EUROPEAN SPEARFISHING RECORDS ASSOCIATION
Notable Catches (EU)
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Scientific name: Seriola dumerili
Diver: Antonio Concepcion Soria
Location: Canary Island
My name is Antonio Concepcion Soria, I am 28 years old and study marine biology. I am from Tenerife (Canary Islands) and my passion is spearfishing. I am a member of the spearfishing club APNEA-SUR . The Seriola Dumerili (medregal in the Canaries) in this photo was caught on the 13th of February, 2003. I went spearfishing on my own at 16:00 pm in an authorized area for spearfishing, the tide was reaching low (expected at 17hr 15min) with a high tide coefficient (it would be full moon in 4 days.) It was sunny with a mild north-east wind that is very tyupical in the Canaries. The visibility was poor for our waters, only 10 meters, and there was a slight current towards the south-west--a little disturbing.
The spot I was heading to was approximately 800 meters from the coastline, so I started to make some dives to warm up while I was swimming on my way. The bed of the sea was sand with some seagrass (fanerogramas) at approximately 18 meters deep. While I was over a depth of 22 meters, I saw a school of a type of sardines just below me formed into a ball. I dropped to mid-water descending slowly towards the deep by inertia, at approximately 20 meters I saw a Seriola swimming slowly. I let myself go a bit more when the Seriola turns slightly to the left to look at me. I gave a couple of kicks of the fins in order to be at shooting range with my SPETTON i20 cm speargun shooting a 6'5 mm spear.
I aimed at the Seriola searching for the eye (just behind) looking for the brain and shot, the spear entered slightly behind the brain. The fish opened its mouth staying still for 2 seconds and then began to swim. I rushed up for air and the fish followed me nearly to the surface before diving down to the deep.
The spear did not go completely through the fish but it was deeply stuck and in a good place. I looked at my watch knowing it would be a long fight, it was 16h 40' pm. The fish was swimming slowly towards the horizon tking me with him, I was kicking hard in the same direction to save the equipment from suffering a breakage and losing the fish. From time-to-time, it stopped buth when I tried to pull him up he launched forward but not for too long.
I looked at my watch again, more than 40 minutes had passed. I was pretty tired and as my gloves were broken in some areas, my fingers started to bleed because of the nylon. The fish was at a depth of approximately 35 meters now slowly swimming toward some rocks. I had lost a piece of my fin and it was difficult to keep pace with the fish in these conditions. I hooked the nylon around one of the weights of my belt and let the fish carry me along while I was trying to fix the fin with my free hands--it worked!
As the fish was heading towards the rocks and the wreck there, I was afraid that the fish would break the nylon shooting line. I turned and tried to head him toward the coastline pulling him behind. The fish was losing strenght and slowly started to give up. Looking at my watch it was 17h 40' pm and I was still fighting against a fish I had not seen since I shot it. There it was huge! as it came belly up but still moving slowly.
From the surface, I pulled the nylon up and the fish came up like a cork and stayed on the surface belly-up. I came closer and held the spear, and the fish was dead. Swimming with the fish toward the shore, I again lost part of the fin and made the last 100 meters with only one fin.
I finally hit the sand at 18h 05' pm, it had been an hour and 25 minute fight. My neighbors were watching me form their balconies, being a testimony to my last meters swimming with the fish toward the shore. I was guessing it could weigh 60-65 kgs, but when we took it to the scale and weighed it properly, it was finally 73.09 kgs.
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