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La Pas Vanuatu Persistence The Phantom SSU Charity Day Zodiac Setup PXB Marlin in the Riggers Swan Dive

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Editorial Letters Spear?Tips Spearing Sydney GreatShot09 - WINNERS!! Marine Electronics Downunder Woodie MPA Short & Sweet New Products

Cover Ashley Walsh | Wahoo | photo by Barry Paxman

winners pg. 14 4

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Brett Vercoe

Bluespotted coral trout Plectropomus laevis

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irstly a big thanks to everyone who submitted photographs. There was close to 1100 photographs submitted in all which was absolutely staggering. I take my hat off to you the reader for your efforts and the way the quality of your photography has evolved. To be able to share your captures with others and vice versa is one of the great things about being a spearfisher. Secondly, a massive thank you to the sponsors of GreatShot08 and their generous contributions. After the feedback we have received we will have plenty more on board in 2009 - more on that later.

1st - Bryson Sheehy (again!!) - Wahoo Ultimately there can be only one winner and at the end of the day it was Bryson Sheehy’s in water submission featuring a magnificently marked 31kg Wahoo. Bryson took out last years competitoin and there is little doubt he wasn’t about to let the great prizes escape him this year either. Bryson’s photo had everything we were looking for. The colours were excellent, it was sharp and crisp, it was something different and well, it just spoke to us. So congratulations Bryson, who is now the proud owner of A New Riffe Euro 130 and Cryptic Wetsuit valued at nearly $1515 RRP.

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2nd - Barry Paxman W.A. Dhufish

One Word - “Beast�. It was never about the biggest fish but damn that is a big, impressive fish. Good framing of the shot and that water looks awesome. For his efforts Barry wins a Beuchat Pack from Divers World valued at $1500. A Beuchat, Activa Tubair snorkel , a 3.5mm Mundial Camo suit open cell, a pair of Mundial Competition long blade fins and a 1150 Marlin Competition speargun.

3rd - Joel Pease - Mulloway Beautiful colours, great highlights and a wicked back drop! All keys to taking a great photograph and here Joel has entered a beauty! For his efforts Joel receives the Andre Platinum 145

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He was really annoyed with me for stopping him from shooting a 30kg Wahoo until I showed him that his floatline was wrapped around his leg. The Wahoo was only 2ft off the end of his spear and not moving at all he was lined up and on the trigger when I grabbed him, it was a sitter of a shot and there was no way he could have missed but I had horrible visions of watching my gun, 9lt Rob Allen float and son disappear into the depths.

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by Chris Wood

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2009 La Paz World Cup Invitational.

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by Kolt Johnson

Day 1 - Everybody is pumped.

Wind kept us from going offshore to Mosso FAD, so we went straight up to Hat Island. It was quiet for the most part with a few Doggie sightings. I shot a small Doggie about 3 pounds. I was petting a Leopard shark on the bottom then after he took off, the Dogtooth swam in and I nailed him. Second dive at Nguna Island showed great country, but it still quiet. The current has been slack all day, although I had a great hunt on a big Green jobfish. Nick burleyed up an area but didn’t see anything. I try one more dive in the area, I got to the bottom and scan around, finally seeing the Jobbie. He was sipping the tiny bits of leftover burley and started toards me with his eye on a small piece of burley just beyond my reach. He nervously came in and before he could flick off, I lined him up and shot. STONED HIM! 9.6kg, Ripper!

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Day 2 - Wind is howling yet again.

We headed to Mosso to get out of the wind which had great looking dive spots but it was quiet. Current is still slack. Next stop, the channel between Kakula and Pélé. Kakula channel isw alive with fish, tons of life, Humphead parrots, Red bass, Black snapper, tropicals, GTs… etc. We chased the Humpheads around to no avail; they are surprisingly smart. I stoned another tiny Dogtooth finishing the day with an awesome dive. We find a spot where the reef plunged to rubble and sand and waited on the edge, finally seeing a school of Mu come in. They took forever to trust me enough to come into range. I take a bead on the biggest one at the back and squeeze the trigger. STONED! First Mu, stoned him, stoked.


