International Underwater Spearfishing Association
Men Sling / Polespear
Kenneth Julian Martin
Saturday, November 19, 2016 Sadly, I could find no dive buddies this weekend. I kept a positive attitude; I wore my lucky hat and picked up beach garbage for good juju. I took my kayak out late morning to hunt tautog in Long Island Sound, as it is my favorite pastime. The water temperature was in the low fifties and visibility had opened up to about eight to ten feet, which is very good for the area. This allowed me to comfortably hunt with my six-foot, two-piece, carbon fiber pole spear, equipped with a cable-rigged slip tip. I was working off a shallow reef, tracking schooling tautog down to an area of mudflats at about thirty feet. There was a good body of blackfish here with seemingly no structure to hold them; I presumed they were eating the multitude of snails moving around. I dropped down to about thirty feet to the edge of where the tautog were holding. I was facing northwest on flat muddy bottom at this point, with the incoming current sweeping past me to my left. I was lying on my belly tracking a big group of good-sized tautog as they moved westward, when appeared a large bluefish cruising the bottom in their midst. I hesitated shooting the bluefish as I had no belt reel or float line, and aside from that challenge, I knew the fight would spook the school of delicious tautog. As the bluefish moved by me I realized its mass and let the pole spear fly. At this point the bluefish was moving away, now to my left at about ten o’clock. The spear hit mid body port side, exiting well through the gill plate, registering the slip tip on the other side. I maintained a handle on the base of the spear and swam the pole into the thrashing fish, steering it upward towards the surface. As I made the surface I was able to grab the fish by the tail, and avoiding the sharp teeth I drove my belt knife into the skull. I added the bluefish onto the stringer of tautog hanging off of my kayak. I continued to dive in two other locations until the tide began to shift. I made landfall around three thirty, loaded up my kayak, gear and fish and moved to weigh the large bluefish at the bait shop across town.
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