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Features 10

60 Wreck Diving

The Benchmark


Summer Days

12 months



I Didn’t Stone It...I Owned It!

Morinda Shoals



Gone Fishin’ With Uncle Barry

XXX Exmouth


The Darkside

Cape Bouillabaisse


oth Tuna | Photo by Nic Bowe

Main photo - Nathan Brejnak Dogto





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Editorial Letters Spear?Tips Downunder Woodie GreatShot09 The Phantom MPA Spearing Sydney Marine Electronics New Products

Cover Bryson Sheehy with a pending Queensland and Australian record Common Trout 10.25kg



Operation Zodiac

The Sea Devil gets a little brother, the Zodiac Pro 9 Man!! At writing we are about 2 weeks off launch. Special thanks to all of the partners who have come together to make it happen. We’ll have a full wrap on the Zodiac setup in the next issue and of course plenty of testing and spearfishing adventures as we commence our East Coast covert operations!

This Issue

Again a great mix of young and old(ish), North, South, East and West. The Phantom “Walks the Walk”, Aussies Snapper Hunting in NZ, EXMOUTH WA, A 12 Month Journey, Wreck Diving, plus heaps, heaps more.....I’m rambling, read the damn magazine :)



Last issue’s editorial made mention of the passing of Neil Tedesco. The exact circumstance surrounding Neil Tedesco’s death remains unknown. It is not definitive to say his death was avoidable or a result of blackout as suggested. Consequently I would like to retract my corresponding statements to that effect.


Simon Trippe, Glenn George, Paul McKeown, Tim McDonald, Ric Fallu, Michael Derooy, “The Phantom”, Scott Amon, John Feathersotne, John Pengelly, Wayne Judge, Darren Tierney, Isaac Nolan, Ashley Walsh, Max Haste, Quinn Smith........ apologies for omissions

CONTRIBUTORS - Photographers

Tim McDonald, Paul McKeown, Nathan Arnold, Dean Thorburn, Ric Fallu, Barry Paxman, Ashley Walsh, Isaac Nolan, Max Haste, Bryson Sheehy, Quinn Smith, Mick de Rooy (and Crew).......apologies for omissions


Network Distribution Pty Ltd

ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL OFFICE John Featherstone Ph: (02) 6654 0515 Fax: (02) 8080 8193 (fax-to-email service) Mobile: (0428) 166 092 Email:

SUBSCRIPTIONS & MERCHANDISE Pam Featherstone PO Box 491 Woolgoolga NSW 2456 Australia Ph: (02) 6654 0515 Fax: (02) 8080 8193 (fax-to-email service) Mobile: (0427) 166 092 Email:

WEBSITE ABN 17 106 478 299 PRINTED BY Lotus Printing

- Hong Kong

No picture or any part of the contents of this publication may be scanned or reproduced in any way without prior written consent from the publisher. Spearfishing is a dangerous sport, Spearfishing Downunder accepts no responsibility for any damage and/or injury suffered by readers. Further the editors/publishers accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of statements or opinions expressed by freelance writers. Any text or photos sent to Spearfishing Downunder will be taken as permission to publish.

Issue #24 Back Issue Now Available

200gm - Big Reds! Black Shadow - 158kg Marlin The Phantom 2 35kg Mulloway Hidden Treasure The Great REEF much more

Speaking of embracing new technologies, we welcome you all to sign up to our new email newsletter (well 2 issues in now). The response already has been kind of crazy! At writing, 800 people have signed up in the first 8 weeks! How many of you are checking out spearfishing websites instead of working - love your work! Oh yes the newsletter, it features sneak previews, great photos, red hot deals from some of Australia’s leading retailers, general spearfishing happenings from around the nation and so much more. So if 5 times a year is not enough for you head across to the SDM website and sign up for our monthly newsletter. Also be sure to check back to the website regularly for new videos from around the country, updates, blogs and heaps of cool giveaways. Many thanks to our YouTube contributors like Ashley Walsh, Tim Ayliffe and Heath Folpp - GOLD boys! If you have a great vid, drop us an email and we’ll feature it on the website.