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Setup

I am in a trancelike state. It’s how I think best. Just sitting there in the shed staring at the inside of the Zodiac Pro 9 Man trying to come up with the best layout that is going to suit a spearfishing application. All those years spent idly becoming a “Tetris” champion now come into play as I stack, move, shuffle, slide key components around the boat trying to get the best fit. My first word of advice when setting out a boat, especially a smaller vessel is that weight distribution is key and it is not until you have it loaded with equipment, iceboxes, ice, fuel and spearos that you can really ascertain how it is going to ride. So before you crack open the Sikaflex and start gluing and screwing, it really pays to take your new vessel for a test run with a couple of mates and all their gear. Given that everything has a propensity to move until it is properly affixed just plan a short run on a “reasonable” day with the simple goal of working out where things should go. First thing I learned is that our Zodiac Pro 9 man is light in the nose. Originally we planned to have the fuel tank (45L) and battery down the back of the boat,

but after the first run it was obvious we needed to move the weight of these two items well forward. So we mounted the fuel tank in front of the centre console and moved the battery inside the centre console. This provided a big improvement in the weight distribution as it was a net effect of moving forward approximately 80kg.

Stainless Bling Bling

So with a “light at the back, heavy at the front” mentality I again got back into the Tetris zone and with the help of Matthew Potts and the Team at North Coast Metal Works we went to work on the stainless steel racking. Matt has an exceptional practical intelligence, he can just look at a project and he comes up with some brilliant ideas. He was just the man for the job and to say I am stoked with the end result is an understatement. It looks fantastic and its functionality is just as good as it’s form. We have four gun racks that hold two guns each, 8 in total - heaps. I love the fin holders, they are simply formed from 6mm stainless steel round bar on a slight incline and it gets

those pesky fins up off the floor completely out of the way and the design ensures they are NEVER going to fall out. Word of note - fins are dangerous, especially your composite fin varieties and can cause some nasty lacerations if care is not taken with them. Getting them up off the floor and pointing away from crew is a good idea. I love these little cleats that I found (again a little time in a trance). They are used with 6mm shock cord. They simply pull over the guns nice and snug and pull tight and you just give them a quick tug to release. Too easy! The difference the racking has made to accessibility around the boat is fantastic. I sourced some nice polished stainless bolt-on rod holders (flag holders?) for the soft plastic fishing expeditions with the good wife, from MO Tackle. They also double as hooks for floatlines and stop the Big Chilli 105L icebox sliding backwards. BTW the polished stainless looks “fully sick”. A small black standard fish tub snugly finishes off the back of the boat and allows the floats and masks


to be dropped into the tub. It works brilliantly! Now with nothing too heavy down the back and the weight belts, anchor, fuel tank and battery further toward the front it was a different boat all together. It really is worth the time and effort of getting your weight distribution correct.

Instrumentation

A couple of Evinrude I-Command gauges provide a myriad of information about what’s going on in our little powerhouse. I have included a fuel memory module that integrates into the NMEA 2000 network. It tracks consumption, economy and fuel remaining. This info is fed into the I-Command Gauges and is so VERY useful. It is measured off the flow rate through the engine and it is accurate to about 5%, which is better than most fuel gauges. One of the most interesting things you’ll find looking at fuel consumption is that you can tweak your travelling speed to be right on your most economical point. For the Zodiac it is at about 40km/h (top speed

45km/hr) which coincidently is a perfect travelling speed for a reasonable day. At this speed on a good day we get approximately 3.5km/L. this means that we have an effective range of about 150km from the 45L tank. That should get us to a few headlands I suspect. The fuel efficiency of these little E-Tec engines is phenomenal! The NMEA 2000 network is also networked into the new Lowrance HDS 5” that supplies the network with its GPS information (used to calculate fuel economy, etc). If you have not had a chance to check out the new technology from Lowrance do yourself a favour. It is spectacular! Clear, full colour display give you incredible definition of the bottom. Note: Here’s the great thing about being a spearo. You actually get to check out the bottom once you anchor up. Take note of what you see on your sounder and what that correlates to on the bottom. With the new Lowrance sounders they show a lot of detail so once you understand what you are seeing it becomes a very powerful tool that allows you to

differentiate hard/soft rock, weed, bait, etc.

