Mike Van Haele
I’ve been diving 45 or so years.
My pride and joy 21 year old daughter Sara has just recently shown a
spark of interest in diving, maybe she will be my partner soon?
I am unbelievably lucky to have my mentor, Gary Maugh, as a partner in these
great spearfishing events (we are pretty lousy spear fishermen but a
great team). All through my diving career I have enjoyed these national
event, meeting all of my heroes and new personalities. Most of my
best friends have evolved through our great sport.
I hate mayonnaise.
Best of luck to all of the teams. I can’t wait to see everyone.
I started diving in 1971. I was a pretty good bow fisherman before that. Started spearfishing in 1975, and actually used a double hose regulator back then.My summer vacations were weekends at local lakes in the Midwest, where I competed in the Midwest Diving Council tournaments. I found out that free diving was a lot more fun than scuba, but got in trouble when I was beating the other scuba spearfishermen and wasn’t using a tank. The council quickly passed a rule stating that you had to wear a tank during scuba spearfishing completion. In the 70’s and 80’s I won first place 10 times in the MDC free diving spearfishing year-end awards. Mike Van Heale, my dive partner, finally beat me after that. I have competed in 5 free diving Nationals. In 1987 at Table Rock Lake, MO I had the Ernst brothers on the ropes the first day, but they came back the second day. I placed 3rd individual and 2nd team. I enjoyed the 1990 Nationals again at Table Rock. In 2005 I came out of retirement for the Nationals at Table Rock. I thought Nationals at Greer’s Ferry, AR in 2010 would be my last, but my dive partners, Mike VanHaele and Don Hesket talked me into diving last year at Beaver Lake, AR. I think the biggest surprise of my diving career was in 1987 when I was awarded the ISUA Diver of the Year. What an honor to be the only fresh water diver to receive this award. No, I can’t say that. The REALLY biggest surprise was shooting the most fish last year at Beaver Lake in the US of A Freediving Nationals at the age of 73.
I would be honored if each of you would help me celebrate my 74th birthday on May 19, 2017. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do on my birthday than shoot fish in the company of the world’s best spearfishermen.
I was certified in 1969, joined the MDC in 1970, and have been competing ever since. I have represented the MDC in National events at Lake Navajo in Colorado, Lake Whitney and Possum Kingdom in Texas, Lake McConaughy in Nebraska, Table Rock Lake in Missouri, Beaver Lake and Greers Ferry Lake in Arkansas, Lake Eufaula in Oklahoma, Lake Oahe in South Dakota, Dauphin Island in Alabama, and the Florida Keys, and now in Lake Mead in Nevada. I have also enjoyed sport diving in Australia, Bahamas, Cancun, Cozumel, Fiji, Hawaii, and South Africa. I have been the tournament chairman for four different USoA National Championships, so I can appreciate the amount of time and effort that has gone into a tournament like this one. Looking forward to tipping back a few with many of the divers/friends that I have met at some of the tournaments. Ya’ll have fun, dive hard, and be safe!!
I’ve been an active member of the Midwest Diving Council since 1988. I started out more heavily involved with underwater photography and gravitated to spearfishing, particularly skin spearfishing, shortly after. I’ve had various partners during that time including my wife Linda, and have participated in many national events in some of the larger Midwest lakes, Lake Oahe in South Dakota and ocean tournaments in Alabama and Florida. I look forward to this event in Lake Mead. I’ve never been there and am always excited about checking out a new lake. Phil and I have been shooting together for many years and work well together, but this is the first time that anyone has invited us to play in the senior division. I guess it was only a matter of time. Looking forward to seeing everyone again and sharing lies….I mean stories about our exploits and experiences. See you soon.
•2016 team national champion.
•Trained with PFI, FII, AIDA, and SSI training
•International Experience: South Africa, Mozambique,
Bali, Nusa Lembonan, Banda Sea,
Costa Rica, Peru, New Zealand , Baja – Cortez
and Pacific side
•USA Experience: Hawaiian Islands, Alaska,
California/Channel Islands, Louisiana/Gulf of
Mexico, Florida East and West Side, Florida keys
and Marquesas, Rhode Island, Lake Mead, Latham, Zanzibar.
•Represented the USA on the USA World
Spearfishing Team Peru 2014.
