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Référence : 2019.07.25
Scientific name: Physis physis
Weight: 5,124kg
Diver: João Paulo Rocha
Location: Azores
Country: Portugal

On the 25th July my brother Rodrigo and I went to the sea. We both have that hobby and we try to do it in every opportunity we have. As we are on Summer holidays, it´s a perfect time to dive.

We had been having heavy seas for a couple of days but we checked the weather forecast and decided where to dive. We drove 20 km until we got to Porto Martins at the East coast, which was better protected from the adverse weather conditions. I remembered that I once caughtsome good samples on a big rock 150 meters away from the coast.

We prepared our material and went in search of our goal. Once we got inside the water the range of sight was 2 to 3 meters as the water was dirty. After about 20 minutes I spotted a huge Pomatomus saltatrix but I wasn´t able to catch it so I kept my focus on the pinnacle that some years ago had made me so happy.
After 40 minutes in the sea I could sense that the place that I was looking for was near because I recognized some of the rocks and even the composition of the bottom. My brother was right behind me.

I found the rock I was looking for and kept going straight up until I reached its huge extension, which is 16 meters depth. That was the same spot where I had caught a big Phycis phycis some years ago. I was able to pick the entrance I was searching since it has a typical triangle shape. At the surface I could see a bright white sandy entrance, which was a sign that good fish should be found.

I prepared to dive and light the flashlight as I got in the small cave. I covered the whole area and saw a huge Phycis phycis that was lying 3 meters away from me, as if it was resting on a sandy bed. I was reaching the end of the apnea so I fired at it without hesitating.
I pulled the silk cord back as I got out the cave.

I was thrilled when I saw that the edge of the harpoon  was steady suggesting that there was no movement. I soon could see the huge brown back and then its head. It  was the biggest Phycis phycis I had ever seen. With this catch I was reassured that this dive had been really worth it. All I could think was that I had caught a King Size fish!

My brother was also excited with our catch. We ended our successful diving day with a 14 kg Conger conger, two Phycis phycis, one weighing 2,48 kg and the big one 5,13 kg, plus two Labrus bergylta weighing more than 2kg.

As we were getting out of the water we were made fun of by two fishermen who saw us happy and taking pictures of our catch. They told us that they were also going to have a party with their Boops boops.