Straight line

The steering is cable-type and anything else (i.e. hydraulic) would be overkill. You can steer with one finger. There is a little feedback from the engine at certain trim levels but nothing worth worrying about. That said we’ll probably put hydraulic steering on it because overkill is our thing!

Chillin’

A 105L Big Chilli Cooler doubles as a seat and takes a surprisingly large fish (18kg Sambo for example). Well made and robust it is hard to beat Big Chilli Coolers they are spot on AND they come in red, what more could you want. They seal exceptionally well and it will actually create a vacuum as the cool air contracts. Big Chilli have just opened a store on the Gold Coast in QLD. They are the manufacturer and supply direct to the public with quality, range and prices that are VERY had to top. Also they ship


by Andrew Moderer

Spearfishing is a captivating sport. The underwater world holds so many surprises and an entire lifetime’s worth of challenges and new experiences. As any spearo knows, however, the sad reality in our sport is that in ten planned trips or dives, you are lucky if just one of these turns out perfectly. Bad weather, poor visibility or just an unexplainable lack of fish are all situations any spearo knows all too well. Any trip away is fun, after all, spearfishing is about more than just taking quality fish. It is the medium through which I’ve made some of my best friends. However, those magic trips, those where calm conditions, good water and an abundance of fish come together simultaneously, are the ones which give you a true appreciation for the sport and leave you craving more. In late December 2009 I had one of these trips, and the memories will stay with me for a lifetime. I have been in North Shore Underwater Club in Sydney for about one and a half years now. The knowledge I have acquired, mentors I have gained and friends I have made through the club still amaze me. One afternoon in early December I received a phone call from the renowned big fish taker and good friend Julian Chan, “Andrew, I have three letters for you, PXB, Are you in?” Without checking my schedule I said I was in as the PXB was an annual trip of a few of the guys from the club which always resulted in some sensational fish. The crew was to be Jools, Michael Takach, Adrian Jeloudev and me. We headed North on the 13th in search of good water, which at the time meant getting out of flood ridden NSW. South-east Queensland was to be our destination with reports of good water pushing in. We had been in touch with a contact of a fellow club member who lives in that part of the world. Gareth Dunwoodie, without any knowledge of who we were,

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welcomed us into his house and let us stay for an entire week. Gareth made us feel more than welcome, even cooking us meals, without expecting anything in return. Just the fact that we were fellow spearos was enough. This kind of hospitality is, I think, something spearfishing has over many sports and is a great asset of our sport. We headed out the first day to a spot which had been recommended to us. Clear, glass-off water had us all very excited and it was the usual scissor, paper, rock to see who first boatie was. On my second drift I shot and landed my first Spanish mackerel. Adrian followed suit landing his first Spanish the next drift. Not a bad start and both he and I were already very happy. Not long after this Jools landed a Mackerel and the Wahoo showed up with Taka spearing a nice one. The diving however was hard. Deep, small pinnacles and a strong current, not to mention the presence of a large Tiger shark, the first I had ever been in the water with, caused us to head back in. The glassoff conditions allowed the three of us not driving the boat to snooze a little as we were all tired from the long drive from Sydney the day before. After seeing a marlin cruising on the surface, Taka, the boat owner and driver, wisely decided to stop off at a nearby FAD. We arrived at the FAD and to my surprise no one was particularly keen to get in and check it out. I decided to jump in and see if anything was about, however, I made one of the dumbest decisions a spearfisher could make. I went in with no gun. Sure as clockwork, as I approached the FAD half a dozen large Bull Dolphinfish cruised past with several Wahoo

