International Underwater Spearfishing Association
WORLD RECORD
32.8 kg. ,   72.3 lbs.
Meagre    Argyrosomus regius
Record Category: Men Speargun

Diver: Francois Smuts
Date: 8/9/2017
Location: LIBERIA


I arrived in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) from South Africa on Tuesday 8 Aug and was planning to head out the next day, as the flight arrived quite late. I prepared all my spearfishing equipment the night that I arrived and we head out to the abandoned platform called “Le Belier” the next morning. I was anticipating some Meagre / Silver Cob / Loop de Mer, as I knew that they were around in the area during August. A spearfishing friend of mine, who had been diving the area earlier in the month, told me he could hear them on the platform, but that they were quite deep. It was full moon on 7 August, which is normally a good thing, as it brings the fish a little closer to the surface. It was a beautiful day, I saw some Orcas on the way to the platform. Arriving at the platform, I did my first dive and the visibility was very bad, 2 or 3 meters (typical for this time of the year, as it is rainy season and all the rivers flush into the ocean). I dived to about 17m on my first dive and could see that the water was clearing at the bottom, about 10-15m visibility. I saw some nice Cubera Snappers and shot one, landing it. I called the boat and loaded my fish, it was about 8kg. After that, I did more dives around the platform, but struggled to find any sizeable fish, so on about my 10th dive I decided to go a little deeper. I swam to 24m and saw the tail of a BIG fish (not knowing at the time that it was a Meagre) stick out under one of the horizontal structural pipes at about 30m. My breakaway rig’s line was too short, I set it to 25m. I was so pissed off, as I couldn’t go any deeper. I thought of taking the shot from where I was, but I realized I only had one chance at this and if it was badly placed I would probably lose my spear along with the fish. I swam back to the surface, hastily untying the cord and extending it with another 7m or so. I breathed-up patiently and dived back to the same spot. I was so happy to notice the fish hadn’t moved much. I swam very close to the fish and at 26.3m with my gun just behind the head of the fish I pulled the trigger. When I shot the fish, it was clearly a good shot as the fish only moved about 2m forward, then came to an abrupt halt, seeming paralyzed. As I swam back up to the surface, I kept the tension on the cord attached to the float, so that the fish wouldn’t get entangled in the platform. The fish was so heavy to pull up, but I continued to pull it up very slowly, so that the spear wouldn’t pull out of the head. As the fish was coming to the surface, I couldn’t see much because of the bad visibility at the top, but could feel that it wasn’t putting up much of a fight. When it eventually appeared, I made out the size of this thing and it was awesome! As I loaded the fish into the boat, I was very happy with what had unfolded as one of my best experiences to date. It’s all those years of experience from spearfishing in the area, coming together! Back at the harbor, I called a friend of mine in South A

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