Spearfishing off the coast of Saudie Arabia by Ant Dunne

Off-Shore Islands

Saudie Arabia - Ant DunneWent for a good dive here on the weekend (Thursday). Went out to some islands about 16km out to sea and 55km or so from the boat launch so it was quite a trip. The wind came up a bit on the way there but still nothing compared to South Africa but a bit lumpy with my mates' boat. When we got there it came up from about 120ft to 60ft over about 50ft distance so quite a rise. There were a few local fishermen on the inside so we went to the outside so that we wouldn't interfere with them.

Plenty of Fish

Water was nice with about 30ft viz and an onshore current of not too much. Shot a rocky of sorts on one of my first dives of about 4kg and a little later had a nice rock salmon come cruising under me - dropped onto him lined up for a top down shot and missed him completely as (all) expected - I have got to be the worst shot I know!! Anyhow, after I finished cursing myself about that mistake I thought it looked like he was going somewhere - maybe a cave a little further along the ledge I was working in about 40ft. Took it slow and dropped down a bit further along and saw a bus of a speckled snapper in the distance but he saw me too and wouldn't come in - at least I can still do 2minutes down.... I also saw a few really nice rocksalmon so this was the spot. Went up and rested and back down but as I got down the rocksalmon spooked and I never saw the speckled again but I guess they were all a bit further along, maybe near another cave as the one where I just was, was just a nice over hang kind of cave.

Ambush Tactics

Next dive I crept along under the overhang from the one end to the other hoping it would let me get closer to the fish and get a shot in. Well it worked as I saw the speckled and he had doubled, as he was now two. The bigger one was in the distance but the smaller one was a definite so I drummed it - rolled it at least and he came close to 9kg! Next dive did the same trick and had a pair of nice rocksalmon come up to me - I at least had the chance to wait for the bigger one behind to step up to the plate so I could take him out but unfortunately it wasn't a knockout so it probably scared everything away as I didn't see any more in the open after that. Did a dive to check out the second cave that was a better one but saw nothing in the one entrance so went up.

Gamefish Action

On the way down for the next dive I looked up at something that caught my eye and I thought I was surrounded by a shoal of cuda but they were nice rainbow runner. I was diving with my 1.2m gun with a reel and no buoy so I whacked the biggest one I could see and put the brakes on and stormed for the surface. I put too much pressure as I lost it soon after - it may have been about 9-10kg, too bad. Big Yellowfin Went down and had a look into the other cave entrance just in time to see the bigger speckled thunder behind a rock and not come out of the other side so I couldn't see him to put a shot in. Back up and rest. Once again something catches my eye and I turn to come face to face with a wall of bus yellowfin tuna - probably up to 40kg at least and here I am with just a 1.2m reelgun.

What to do

I realize that if I shoot one I could very likely lose my gun if I don't switch him off. I also realize that if I don't take a shot I will kick myself for a long time later. So I take the shot. I tried for one of the closest ones that must have been about 30kg and hopefully an easy shot. I let fly with a shot that should have hit the brain but, well, you know how well I shoot.... Hit it a bit too high and that was all she wrote. The fish just powered off like only tuna can with me putting almost a full brake on the reel and then there was a pop and just a bit of line hanging from the end of the gun - game over, thank you for playing, don't forget your consolation prize and don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.... Called the boat and got on. More luck fishing We drive out to sea dragging rapalas and we hadn't gone 100m before we went away - it was a yellowfin of 29kg and may have been from the same group.

Cheers, Ant