International Underwater Spearfishing Association
It was the afternoon of our 8th day diving Ascension Island and we flew out tomorrow. We had a small boat to drive ourselves to try to get me a fish. Shaun and Nat were taking turns chumming/driving the boat. We moved to a new spot for a last crack at it, the water was a bit dirty and with the sun getting low visibility was reducing. All of a sudden some sickles passed through at the edge of vision, I yelled to Nat "Big fish Big fish!" he dropped some whole sardines and bigger chunks. The fish was feeding and soon it was near the surface. I was shaking and my heart racing but my head was clear. The fish seemed comfortable, I dived to only a couple of metres and fired at close range, the shot was slightly behind the pectoral fin but close to the spine and I was happy with it, it was about 4:55pm. On the surface I grabbed the float line and let go the gun, which had a breakaway, for Nat to pick it up. The line went tight but the first float barely went under the surface, the fish was hurt. I used a second small clip on the float to slowly gain line and clip it off as I went. I couldn't pull the fish up as I just pulled myself under so the gains were small but steady. Eventually I got to the end of the float line where the dyneema trace started. There was no way I could pull the dyneema without wrapping it around my hand and that was asking for trouble. Nat passed my second gun, as I loaded it the wishbone pulled through the rubbers with a bang! I handed it back to him and he took the shaft out of that gun and put it in the first gun I had used. I loaded the gun and dove the 10m to the fish, it was tailing steadily and I took ages to try and get in position for a good kill shot. Nat said it was a good minute before I shot it in the head. Back on the surface I removed my weight belt as a precaution against getting tangled in the dyneema and tried to use the head shot to pull the fish up but it wouldn't budge! The sun was setting, there was a big shark circling. I called for another gun, Nat put a spare shaft in the same gun as before, I'd forgotten about no weight belt and struggled to dive but got there and I shot the fish in the head again. This shot hit the brain and I was able to guide it to the surface and icky it, it was about 5:40pm. We pulled it into the boat and went to a nearby beach for quick photos and then up to the scales.
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