following, all whilst I had no gun in my hand. Here is where I made the second greatest mistake. Rather than quietly swim back to the boat, get my gun and then say what I saw, I announced “BULLS!!! WAHOO!!” Of course this meant that the other boys went overboard without touching the sides of the boat and were swimming past me towards the FAD locked and loaded as I made my way back to the boat to get my gun. As I arrived back at the FAD I saw that Adrian had already speared a cracker Dolly. Fortunately the fish hadn’t spooked and I was able to get in range of a large Bull. I shot, hitting dead centre but halfway down the fish. YEEEHHAAA. I had my first good Dolphinfish on while Adrian wrestled his next to me. To my surprise and annoyance, rather than run as I’d expected, my fish began making a series of Cobia-like rolls. Being aware of their soft flesh I applied minimal pressure to the fish. When it finally tired I was able to get closer and at the point where I was holding my gun I saw my spear tip sticking out the same side it had entered from with the flopper holding on to about 3 centimetres of skin. “I need another gun!” This call went unanswered in the midst of the action that was unfolding so I made the decision to try and land my fish with no second shot. I dived and began crawling along my shooting line towards my seemingly tired fish. Holding onto my spear, I decided to grab the fish’s tail. As I should have expected, this resulted in the fish getting a burst of life and with a few strong kicks….gone. NOOOO! Heartbroken I watched the fish swim off slowly. My eyes stayed on the fish as it turned and headed straight towards the boat. In the 30 metres


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new|products

Information provided in this section (including text and images) is supplied by the respective Manufacturers, unless speciically stated.

Evinrude (BRP) New Sun Shirts

Call The Bluff

If you love the Aussie Summer, this high-tech sun protection clothing is truly the catch of the day. The new Evinrude Sunblock Shirt offers full-length protection without weight or bulk. This sun shirt has UV protection built right into the fabric. • Coolmax® mesh vented cape back for superior airflow • Large, bellowed breast pockets for stowing gear • Vertical Napoleon mesh pockets • Asymmetrical cuffs protect the top of your hands without blocking the palms • Quick-snap front for easy dressing • Button down collar with hidden buttons • Straight hem with side slits • Wrinkle-resistant, moisture-wicking dri SUNTECT® fabric • Easy care: machine wash, tumble dry • Rated UPF 50+

Features Spearfishing action from some of Australia’s best spots. From the blue waters of Coffs Harbour (not recently - Ed), to the big Mackerel of North-western Australia, This film follows Louis with gun cam footage of species including: • • • • • •

Spanish Mackerel Wahoo Spangled emperor Mangrove jack Blue-spotted tuskfish Coral trout

Available from all good spearfishing stores

Immersion Prowler The Prowler is the name of a famous fighter airplane in the US Navy. This watch has been projected for spearfishers, it’s the perfect dive watch that clearly tells when the watch is in dive mode. It also clearly indicates the depth, temperature, dive time and date. The watch has got a water sensor that recognises if the watch is in water and the watch will go into dive mode automatically when the pressure sensor measures a depth of 1.5 metre. The most tricky thing with dive watches are the push buttons on them. When dirt has build up around the push buttons it can be pushed in and distort the seals that seal the push buttons. The Prowler is designed so there is no need to push any buttons during a dive, not even to put on the backlight. The Prowler has got the Tilt Backlight Activation system, you only have to turn your wrist 180 degrees and back and the light will turn on. The Prowler retails for only $589.00. If you have any enquiries you can contact the Immersion distributor Metalsub Australia by email: info@metalsub.com.au.

Neptune Gun Spearo Wetsuit Neptune continues tradition with the New Neptune Gun Spearfishing wetsuit. Made in Australia from high quality materials, the Neptune Gun delivers high performance & excellent Value for money in a suit designed for Australian Conditions.

