John Kushwara

     This is a story( it is the truth) that I sent some friends. The gun I used was the new one from you. The trigger worked fine. Photos will follow. I went out with Greg Feet. I hear you know him.

I took the day off yesterday and went to Santa Cruz Island. The weather was predicted to be sloppy, but my friend down here had a cancellation on a trip. I am just getting over an ear infection, but I bought some new ear plugs that are vented for pressure and designed for diving. They work joe. A friend of his who is in the know gave a report of no fish. The water was too clear, and had warmed up too much. Needless to say the reports were in error. I left my house at 5:30 am. We had the boat launched by 7:15 and were at the islands by 8:30 anchored. We had porpoises riding the bow on the way out. Bait and birds as we crossed. The water was clear but not too clear. We got in the water and right off the bat we all saw fish. Most were schoolies. I didn't want my first white sea bass to be a dink.

I dove for a while longer seeing small fish. This was a change as in earlier trips seeing a fish was rare. This one particular dive I dove and saw another school for 10 -15 pound fish swimming along. The I noticed a fish noticeably larger that was at the head of the school. The larger fish are usually at the rear. The big fish had laready passed me going the other way.

I looked under my arm, and saw he was still in range. The rule is don't look at fish, and don't move your gun at them. I thought what the hell, I bent and did a sommersault to turn 180 degrees and fired. The spear went in just behind the gill plate and went out through his hear. He rolled over and started to sink. I stoned him, not even a quiver. I swam him back to the boat and after surgery was able to get the spear out of his head. when we got around to weighing him, he weighed somewhere betweem 37 and 39 pound on a gently rocking boat (digital scales).

A few minutes later the boat owner came in with one larger. It eventually weighed 47-49 pounds. The three of us ended up with 8 fish, the smallest was about 25lbs.

The 37lber I got was my first white seabass, and the biggest fish I have speared to date. My previous biggest was 36.

We crossed the channel coming back, and it was calm all the way. Only a slight swell for a portion of the ride. The sun was dropping behind point conception we got to port about 8pm. We figure we were diving 8 hours. That is in the water time.

I am tired and sore. We filleted the fish out there but I am just taking a break from processing probably 50 pounds of fillets. I am tired today, and my hands are all cut up from the gills an the fish.

Good day all in all. Photos will follow when I get them from Greg.


Scored my personal best biggest fish ever spearfishing. 47lb yellowtail. The story is that we dove all day. Saw very little bait. The water was clear in the top 15-20 feet and a green muck below that. There was probably 10 degrees difference in the temperatures of the water. We thought we would hit one more place on the way back to the harbor. The sun was getting low, and the water was pretty dark. We had 15 to 30 minutes of diving time left. We had not seen a gamefish all day.

We were diving about 500 yards offshore. A bit spooky but this was the first time all day we could see the bottom. The current was moving, but there was no wind or wave chop. I got in and got my gun loaded. I swam toward shore about 50 yards. I made a couple of dives and then found the spot.

There was a small lump on the floor. Blacksmith fish were milling around, just taking it easy swimming in open water. The blacksmith then turned and started moving back toward the lump of seafloor. I looked to my left, opposite the direction the blacksmith swam.

Cruising by was this big boy. Those who have seen a big yellowtail know what I am speaking about. They have attitude. He was just staking out his territory and wanted to know who the intruder was. Thwack, I hit him just behind the gillplate and the fight was on. He towed me and I had to give him line. He went for a rock pile but I turned him. After several runs I had him coming. He still had power, I grabbed the spear and the short range fight was on. I worked my way to the head and wrapped my legs around the brute and issued the killing blow, my knife between the eyes.

I swam back to the boat in a tangle of line. And the photo tells the rest. 40 + - 1 or 2 lbs and 48 inches long

PS Daryl, I still don't have a good photo with a good fish and your speargun. There is one photo of me in the water with the fish and the speargun over my shoulder. I have to say I love the gun. I hit about 1" behind the pectoral and it exited through the gill plate on the opposite side. My big White seabass last year was an identical shot.

In the excitement to get back in the water I forgot about photos.

John Kushwara

Just to keep you posted, here is another big yellowtail. This is my biggest so far. The shot location is evident.

John Kushwara

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