Blue Water Hunting and Freediving - Digital Version 1 - Page 40

bluewater hunting and freediving

F . P . O .

A white shark — some experts say they grow to 25 feet and reach an age of 40 years .
Photo by Doc White
We anchor the boat over a 40-foot ledge . Disappointed , I cannot find the tuna , but schools of large yellowtail — our consolation prizes — keep us busy . As we take several of the 30-pound yellows , I switch to my small , more efficient yellowtail gun . Of course , every big game diver can tell you having a gun too small for tuna is a sure-fire method for attracting them . Instead of our usual horizontal dives , I try diving vertically , directly to the rocky bottom , hoping to attract the fish .
It works . Tuna appear . The first really big tuna I have ever seen sends my heart thumping . A school of 100- to 150-pound bluefin materializes , and their illuminated cobalt blue forms with yellow finlets almost mesmerize me . All of my training , all of the endless nights building gear and this lousy boat ride converge in the nexus of the following moments . I shoot at the closest monster , making a solid shot just behind the gills . The line on my reel races away and I find myself transformed into a human water ski hydroplaning behind my spear line . I ’ m on . POP ! The line snaps from my gun ; the fish is gone . Feeling deflated , I think perhaps my only chance at a record is ruined because of my broken line . Will I get a second chance ?
My fellow divers go crazy . Bluefin at last . Everyone enters the late afternoon water . My hand is shaking so badly from the adrenaline