• • • • • • •

Constructed from 3mm Super-stretch Open-cell Neoprene with the unique “Gun” cut design Neptune Secure stitch Technology & Neptune Seam Seal Process Chest Pad for easy loading & Forearm Knife sheath for easy access when you need it The Neptune Infinite Fit system & Multiform hood ensure maximum comfort & every dive, every time Made is Australia by an Australian owned Wetsuit Company for Australian Conditions. Available in Black or Olive Green with a full size range available RRP $395

>> Visit www.neptunesports.com.au for Distributors

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Pelaj Inflatable Floats The Pelaj Inflatable Floats have arrived! Available in 3 sizes & packed with features, The Pelaj Inflatable float is a must for the all Spearos who are looking for a Float they can take anywhere/anytime. • • • •

Oral inflation Tube & Pull style Dump valve for quick & easy inflation/deflation on land or water Attached Whistle & Reflective device to attract attention in an emergency situation True Torpedo design that can also facilitate the attachment of a Dive Flag to the float Constructed from Heavy Duty Polyurethane Coated Cordura material for maximum longevity in tough conditions. • Sizes available (RRP): 15L (RRP $150), 30L (RRP $199) 70L (RRP $289)

Pelaj Gear Bag Whether you’re off to the Coral Sea or your local haunt – the best way to get your whole kit there is the New Pelaj Gear Bag. The quality construction & features make this the ideal bag for every Spearo who wants to keep their gear secure while Travelling. • HF welded heavy duty PVC construction & Heavy Duty overlay on the base ensure this bag is • both lightweight & durable at the same time • Pull down Dry-top closure system with bracing straps secure your gear & prevent leakage when gear is transported post dive • Heavy duty handles on both ends with detachable shoulder/carry strap for easy portage, ID Tag for travel identification • Dimensions: 103cm Long x 40cm Wide (height will vary depending on how far the bag is rolled upon closure) • RRP $129.00

Pelaj Long Blade Fins Introducing the New Pelaj Spearfishing Fin! This Pelaj Long blade Fin represents both excellent performance & value for money in a fin designed by Spearos for both Spearfishing & Free-diving application. • Soft & Durable rubber foot pocket provides hours of comfortable use whilst allowing superior transmission of energy to the Fin blade • Replaceable high performance thermoplastic Fin blade with stiffened lateral sides providing maximum thrust upon demand • 22 degree blade pitch • Available in Black / Sizes: MED LGE XLG XXL • RRP $199

Adreno Rooster Float This new large flasher float is South African made. It combines a high density inner foam core with a Laminated Vinyl cover. It comes complete with 12 metres of 2mm Black Tuna Mono and a swivel snap clip for attaching your favourite flasher. A braided 4mm Shock cord around the float holds the mono in place and the flasher at a set depth. Vinyl Outer is a High Viz Orange Colour. Larger in size and volume than a standard Chicken Float and we all know what Roosters do to Chickens..... Available exclusively from Adreno www.spearfishing.com.au or 07 3391 2299

Elite Gloves After the successful introduction into the marketplace of Elite Wetsuits made by Alessandro Picasso, Adreno has expanded the range with dedicated Women’s and Children’s two-piece Camo Spearfishing suits and now Gloves and Booties. The new Elite Gloves are constructed from ultrastretch Neoprene with a Gloss outer and nylon lined inner. The palm is matt nylon with a raised printed grip. All stitching is internal and flat locked making it form fitting and the outside seams are glued for maximum strength and to reduce seam splitting. This glove has one of the highest warmth for thickness ratings and the stretch characteristics allow for maximum comfort when holding a gun handle. However, it is not so suited to plucking Crayfish and excess rock holding. Available in sizes from Small to Extra Large. Available exclusively from Adreno Got a New Product www.spearfishing.com.au or 07 3391 2299 If you are looking to tell the spearfishing world about your great new product don’t hesitate to contact us for inclusion in our New Products sections. Contact john@spearfishingdownunder.com.au

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Spearfishing Downunder #27