•Once parallel parked a train.
39 yrs old
2016 team national champion
8x national competitor
World team qualifier
4x pacific coast champion team
Cencal diver of the year
Current world record holder for
freshwater striped bass.
Calvin Lai is a local, Island-born Hawaiian. Spearfishing since the age of 7, he has over 30 years of experience on the ocean—many of which include prestigious awards and recognitions. These include but are not limited to: 2-time United States Freshwater National Spearfishing Champion, former world record holder for the Pacific Blue Marlin, and numerous state records. Calvin has appeared on numerous local TV shows for spearfishing and just recently finished with an upcoming Travel Channel episode. As a young child, Calvin was introduced to the art and love of spearfishing by his grandfather, Ceasar Rubio. Grandfather Rubio taught Calvin that knowledge of, respect, and love for the ocean and its environment are irreplaceable gifts that must be held in the highest regard.Spearfishing is an art valued throughout the entire Lai family. Due to this, you’ll often find his father, Calvin Lai, Sr., a seasoned 40-year captain, accompanying Calvin on his water journeys. If you are fortunate enough, you may even get to meet next generation Eli Lai Junior, as he is also very experienced and occasionally joins in on the fun as well. When not fishing or spending time with his family, Calvin Lai works as a full-time firefighter in Kona, Hawaii.
Hana is a native Hawaiian, Raised on the north shore in big waves, Hana did a lot of big wave surfing. In the diving world Hana quickly be came an all star. He is very instinctive with any waters and fish. In the US we hunt a 5 region circuit in all types of waters and fish, Hana is among the best divers, in any water, the US has ever had. in 2009 he became the AOY, the top athlete diver in all the United States. In 2011 he focused on freshwater and by 2013, 2014, 2015 Nation-International events, he was winning everything. Hana and Calvin are the 2013 defending National Champs in lake mead. This is the only big meet ever held in Lake Mead and they each shot over 100 fish. They both bring a fun easy going Hawaiian style to these events and know how to turn it on when it comes to winning big and coming from behind. We are honored to dive with such great friends and competitors like these 2. Mahalo
Duke has spent most of his life in Colorado. Over the last seven years he has developed his skills in the cold mountain lakes of the Rockies, and in the waters beyond whenever the opportunity presents itself. While he loves competition he feels the best part of a tournament is the good friends you see again, and the new ones you make.
Ryan Myers grew up fishing and diving in Stuart, Florida. After studying Marine Biology at Florida Tech, he spent three months sailing through the Bahamas where he picked up his first IUSA World Record. Soon after, he travelled to Hawaii where he participated in his first National Spearfishing Championship and was exposed to advanced spearfishing techniques. Recently he competed in the CMAS World Spearfishing Championship where he speared and landed a grouper at 185 feet. He placed 12th out of 75 of the best divers from around the world. In addition to his five IUSA World Records, Ryan is an accomplished free diver, a US coast guard licensed captain, and a PADI free-dive instructor. Ryan’s specialities include deep hunting techniques and advanced primitive spearfishing. Ryan teaches both beginner and advanced skills in his expeditions around the world.
Dive safe everyone.
Savanah is growing up with a diving family.
She started swimming competitively at age 6
and has been diving and surfing for the last 5 years.
She spearfishes in the Midwest lakes of the US and
at our Villa down in the Baja. also dives for large red Abalone in Northern California.
She has competed in regional events taking large carp and small mouth bass.
She has the Northern Pike World Record for women
taken in Colorado at 16.6 pounds.
She is stoked to be diving with all these great women and plans to have some great fun.
Best fishes to all for a safe event.
I am an avid Spearfishing Freediver with over 15 years diving and over 10 years in competition spearfishing. I grew up on the riverbanks of the Chesapeake Bay watershed rivers and coastal Southern California, waterbound my entire life. I got my start in competition spearfishing in Southern California when I found my diving family in the Los Angeles Fathomiers Dive club. I competed in my first Nationals Spearfishing competition in 2009. The biggest fish I have speared to date, is a yellowfin tuna, as long as I am tall. The toughest fish I have speared, and by far my favorite is the dog toothed snapper. Pound for pound, much harder to hunt than bigger fish, and the sense of accomplishment far greater for me. I have so many great diving moments, that it is hard to pick out my favorite dive.
