My plan was to focus on stripers at 3 points a piece and leave the carp hammering to the pros. The comp started with super windy conditions and the shotgun start was one of the craziest I have ever experienced.
We got off the line ok but then we were hit with the wind chop. The 21 foot ski boat hit 46 mph right into the 15 mph wind. Eric handled the boat like a champ and ran full out neck and neck with the 21 pathfinder carrying Mike Mcguire, Hana and Bruce. It was pretty clear we were headed to the exact same spots at the far end of the zone. These were not guys I wanted to dive shoulder to shoulder with. We were all headed for a series of maybe 10-15 sharp points at the front of bays that all held striper. When we got there I paused in the center of th...
Today is the 2019 National Spearfishing Championship. This year the championship is being held on beautiful Lake Mead with targets being mostly carp and striper with maybe a few tilapia thrown in. My girlfriend, Sam Mase, is my teammate and Eric Shearouse has flown in to help us scout, rig, and captain our boat. We are Team Florida Freedivers and we intend to win. This is how.
Nationals for me starts months in advance by talking to locals, watching YouTube, and hunting for boats and accommodations. I constantly look at a combination of Google Earth and Navionics to begin planning my trip. Before even arriving I’ve got a solid list of questions I want to answer to begin developing my game day plan. This year striper are worth 3 points and carp are worth 1. There is no bonus for weight so any size fish goes. There are a lot more carp than striper but obviously each striper is worth three carp. Thus the dilemma of the tournament and undoubtedly what will determine the winner.
A new year means we get to plan new trips. We can target new species and visit new waters. The lucky ones will be doing lots of spearfishing and the even luckier ones will be planning these trips for exotic destinations around the world. Seems the guides know this too. If your Instagram looks at all like mine it’s become a full on spearfishing trip advertising competition. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as for the first time in history you’ve got options. I threw together some tips to help you navigate these options and make sure your dream trip doesn’t end in disaster. I’ve also included some tried and true guides that I believe are some of the best in the world.
Let’s start with a few questions that should always be asked of your guides before sending in that deposit.
What’s included in the all inclusive?
Many adventures are to remote areas where all inclusive trips just make sense. There are no restaurants, bars, or accommodation options available except what your host has organ...
Photos by: Samantha Mase, Valentina Prokic, Oleg Chebykin and FPAS
Another World Championship has come and gone. This event was by far the toughest one I’ve competed in yet. First mistake was getting in my own head early on. These competitions come with a lot of pressure. Mostly stemming from the financial and time commitments invested in them. There are a lot of other things I could spend ten grand on in the middle of the summer. Because I invested so much time and money I felt a ton of pressure from myself to do well. Two weeks out I was pretty confident I had no chance of winning. Not the attitude you want going in.
Overall my biggest mistake was not shooting enough fish in practice. I scouted my ass off everyday for over a month. I checked thousands of holes. I should have been learning to shoot tiny terrified fish. In the end I had a set of potentially winning spots but not a set of winning skills.
I did do some things right though. I went a year early to visit the zone an...
I arrived in Sagres Portugal on August 3rd, 37 days before the World Championship. I got here early to acclimate to the conditions, find the fish, and learn the local techniques.
One of the biggest reasons why I compete is to learn. You don’t get any better by diving the same areas for the same fish all the time. These competitions force me to learn to hunt in conditions that I never would have. I can then take these skills and apply them anywhere else in the world. Here it will be flashlight use, shallow water hunting, and instinctive quick shooting. All skills I currently lack. Yes I can dive deep and I’ll definitely be checking out the deeper areas but that isn’t the winning strategy here.
So much of these competitions come down to strategy. Minimum weight for Sargos and Mullet are 500 grams. We receive one point per gram as well as bonus points. 500 bonus points per individual fish and 500 bonus points for each different species. That means each mullet is worth a minimum of 1000 po...