EDITOR John Featherstone

$9.90 + P & H

Tech Savy

PUBLISHER JW & PS Featherstone


Twenty five issues! You know it just doesn’t feel like it. Each issue brings with it new people, new partnerships, new experiences and new insights into this phenomenal way of life. This Issue is not only a celebration of where we have come from but an expression of the passion and excitement of where we are going. The future is bright, as bright as it has ever been for spearfishing in Australia. Sure we will continue to have challenges and have to continue to fight (and fight hard) to preserve our rights but there are so many great people, organisations and businesses behind spearfishing in Australia today. There is also an ever evolving understanding in the wider community of spearfishing as truly a great sustainable way to catch a fish IF it is done in the correct manner. This gives hope. Hope that we will be able to continue to enjoy this lifestyle we all love so much in the greatest country on earth. As always a massive thank you to all of our readers, contributors, advertisers, partners and family and friends. Without each and every one of you the picture would be incomplete. Time to celebrate? For sure, but also time to look further into the future, plan ahead, embrace new technologies and continue to focus on our goal of producing the best damn spearfishing magazine possible.

Issue #24

Issue #25

Letters & Updates Dear Ed, As one of 3.6 million anglers in the country I feel it necessary that I comment on the MPA regulations. Marine Parks in NSW have been introduced with an authoritarian manner which has instantly turned almost one million NSW anglers against the whole concept. Marine Parks if introduced and run correctly should be inviting anglers because there is no bigger user group who are out there on the water all the time. Instead of being invited anglers have had the door slammed in their face with lock outs of some of the best fishing areas and harsh fines imposed for seemingly minor issues. • The MPA seems to have more power than the police in regards to enforcement and is widely regarded as anti fishing. We need to see more angler involvement at a board level like a fishing advisory committee. • The fines seem excessive and are greater than such imposed on far more serious crimes like drink driving. • There is inadequate angler representation on the advisory board which is absurd considering recreational anglers are the biggest user group of marine parks. • There needs to be identities from the fishing media advising the board to help get the message out to the fishing fraternity. • Regulations should also consider the real issue of a duty of care for people using the park. There should be major upgrades of boat ramps, wharves etc to ensure public safety. • There is a lot in the regulations about fines but nothing about education and teaching the public how to use the parks. • The issue of double jeopardy also seems absurd for a single offence. • Marine parks officers should be transferred to either Fisheries or Maritime. It seems too foolish to have yet another department enforcing the same rules. • Maritime and Fisheries need greater control/ involvement over management of the marine parks. I feel that the MPA needs to act on these changes and work with the angling community as well as tourism and commercial fishery to enhance the regions within the confines of marine parks. The growing resentment towards the marine parks can be turned around if we educate and include anglers in the decision making process. Shutting them out will only continue to increase the anti MPA feeling conveyed through the fishing and more recently mainstream media. Regards - Al McGlashan

Hi John, Layne was so excited when he flipped through the magazine and saw himself he was in the shop and started telling everyone around him hey this is me this is me. The local newsagent put a display up in the shop and Layne’s School did a display as well. He now speaks about nothing else but being just like all the big boys in the magazine. So thank you very much for this opportunity for making my little boys dream .This is the start of a lifelong sport for Layne and he will always have the magazine to look back at maybe as he grows and gets better we will see more of him in your magazine. Thanks again from Tanya Hood

away. The format for the comp is one fish per diver to be weighed in, a Species List will be made available on the day for all divers to have, this is not a pelagic only comp, however the species list is more restricted than some other clubs may be using. For more information contact the Organisers: John & Danielle Shaw: (02) 49477724 or Mob 0413574767

Hi Tanya, That’s what I’m talking about! What sensational feedback. I too am certain we’ll see much more of Layne into the future. To all, if you’ve got a budding young spearo then send in the photos, we love that stuff! (For those that don’t know we featured young Layne Hood in our Short & Sweet Section last issue).

north coast metalworks

NELSON BAY SPEARFISHING CHALLENGE • Hosted by Living Water Freedivers • Saturday 27th February 2010 • One fish per competitor – Biggest Fish Wins! Nelson Bay is located on the East Coast of Australia a comfortable 3 hour drive North of Sydney CBD in NSW. It’s well known as a very popular tourist destination that offers great accommodation, restaurants and spectacular views and beaches. Another exceptional quality is the area’s wellknown ability to produce very large gamefish and other species in the clear warm waters from January to June each year as the East Australian Current pushes warmer water down from more subtropical areas up North. The warmer current brings with it very large marlin, sailfish, dolphinfish, yellowtail kings, cobia just to list a few. These qualities mixed with the relative low cost of accommodation and close proximity to the hot spots have seen some of Australia’s biggest gamefishing tournaments run with millions of dollars each year injected into the local economy. The coast has a large number of offshore islands and reef systems that hold excellent reef fish and pelagic fish, a small tinny can easily access these, so to enjoy the fishing does not mean big dollars. The Spearfishing Challenge was designed to bring out in a person the true sports fisherman by restricting each competitor to one fish at weigh-in. By doing so we limit the overall catch of competitors and normally the weigh in is much more spectacular due to people hunting in deeper water for larger fish. It also decreases the amount of time it takes to conduct the weigh-in, leaving more time for the important things eg. talking about the one that got