However, one of my most memorable hunts, was a seabass hunt that went from dusk into night. I remember watching the sunset, as I swam so far out from where I got into the water. Like so many times before, I swim well into the night, hunting fish. I love listening to the seabass sing like giant frogs as they set up in the kelp beds. Their sounds always haunt me year after year, because they make such booming and beautiful noises that shake my bones when they are close and so loud. When the water is clear or hazy, I always enjoy the moments where the setting sun lets golden rays under the kelp cannopy into the kelp bed, and it is so dark on the bottom and so peaceful, that I just sink and lay there, watching the fish swim above me and the fading lights of the day. Its these moments where I am no longer hunting for fish, but turning inward to myself and disconnecting with all of the poppycock nonsense of the world above the surface. And I am free… for a while. I remember many dives blending together like this, and when I could no longer see color in my vision, as the sun was long gone, I saw an enormous seabass below me, as I descended. I fell deeper motionless, keeping my gun retracted until the last moment possible. A loud snap and small cavitation from steel burning water, disturbing the lazy motion of the dark kelp below. Her motionless white belly beamed in the darkness. I brought her to the surface, drove my spike into her brain, and began my long swim back to shore. The stars lit the sky as I hucked a 5 foot long fish, a 55 inch wooden gun and the weight of dive gear up a 200 foot cliff on my back, at almost 75% of my body weight. I remember reaching the top, laying all of this down to look at the night sky, and realizing how great it is, to have solitude, peace, a successful hunt. I was supposed to be studying for a doctoral exam…. I slept in my truck, showed up and aced my test anyway, with a huge grin on my face. Not sure what my classmates did to prepare for that exam, but Im pretty sure my way of studying worked brilliantly.
Outside of spearfishing, I also have a love of personal watercraft, and compete in Freestyle competitions. Last year I earned my way to be the only woman to place in the top 10 in the World for Amature Freestyle on my Custom Yamaha Superjet. I am a very active athlete in both powersports and spearfishing. I wrench on my own boats and setup my own diver gear for competitions. As a woman who has made history in spearfishing and my other athletic pursuits, I pride myself on self sufficiency. I love mentoring new divers in the sport and empowering other women to make their own path.
My career is in biomedical and clinical medical sciences. I have been a cancer research scientist for over a decade, EMT, and recently completed my doctorate. I am interested in translational cancer and stem cell research and freediving physiology.
Sponsors: Team Red Tide Spearfishing, Crist/Gatku Polespears, Liquid Militia Clothing, Bomber Eyewear, Jetpilot, Hydroturf, Tidewater Chiropractic, Wamilton’s
Customs, Paul King Customs
Records and Awards:
2016 – IUSA Women’s Spearfishign Pending World Record – California Ling Cod
IUSA Women’s Spearfishing World Record – California White Seabass
IUSA Women’s Spearfishing World Record – African Pompano
2013 Charlie Sturgill Polespear Competition – 3rd place
2013 National Spearfishing Competition – USOA All American Team Award, 2nd place female diver
2012 Pacific Coast Championship – First woman to earn in top 5 divers
2012 – GLACD Top Diver – First woman to earn in recorded California Spearfishing History
2010 Big Ab Big Ling – Manchester, CA – Top Female Abalone Diver
2010 S.C.A.N. Biggest Abalone Competition – Top Female Diver, 4th Overall
2010 Wrightsville Beach Tournament, Wilmington NC – Top 10 divers
2010 Gatku Polespear Meet, San Diego – Second Place
2010 Los Angeles Fathomiers – Second Place Competitive Diver for entire year
*First female to earn place in top 5 divers in over 50 years of club competition history
2010 GLACD – Second Place Competitive Diver
2010 Los Angeles Fathomiers Underwater Hunting Club – Rookie of the Year 2010
2010 Steve Redding Lifetime Achievement Award
Multiple All Time Records for Reef species in L.A.F. History
2009 National Spearfishing Championship, Malibu CA, 2009
Second Place Female Diver, USOA All American Diver, Rookie of the Year
2009 GLACD Mixed Team, Pacific Coast Championship – 3rd place
2009 Big Ab Big Ling – Second Place Women’s Division
2009 Picasso Open – Southern California, Top Female Diver, Second Overall Diver
My name is Summer Shedd and I am from Miami Florida; growing up I spent a majority of my time in the Bahamas so spearfishing for my family has always been a way of life. In 2011 I won the women’s category and placed 4th overall in the Big Bang Open held in West Palm Beach Florida. However by 2013 I decided to step away from tournaments and focus on my blue water hunting, spearing abroad, and working with the organization Diving For A Cause. Reef hunting using primitive gear has always been my first love and one of my primary focuses when diving my home waters. In 2014 I landed the current women’s world record permit and cobia for the primitive gear category.
