International Underwater Spearfishing Association
World Record  
23.4 kg. ,   51.5 lbs.
Drum, Black    Pogonias cromis
Record Category: Women Speargun

Diver: Malena Zacker
Date: 1/20/2014

Monday morning we launched from the Gandy Boat Ramp out of Tampa, Florida. We made our first run out to Port Manatee Artificial. Geared up and ready to go, I set into the water. I was pretty thankful that day for my 5mm freedive suit, for the water temperature was all of 57 degrees. Caulking my gun and heading down, I knew what I was going to target, a big Black Drum. First drop I heard an echoing boom from a little 20 pounder, that startled me. About giving up that there would be a drum of any substantial size, I tried one last time. Heading down I focused an overhead spot on the Western end. As soon as I peaked under I saw him, slowly making his way out the other side. A hail-mary shot is all that I could get. It was probably a very lucky shot, too. Because of the distance, if the shaft had landed any higher his large scales would have stopped the penetration. Through the gut and out the pectoral... it was a true shot, but I didn't know it. He fled, I pulled. Trying to keep tension on the line I pulled it up as if I was hand lining a catch. Reaching the surface I yelled back at the boat, "There was a big one." And then it happened, the line went slack, and my heart sank. "I think there are more", I tried to get out, but just then the line drew taught again, and I was skiing on the surface, the black drum pulling me. Around and around we went, he was trying to make a spool out of me. Finally I pulled him close enough to grab my shaft, and then his gills. "Boom, boom, boom." To my surprise, he immediately rolled over, and all except for his steady drumming he was done. He put up a great fight, for all of a minute or two, and then, done. But I enjoyed the fight while he was willing. Ritchie took some pictures in the water and then on to the boat with him. He did get in one last fight, while waiting to take pictures on the boat, I laid him next to me, and bent over to look at him, with one last slap of his tail my face was slimmed and bloody. lol!

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