Alright, so you guys might have been waiting for a book review of the second book in the Mistborn Trilogy, but this story is so much better. I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I went spearfishing a few days back and it was spectacular! My best day yet! So I just had to write about it.
It was Monday the 9th of April after school. I went to a Bushrangers meeting with my mates Lochie and Harry. We are keen spearfishos and we were talking about the low swell that afternoon. Since bushrangers ended pretty early – around 3:30 – we all decided to meet at a great spearfishing beach called Blue Holes at 4:15. I know that Blue Holes is a sanctuary zone but we went on the north side of the border. We ended up delaying our meet up time to 4:30 since I needed to give Lochie a lift there.
So my mum gives us the ‘drop and run’ and we walk to the sandy inlet where we often spearfish from. After a 15 minute wait Harry and his mum arrive. Harry quickly slides on his wetsuit and starts getting his gear on ASAP. He’s in the water before Lochie and I had our flippers and masks on!
“Every man for himself!” Lochie exclaimed as he waded into the water frozen with winter’s cold touch. And with him swimming off into the fish infested ocean, I launch myself after him, speargun in hand. *Once I swim out I spot a 50cm morwong and I follow it around for a bit. After a few minutes I dive down and practise clicking off the safety and aiming at the fish. Once I’m aimed at the top of it’s gill plate, I spot a 40cm goatfish just visible, with it’s red body with black lateral stripes, above and to the right of the morwong’s dorsal fin. After I check it’s back for the goatfish’s distinct spot, I make a small adjustment to my aim and pull the trigger. The spear flies straight over the dorsal fin of the morwong and hits the unsuspecting goatfish at the top of it’s gills. I surface for air and as I place my snorkel back into my mouth, I can feel the goatfish thrashing around on the end of my line. I pull gently on the line and make sure the flap of the spear flips up – to make sure the spear doesn’t slip out – and when I’m sure it has flipped, I yank the goat fish to the surface, red stripes shining in the sunlight’s reflection through the water. I grab it underneath the gills to make sure the fish doesn’t go anywhere and I really notice it’s two distinct ‘whiskers’ on the bottom of it’s jaw. I remember only the larger goatfish have these and I measure it against my hand.
The fish I had just speared was massive for a goatfish. Usually I only see them 15-20cm long if I’m lucky, so this one’s a ripper! I unclip the float line from my speargun handle and I pass it through the fish’s gills and out it’s mouth. I stab it in the head to kill it humanely and proceed to cut the gills with my dive knife to bleed the fish for the whitest possible flesh. With the spear pulled out of the fish, I load my gun again and continue on my way.
After fluffing around in the shallower water with the other boys, I watch the colourful blur of a parrotfish shoot past me and take off. It moved like it was speared but there was no line coming from it so I assumed the spear pulled out of the fish. I try to raise my gun quickly under water but instead swim as fast as I can after it. It swam out of my vision almost a split second after I saw it and I never found it again. Harry swims next to me and asks me if I saw the fish he speared. I point him in the direction it went but I was later told that he never found it again. With that fish gone, I headed out more north to an area we hadn’t checked out yet.
Here I saw a few small parrotfish that would have been about 20cm long. Nothing spectacular but I would have taken the shot if one was still for long enough. After seeing a small school swim a bit deeper I turn in that direction and spot a small golden trevally. With a quick dive and a hurried aim, I shoot the fish. The trevally wriggles off the spear before I even begin to swim to the surface and stops so suddenly that I doubted I even hit it! When I was almost at the surface, he swam near me slowly, then turned around and swam away hurriedly. It was almost like he was saying “Ha ha! You didn’t get me!” So with a quick reload, I was set to go get a big one.
By now it was nearing sunset and I was thinking of just swimming another 20m north then swimming back in to call it a day. On my 20m swim north, a small rocky outcrop looms near. I see a large, fish shaped, colourful creature and I instantly recognise a massive parrotfish. In my panic to shoot the thing, I hurriedly try to flick the safety off a few times and shoot at the fish without spending time aiming. The fish erupts into a series of spasm-like movements and flays around in a small shady patch. With a quick resurface and the snorkel back in my mouth, I look down at the massive fish thrashing around on the end of my spear. I see that I speared it in the guts and that the fish‘s guts are hanging out. I then notice the small flap of skin that would have been it’s belly, with my spear through it. Not knowing if the spear was going to stay in I dived down and pulled the fish up at the same time. I reach for the struggling fish’s gills and wrap my fingers firmly around the inside of it’s gills. The water around it becomes greener and hazier than before and I know I don’t need to be bleeding it, the spear did that for me! I take my remaining hand and wrap it around the side of the spear that isn’t pointed and I keep pressure in it so that the fish doesn’t slip off. I leave my gun trailing behind attached to my spear as I take off to the beach. As I approach the beach I lift the fish out of the water for a second to show my mum. The setting sun and the beautiful colours of the fish make for a truly memorable moment that will stay in my mind forever. Only now I witness it’s true size. I pass Harry and he gives me a double thumbs up! Woo hoo! And with motivation from that, I speed swim my way in and dump the fish on a rock.
Lochie and mum are on the beach waiting, mum with her phone in hand. Lochie puts his arm in the air and waves a crayfish around for me to see. I congratulate him on the first crayfish caught diving by any of us. With a quick stab to the head and a slice to the gills, the fish bleeds it’s last drop of blood as my heart pumps my own around at an alarming rate. After a couple of pics with me holding the fish at the shore line (see above image), I spot Harry out the corner of my eye walking along the rocks. I find this quite unusual since getting out of the ocean there is quite tough. The first thing he says to us is:
“Does anyone have another pair of shorts!?”
“Why?” I ask, chuckling.
“A shark the size of you swam next to me!” He exclaims and says nothing else on the matter, for now.
Harry brings out his fishing ‘brag mat’ to measure the parrotfish I speared. It turned out being a thumping 75cm!!! With a few pictures of all the fish and many high fives, we make our way back to the car, with a great range of experiences in our memories to stay with us for a life time. This was definitely my best spearfishing session ever.