The sun is out. The bay is flat. No work on the agenda and a growing excitement in the body. It’s spearfishing time!
My dive buddy and good mate Angel lives in the next bay where he has a little boat. This time, like last time I load up my trusted bicycle with my dive gear and speargun, leave home and ride the 12km to the north west side of the bay where he picks me up with his boat before we set the course to the first dive spot.
We usually head out early in the morning when the fish is more active but this time we both needed a sleep in, so we don’t hit the water until 11 am. We decide to check out a new little cove on the way to our usual spot. The visibility is great as usual and the water a warm 23°C. I had decided to dive in my 5mm suit for the first time of the season, but that was a bit of a mistake, too warm. I should have stuck with my 3mm a little longer. Adjusting to the Mediterranean after two years of diving in the tropics has been easier than expected.
After two hours of diving and seeing nothing more interesting than a few decently sized Sargos (sharpsnout Seabreams) refusing to come within range we decide to refuel on tea and pastry on the boat and change spots.
The second spot offers some beautiful views but nothing more exciting in ways of fish. Still no catch. So off to the third spot where things starts to get more interesting.
Our third spot is a well tested one where Angel has caught Dentex, Sargo and Dorada before. Me, not so much… We have been diving for about three hours already at this point and it’s starting to take it’s toll. But as we finally start seeing some decent fish we keep diving. There’s Dorada, Amberjack and Sargo in the water.
We creep up around the rocks, set ambushes behind them and keep diving. When your energy levels are running low after hours of diving you are putting yourself at a greater risk of shallow water blackout and a trusted dive buddy and proper safety procedures becomes even more important. I never compromise with that.
I finally take a shot at a Sargo during an ambush at the bottom and it’s a miss! but it’s getting even more exciting now. I do another drop at the same spot at around 15m depth. I lay down behind the rock and wait. The Sargo is back, I look away not to spook it. After a few moments I have a look through the corner of my eye and it’s coming closer still. I look away. I sneak a peak again and it’s still approaching. It’s a decent fish. As it turns its side to me, within range, but still at a distance, I take aim and shoot. Miss again! The fish shoots off into safety among the rocks and I return to the surface where Angel is waiting.
It’s not my day, and not Angel’s either. Completely exhausted after four and half hours of diving and no catch whatsoever we swim back to the boat to head back to shore.
Someone wise once said that the best spearfisherman is not the one that catches the most or the biggest fish, but the one that’s enjoying it the most. By that criteria I’m definitely up there at the top.