I am looking forward to competing in the USOA Fresh Water Nationals as my first tournament since my competitive hiatus and the new and exciting challenges fresh water hunting may present. The biggest goal of my spearfishing career is to present myself as a positive role model for all women involved in the sport and hopefully inspire more women to become involved. I would also like to thank Koah Spearguns and DiveR for their continued support in all of my spearfishing ventures.
She spent her life exploring the waterways of Miami and going to the Bahamas with her family.
After many years of scuba diving and snorkeling she met Ryan Myers.
Over the last two years she has spent lots of time in the water with him learning to freedive and spear fish.
She competed in the 2016 national championships in Arkansas helped Ryan scout for the 2015 Nationals in Tampa and was Ryans safety for months of scouting in Greece for the world championship. She is excited to compete with her friend Summer Shedd and have a great time seeing old friends at lake mead.
My name is Julie Riffe.
I started spearfishing at 12 years old, following my dad’s path. He has been a great influence in my life and motivated me to pursue my dreams.
Because I was born and raised around this sport it seemed only natural that I was going to follow in his footsteps.
I was fortunate enough to travel the world in my 20s and 30s while raising my two daughters, Kaelyn and Sierra. I shared my passion with them, spearfishing impressive game and meeting amazing people along the way. They are now spearfishing themselves and following in their mother’s footsteps.
This journey has given me so much pride in what I do and growth as a woman in the sport. I am privileged to have participated in events like National, World and Local competitions.
I am honoured and privileged to be diving with new females up-and-coming in the sport along with many other old friends at Lake Mead and wish the best of luck to all the teams representing their respective countries and looking forward to connect with everyone again.
Notable catches among others:
Wahoo, 82 lbs
Yellowfin tuna, 92 lbs
White sea bass, 42 lbs
Bluefin tuna, 67 lbs
White sea bass, 42 lbs
Halibut, 32 lbs
Mahi, 24 lbs
2x National womens team spearfishing champion (1996, 1998)
1st place womens largest fish in Malibu, 1998
IUSA world record Amaco amberjack (2005)
Currently work with my family at Riffe International manufacturing spearguns sold around the world.
I was born into a diving family that loved to camp, dive, and take game along the Western coast of the US and into Mexico.
My brother Glen and I started in fresh water river competitions over 45 years ago and have been blessed with many great experiences at a national and world level.
I now enjoy giving back to the sport through the fresh water meets we hold in the mid west.
Getting my daughter and son involved at a young age and seeing them grow to be strong and safe divers has been the most exciting thing for me over these last few years. Although I am still adjusting to have them beat me for big fishing in competitions
WFSC for me is about giving the top divers from every country, in every division an opportunity compete and learn from each other in a competitive but fun format.
I believe this format is the key to building our sport and industry, One new diver, one fun mentoring opportunity at a time.
Join in, Fresh Water Rocks!
He has been diving for 12 year and has competed in 7 nationals. He enjoys the FUN part of being in the water with friend and family. We dive California, midwest lakes and Baja very regularly. Most of his competition time is in freshwater shooting Carp, Walleys, Striper, Northern Pike. He especially enjoys catching lobster, shooting big grouper and yellow tail and beating his Dad.
Team McGuire is very Proud to be sponsored by Rob Allen and the Freedive Shop.