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he hunt was on. It was taking place in the sun warmed shallows of a near shore reef off New Zealand’s North-east coast. The hunter was a fish. He was a good sized specimen, big and healthy for his years. He knew the area in which he swam intimately. He had maps of all his local haunts in his mind’s eye and he knew all the best ledges, caves, holes and most importantly ambush points. His diet was mixed and varied and his experience and skill meant he never went hungry. He would prey on the many baitfish that unknowingly schooled too close. Isolating sick or weak individuals within a shoal he’d smash into them without remorse. Taking their heads off with the first rush he’d turn in his own length to engulf the decapitated bodies. Not only was he an efficient hunter he’d also learnt many tricks over the course of his life about scavenging and foraging. His jaws were huge and powerful. He could tear green-lipped mussels off the stones and crush a handful at a time. He would pry adult paua loose from their crevices and crack them in half before gulping them down shell and all. He knew how to snuffle out the various bivalves and snails from the sediment before breaking them with his grinding plates at the back of his throat. Always cautious and wary he moved slowly and purposely for the most part but was capable of fantastic bursts of speed. Difficult to see at most times the sunlight now caught his flanks as he lay on his side in the shallows. He was preying on crustaceans and was after a particularly difficult crab holed-up in a crevice. The sun’s rays lit him up in coppery red and pink hues flecked with iridescent blue dots and highlights. He was truly majestic. He was a Snapper!

by Darren Tierney


by Ashley Walsh

One year, twelve months, 365 days, 8760 hours‌ Whichever way I choose to measure the last year of my life, only one thing comes to mind, WOW! It has been one year since I first joined the Perth based Bluewater Freedivers of Western Australia and what an amazing year it has been. Shortly after relocating to Perth from the Eastern seaboard of Australia I contacted the Bluewater Freedivers, as I was keen to meet some like-minded spearos and get stuck into some of the fish WA has produced for others in the past. A short chat on the phone to the club president and well-known WA diver Barry Paxman saw me attending the next club meeting and saw the beginning of twelve months of pure exhilaration.




by John Featherstone

“My body aches. It is a good ache. I was struggling to comprehend what had just transpired over the last two weeks. From a Spearfishing perspective it simply could not have gotten any better. I am not sure I even know where to start, so forgive the cliché, “I will start at the beginning.”



The Phantom – Walk the Walk The Phantom is fast reaching iconic status. A peep has turned into a murmur that has grown into a rumbling which has cascaded into a roar. WHO IS THE PHANTOM and WHERE IS HE FROM? These words are on almost every spearo’s lips throughout the entire country. Notwithstanding, the Phantom is a little humbled by the hype but none the less coping with the pressure unlike many of our country’s big sporting stars. Yes that’s right, there will be no unsavoury sex scandals, no nude photos or stories of the Phantom flexing his muscle at a seedy nightclub. I understand my role as a mentor, role model and father like figure to all the up and coming rock hoppers out there and the blue water boys who admire the way us rock hoppers dive in 5 foot vis and put body on the line in the wash. I have only just been made aware of this as I walk the streets and travel the coastline in search of spearable waters. It was only last week at a little shop in Coolum when I heard two young kids talking about the latest Phantom comic book they had just bought. Wow! they have put a comic book out about me after just two articles in the Spearfishing Downunder mag. Then as I made my way down the coast in the car parks at Nambucca Heads, Ulladulla and Eden there were people talking about a Phantom movie. Can you believe it? A movie about me. How many people read Captain Featherstones magazine? Could the new Phantom movie be bigger than Immersion? I look forward to sitting down with a copy of a Phantom comic book and reading about Spearfishing and what ever else I get up to. Maybe it’s time for Phantom merchandise to hit the streets? Could the Phantom be to Spearfishing what Reg Reagan is to rugby league, without going to New Zealand?


Spearfishing Downunder #25  

Beautiful Fish, Amazing Locations and a STUNNING way of life. Do you need an excuse?

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