International Underwater Spearfishing Association
World Record  
2.6 kg. ,   5.7 lbs.
Bowfin    Amia calva
Record Category: Men Speargun

Diver: James Stack
Date: 9/14/2016

Beginning in august 2016, I embarked on a quest, which I had been dreaming of taking for years now. I had been watching the International underwater spearfishing association world records for the fish in my region and felt that a number of them were within my reach. Unfortunately, underwater spearfishing is a sport that is relatively unknown in Michigan. Some friends and I had recently started the Michigan Spearfishing Association; Michigan’s first and only nonprofit underwater spearfishing group. We were badly in need of members and some means of generating local interest. I had long ago recognized the potential value of IUSA World Records and the interest in the sport and publicity opportunities that they were capable of generating. With this in mind, 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 for common carp in the men’s pole spear category with the spear I had built, I followed up with a record 5.1lb bowfin just 12 days later I was thrilled and vindicated. This was extremely encouraging and provided me the motivation and energy that I needed to continue fishing day after day. On this day I decided to return to the location I had shot my first bowfin record. The visibility was very poor due to heavy rain and it was difficult to see beyond the end of the spear in most places. I was investigating underneath a dock with poor visibility and focusing on the bottom where the fish normally are. I had not seen a fish and was swimming out from under the dock when I looked up and the fish was right in front of my face gulping air at the surface. I had to retract my gun and did not take time to aim but simply pulled the trigger, the very instant the spear was pointed at the fish. It was a close shot and the spear struck the fish just behind the gills. Quickly dispatching the fish, I hurried back to shore and immediately put it on my Mako certified scale. It weighed 5.7 pounds and beat my previous bowfin record by .6lbs. That made world record number 4 in as many weeks. It has been an eventful start to my quest so far, but I still have a long way to go. I can only hope that my luck continues!

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