I had to write about this weekend even though I wasn't the one that got to go spearfishing. I didn't get to record the conditions, although I know they were great. The water was still a little cool (around 76 F), but it was warm and clear out and the winds had laid down.
My brother-in-law and a friend of ours decided to take advantage of a couple of days off down in the keys. They were going to try for some dolphin or blackfin tuna in the mornings and then try to get in some spearfishing at some of our regular spots in the afternoons.
It started out innocently enough... the early morning sky was clear, the wind was calm and so were the seas, so they went out, far out (32 miles to be exact). They chased a bunch of birds that were feeding but came up empty. The birds were constantly on the move, as were the fish under them, and since they weren't rigged for elephant on this hunt, they ended up with skunk :).
Day 1 came and went somewhat uneventfully. They came back in during the afternoon and hit some closer spots. They shot some nice snappers and a couple of grouper too.
Day 2 started out well enough too. They decided to stick to the guns today, so they started hitting some of our favorite local shallow spots. They had just really started getting into it, when it started to go south on them.
My friend had bagged a hog and dropped it on the boat. After he was back in the water, he goes to reload his gun when... slip then rip! The butt of the gun slipped down his wetsuit while he was loading it and those famous Riffe sharkfin tabs got him but good! The tabs opened up about a 4 inch gash on the inside of his right thigh about an inch below his shorty wetsuit (and some women would have you believe an inch doesn't matter).
Those tabs aren't sharp but with the force of a loading sling behind them, they ripped into him pretty well. Obviously, the dive was cut off immediately while they phoned the local rescue and met them at the nearest marina. Thanks to the wonderful people at Fisherman's Hospital, he was sewn up and back on his way to the marina within a couple of hours (8 or so stitches richer for it).
I guess this just goes to prove that the point of the spear isn't the only dangerous part of spearfishing!