International Underwater Spearfishing Association
World Record  
29.4 kg. ,   64.7 lbs.
Pompano, African    Alectis ciliaris
Record Category: Men Speargun

Diver: Valente Qunitero Baena
Date: 4/22/2016
Location: MEXICO

At approximately 10:30 a.m. on 22 April 2016 I was spearfishing from my boat, the Alexander, with my crew, Rick Selleck (diver), Alejandro Arzapalo (boat captain), and Sergio Gonzales (deckhand). We were working a shipwreck nearby to Isla Mujeres that I recently discovered, we call it the Blue Chihuahua. It sits at about 95’. We were seeing schools of African pompano and amberjack in the midwater, right above a very cold thermocline. While the visibility was poor at about 15', the schools remained very calm and we were shooting fish on every dive without having to enter the colder water below. On my fourth dive I was level at about 50’ when a shadowy school of about five African pompano began to circle me. I was able to pick out the biggest of the school and shot him with my Rob Allen 130 Tuna gun with 7.0mm/180cm sharkfin spear. My gun has two ⅝” rubber bands and an open muzzle. I used 8’ of Rob Allen 1.8mm Dyneema tied to the spear, along with 125’ of 11/64” nylon rope (coiled in my weight belt). I did not use any reel, float line or buoy. I hit the African pompano just above the pectoral fin and he put up quite a fight. I thought that the fish was fighting hard due to my shot placement. I saw that it was a good holding shot so I was able to swim to the surface and fight him from there. He pulled me underwater several times before I was able to wear him out. Once he had tired I was able to pull him into my arms. I then pulled the spear shaft through the body and stuck the tip into his brain, instantly dispatching him. It took me between five and 10 minutes to land him. It wasn’t until the boat came to me and I got the fish out of the water that I realized he was a possible world record. Since the current world record holder, Rick Selleck, was diving with me, we both agreed that this fish was much bigger than his current record fish and I left it intact until we were able to measure and weigh it on a certified scale. At the end of the day, we returned to the island where we were able to make all of the measurements. It was apparent that this fish is nearly 10 lbs heavier than the current record. My crew did a great job to support me in this endeavor.

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