We teach people with our heart how to catch a fish, we get excited when novices catch their own lunch. We enjoy going out with people that dive deep and hunt for a specific fish. I would like to share an exciting adventure we had while spearfishing Cozumel. Hunting for Cubera Snapper in the deep. A spearfishing Cozumel adventure not for everybody. But feel free to call us when you are interested, jeje.
It´s a Saturday in April. Strong winds from South. Great for spearfishing in the North of Cozumel. Present are Anibal, Diego, two guests and myself. The guests ordered an adventure; only interested in deep, deep diving and spearfishing. And looking for good quality fish. Well, no problem getting out of bed for that early. Your wish is our command…
So a trip like this is not for everybody. Even though we have two experienced spearos aboard, we give a thorough briefing on safety, local hunting tips and fish. We made teams and agreed that as soon as someone comes up and breathes in, that person needs to give the “I am ok” signal to his buddy. The buddy does not dive down within 10 seconds after the diver surfaced. No exceptions. We agreed to hunt in the 80 to 100ft area (25 to 30 meters). Spearfishing Cozumel in that depth is a complete different world. We also decided to go only for Black Grouper and Mutton Snapper and Cubera Snapper (http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/cubera-snapper/)
Our spearfishing Cozumel spots at those depths are amazing to hunt. Rarely visited by human beings; a great opportunity to see fish behaving that naturally. In a couple of hours we saw enormous Barracuda, giant Lobster, blown up Triggerfish, big, big Parrotfish and beautiful Coral. The Cubera did not let us come close. And the Groupers we saw, we just could not get close to them. Such a strong current this day in Cozumel.
We took a break, shared great spearfishing stories and decided to do 1 more spot. So far the five of us were in the water, all with our own float line and our own float. Twice when diving I noticed drag as my float got tangled with another float. So I decided to dive the last spot with just a float line (100ft /30 mtrs) and no float. That was a mistake.
While diving down to a platform at 80ft (24 mtrs), I saw a nice size Cubera Snapper swimming.
I stopped kicking and let my speed and the current make me approach the Snapper. The platform is right at the drop off of Cozumel and spearfishing here by itself is such an adventure. Reef on the right. Deeeeeep blue on the left side. Close enough to the fish I took the shot and the spear entered the Cubera right behind the gills. GREAT. I went up holding my line, but that Snapper did not give up that quickly. I noticed I did not go up at all, while I gave all power. That is the moment you need to be smart. Keep on pulling the fish at those depths will wore you out and fair chance “you need some help to get back to the surface”. I saw the Cubera swimming a bit deeper in the drop off and my floatline stayed vertically up. No problem. My buddy was right above me when I surfaced. We decided all to go back on the boat. The plan was to connect my floatline to another floatline and fight the fish from the surface. We made two teams of buddies and jumped in again.
That plan was not that easy. It became quite an adventure in an adventure. When we arrived back at the spot the float line was invisible. That could mean the fish dragged it down to deeper waters or the floatline sank and it must be somewhere on the platform.
After four dives, we were able to locate the float line on the bottom, completely camouflaged, no more yellow and red to be seen… at 93dt/28mtrs and were able to connect it to another floatline. This time with a float…..
Then the rescue of the gear and fish started. Dive after dive at about 100ft (30mtrs) were needed to get the Cubera Snapper out of a cave. All in a safe way. We reached our limits of that day, that is for sure. We did manage: lines and fish released and finally, the catch was on the boat. The hunting was great and out loud we can say: spearfishing is teamwork!!!
Leo is the founder of Spearfishing Today and also the official representative of the Mexican Spearfishing Association for the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. He is FII certified, speaks English and Spanish and hunts comfortable up to 100ft. Leo is guiding spearfishing trips only on request in all Spearfishing Today locations in Mexico. He only hunts with a polespear and has a very inspiring opinion about freediving and spearfishing. Nickname: Chanoc. Most memorable catch: 27.99 kilo Cubera Snapper with polespear.
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