International Underwater Spearfishing Association
Men Sling / Polespear
I had just completed my first homemade pole spear and had aspirations of using it to secure my first IUSA World Record. I didn’t arrive at the lake until 7pm and only had about 2 hours of fast fading shooting light. Once below the surface, I was delighted to find that the conditions and clarity were near perfect! The lake was flat calm and the visibility was a good 20-30’. I began working a shallow area of shoreline with mixed cover and docks. After clearing a small area, I ran into a school of carp. I made a snap shot on the closest fish, connecting with a solid 15lber and followed up with two others shortly after. I was able to catch fleeting glimpses of several huge fish and began to get excited, thinking that there may be an opportunity at a record here. I resolved to hold out for a trophy fish, continuing on until I came to an open area with an isolated dock. The bottom was sand with only a few short weeds and cover was nonexistent. Knowing that I would have to make my approach completely exposed, I took a deep breath and dropped down, hugging the bottom in about 5’ of water. Moving painstakingly slowly, I inched my way forward pausing frequently. I could just make out a group of shadows, beneath the dock. Slowly, they began to disburse and materialize, to become averaged sized carp. Suddenly, I became aware of a massive shape looming in the back. I could barely make it out, but the size of it easily eclipsed them all. My heart stated pounding and I froze, hovering there. Doing my best to remain calm and fighting carp fever, I waited for what seemed like an eternity (but in reality was closer to 30 seconds) for the last fish between us to move aside. As my target was revealed, I simply knew that it had to be a record. Finally, my shot was clear and the fish gave a lazy flick of its tail, beginning a slow cruise, quartering away. I said to myself, “its now or never”, extended my arm and released my grip on the spear. “Thwaack!” My aim was true and the spear struck home, taking the fish in the center of the body, passing cleanly through. Instantly, the fish took off like a rocket! It shot past me with the spear handle flailing out of its side and dragging behind. I lost no time giving pursuit and caught up with the fish and spear about 50’ later. Once I got ahold of it, the fish went ballistic! It was all I could do to hold on to the spear and I was terrified that it would tear out somehow. Eventually, I wrestled it close enough to get a hand under the gill plate and dispatch it. I was so pumped! I didn’t even remove the spear, but just hugged the fish to my chest and began swimming hard for shore. When I put the fish on my Mako certified scale, it weighed 22.4lbs and I knew that I had accomplished what I had set out to do. I had a dream of harvesting a world record with a spear I created and I had just made it a reality.
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