International Underwater Spearfishing Association
World Record  
8.6 kg. ,   18.9 lbs.
Halibut, California    Paralichthys californicus
Record Category: Men Sling / Polespear

Diver: Kody Kyle Anthony Mulhall
Date: 11/22/2017

Shore diving over the last 18 years, I’ve developed an interest in a few local species. One of my favorite fish to hunt has always been the California Halibut, a fish you need to actively scout the bottom for. I’ve been searching for a fish of record size for years, and, with the help of Matt from BlueTuna Spearfishing, I’ve modified my father’s old 6ft JBL polespear with an Andre Slip tip to be able to properly secure large Halibut. We added an extra band to the polespear to completely power through the fish. The day I found this fish, I got into the water at low tide in late afternoon, and started scanning for Halibut. After searching for 30 minutes, I located a large Halibut completely concealed. Once I descended, the fish immediately spooked, revealing what I knew was a record size Halibut. I made a reference point to the shore and started looking for that same fish. Within a few minutes, I located a large halibut which was completely covered in sand and I took a shot. This fish measured 28 inches on my polespear, and I realized it wasn’t the halibut I had originally saw. I quickly brought the fish to shore and went back out to continue the hunt based on the reference point I originally had. After about 15 minutes, I located the Halibut that I had spooked in the beginning of the dive. Realizing the fish was weary I continued swimming on the surface while loading the polespear. As I descended to the sea floor, I kept an eye on the eel grass bunch the fish was using to conceal itself. Once I reached the bottom, I watched the surge pattern to be able to close the distance. The eel grass covered the fish completely, and I got within range to take my shot. The sea calmed, the eel grass and sand settled, and I let the polespear fly, it went right though, securing the shot. At this point, the fish froze for a second, then took its first run disengaging the slip tip, thrashing to free itself while looking for an area to settle. To tire the fish I got a hold of one of the bands letting it stretch under the pressure of the fish swimming away. After kicking with him for a few minutes, the fish found a patch of sand to finally settle. I grabbed the polespear and got my hand into its gills. At the surface he fought to try and free himself by chewing on everything in sight while I quickly swam back to shore. I had witnesses on shore who documented the entire process from the moment I got in and out of the water.
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