg. ,   27.2 lbs.
Catfish, Channel    ictalurus punctatus
Record Category: Men Speargun

Diver: Matthew Deichsel
Date: 6/8/2020

After the wheel bearing on my watercraft trailer blew up and caused fire on the shoulder on the highway on way to the lake (2 hours driving), it did not stop me from going to the lake (3 more hours driving after had it towed to drop the trailer off at the nearest trailer repair). The water was calm and the weather was nice cool sunny day. I swam from the shore for a couple of hundred yards out. I was focus on hunting catfish only. I dove and laid on the bottom waited. On the right corner of my right eye, I spotted a catfish cruising slowly with mouth opening/closing. I waited motionless until catfish swam into my shooting range. I started to aim at it slowly and realized that it turned toward me. In my head, oh no, not that hard head that could mess up my chance. I waited for it to turn but did not. So I decided to shoot through its mouth so I timed its mouth opening. The trigger pulled. The shaft went through the skull instead of mouth. The shaft did not pierce fully through so I swam toward it while it frenzied and the shaft whipped everywhere. I grabbed the catfish and then shaft to secure it. I never let it go until I got back to the land. alternate story (submitted 6.15.20): It was a warm and sunny day. The calm waters offered about a 10ft visibility as I swam about 100 yards out from shore excited to immerse myself into my beloved craft. My main focus that day was to only hunt for catfish. I dove into the water about 12 feet and nestled on the bottom of the lake and waited...patiently..... Out of the corner of my right eye, I spotted a catfish ..... cruising slowly .... with his mouth opening and closing. I waited content in my element, and remained motionless until the catfish swam into my shooting range. I started to aim at it when suddenly the catfish changed course and started swimming directly towards me. The thought entered my mind, “Oh no, the hard head of this catfish is coming directly towards me it could mess up my chance at a good clean shot.” I continued to hope that it would turn - but it did not, so I aimed, waiting for the mouth to open with the intent to shoot through the mouth. I pulled the trigger but the shaft went into the skull, not quite piercing all the way through, so I swam toward it while the catfish went into a frenzy. The shaft whipped everywhere! With the luck of a moment, I was able to grab the catfish at the right time, then the shaft and never let go until I reached safely back to shore. I was pleased with my catch and did not think about the accomplishment of a World Record until my friend, Brandon Miller, saw my post on Facebook and texted me saying, “ I think it would be pretty stupid not to weigh it. It is pretty fat.“

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