International Underwater Spearfishing Association
Men Sling / Polespear
8/12/2016, some friends and I had recently started the Michigan Spearfishing Association. We were badly in need of members and some means of generating local interest. I began putting in the hours scouting, fishing and constructing my first homemade pole spear. It wasn’t long before I was able to secure my first IUSA World Record with a 22.4lb common carp in the men’s pole spear category. I was thrilled and vindicated. This was extremely encouraging and provided me the motivation and energy that I needed to continue fishing. After several unsuccessful dives, and some time off for family, I succeeded in shooting a World Record Bowfin just 12 days later. The following Sunday I decided to scout a new location solo. We had just had several days of rain and once I got in I found that there was only 3-6’ of murky visibility. Having hunted in these conditions before I doggedly pushed on with and started checking structure. The very first dock I came to held carp and I speared the largest at around 10lbs. After that, I resolved not to shoot again unless it was a record fish. I checked spot after spot, encountering dozens of carp and shooting one that appeared large but turned out to only be around 15lbs. Fighting my way through weeds that were growing to the surface, I made for an isolated dock that looked good. As I approached it, I slowed my progress to a crawl, inching my way through the heavy cover. As the weeds beneath the dock the dock thinned out, I could just make out a group of shadows. Slowly, they began to disburse and materialize, to become averaged sized carp. As the school continued to spread 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 for the last fish between us to move aside. As my target was revealed, it looked right at me and I simply knew that it had to be a record. Because I was completely still, the fish came forward to investigate and when it was almost on top of me, I said to myself, “its now or never”, and released my grip on the spear. “Thwaack!” The spear struck home, taking the fish in the center of the body, just behind the gills passing cleanly through. The fish was stunned by the impact and I pounced on it, grabbing on to both sides of the spear. 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. I was so pumped! I didn’t even remove the spear, but hugged the fish to my chest and began swimming hard for shore. I could already tell that it was bigger than my last fish and when I put it on my Mako certified scale, it weighed 23.8lbs, making it my 3rd IUSA World Record in just 17 days!
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