International Underwater Spearfishing Association
World Record  
32.4 kg. ,   71.4 lbs.
Halibut, Pacific    Hippoglossus stenolepis
Record Category: Women Sling / Polespear

Diver: Lisa Stengel
Date: 7/12/2021

For months, the dive crew had been frothing over plans to spear halibut in Alaska. James, Chris, Bertie, Vlad and I gathered our 7mm wetsuits for the plunge, with expertise provided by Brian & Brad at Coldwater Alaska. For several days we dove the dark, murky, 46 degree water, navigating through kelp to dial-in tracking the halibut. I adjusted my weight and shortened my Headhunter NOMAD Roller Polespear to 8ft. On the final day, we missed our window of diving at slack tide, fighting a very strong current while chumming the waters. I was close to exhaustion, but we were seeing halibut so I decided to persevere through one more dive. I cocked my polespear while descending so I would be ready once the bottom came into view. I spotted two halibut butterflying just above the kelp floor, the one closest to me being the biggest. I lined my polespear up just behind the gill plate towards the lateral line, kicked in for a close punch, and let it pile drive through the fish. Stunned! It must have hit part of the spine because the fish immediately went limp and still. My NOMAD stuck through to the base of the injector rod, so I carefully grabbed my floatline to apply just enough tension to release the injector and toggle the slip tip. I knew it was a holding shot, and with the fish limp in the current, I pulled up the rest of the float line to secure the fish, stoked for my success on the final dive of the day. On the way back to the dock, we encountered a small pod of orcas, the cherry on top of this epic Alaskan Adventure.
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