We want to wish all the competitors a fun, safe diving experience while in the US, thanks so much for coming:)
Aloha ! The sport of spearfishing has given me
some of my fondest memories. I’m looking forward
to a fabulous experience and to share my aloha
with everyone. I want to thank all the hands that
put this competition together. I dedicate this 2017 Worlds to my buddy and long time dive partner,
Tad Shimabukuro. He is facing the toughest
challenge of his life. I hope with lots of prayers
and proper treatment he can remain with us a
long time. Please dive safe and have a wonderful
.Imua, Mahalo, Bruce Ayau
Hi I’m Elijah Lai from Kona Hawaii I am originally from Oahu and I just moved to Kona about 8 months ago for my senior year.
Spear fishing is a tradition in our family that has been passed down from generation to generation.
The first spear fishermen in our family was my great grampa Rubio.
Back in his days they would make there own spearguns and still shoot 100+ uluas.
Grampa Rubio was the man who taught my dad how to dive.
From a young age he would take my dad out with a stick as a stringer and follow my dad around while he shot fish and before you knew it my dad was an expert.
When I was about 6 years old my dad made me my own Hawaiian sling to shoot manini in the shallow waters.
I used a Hawaiian sling till I was about 13 and when I went to a gun.
It made a big difference, it was like the fish didn’t even have a chance.
From the very moment I step foot in the water I fell in love with the sport of spear fishing and I plan to spearfish till the day I die and to pass on the legacy of the sport to my kids in the future.
is a college student working
towards his degree
in fisheries and
aquatic sciences. He
has always been an
outdoors man with
hobbies ranging from trapping, and
falconry, to hunting with gun and bow.
Ryan discovered spearfishing in 2010
by making a make shift pole spear to
spear an invasive species that was
overpopulating a local Utah reservoir.
His love for the sport was immediate.
He is now the head of Fresh Water
Fish Slayers with members throughout
central Utah. He met his wife Shelby
in the end of 2013 and she also fell in
love with the sport. Ryan loves nothing
more than to get together with his
fellow spear-fisherman and go for a
is a fun loving
adventurous young lady. She
currently works for Marriott Hotels
as a front desk clerk. She is from
a small town in southern Utah but
now lives with her husband Ryan
in central Utah. Shortly after meeting
Ryan in 2014 he introduced
her to Spearfishing, and she fell
in love. She doesn’t have a lot of
dive time under her belt but she
is determined as a woman in the
sport to make her mark.
Aloha!! My name is Justin Lee and I’ll be partnered up with my good buddy Jandon Llego. Excited to see old faces and new ones in this first WFSC and just laugh with everyone. But stoked to be here and stoked to get to compete against some of the best in the world. Good luck everyone and dive safe. May you guys and girls shoot lots of fish but please stop at one less than Jandon and I…
Born 1 st Nov 1956.
Started competition diving at the age of 11yrs with Kingfishers Skindiving Club in
Australian Open Champion 3 times and Veteran Champion 5times.Pacific coast
Bluewater Champion, NSW State Champion
Inter Pacific Open Champion.
Represented Australia in world Titles in Gijon Spain, Inter Pacific Competition
5 times New Zealand, New Caledonia, Australia, Bluewater Comp Mexico.
Mechanical fitter by trade and commercial diver, Pearl diving in Broome, Trocus,
sea cucumber in Queensland, Abalone and sea urchin in NSW.
Blue water dive guide Coral Sea and throughout the south pacific.
Largest fish 281kg Pacific Bluefin Tuna speared of west coast of New Zealand.
Never speared in freshwater before and looking forward to the challenge.
Took on the job as sports secretary which helped me learn a lot more , especially different fish species. From this point on I started doing well in competitions. Runner up three times in South Coast Championship , early 70,S won the N S W Championship pairs and runner up in the open. 1972 won the Eden Competition. Moved to Cairns North Queensland in 1973 joined the local club. Wasn’t to long and was starting to win most comps. 1976 won the Australian Championship which was held in Cairns ” bit of local knowledge helps ” 1977 was my best year , Represented Australia in Tri Parti Comp. Australia , New Zealand and New Caledonia. Won the New Caledonia open against all the locals as well as all the Aussie and New Zealand teams. Was runner up in Australian Titles held in South Australia. In Australian Tri Parti team 1978 in New Zealand and 1989 in Tahiti. Still fish most of the Australian Titles.won several Master Titles as well as Grand Master Titles.
Born 02/05/55 in Germany, immigrated to Australia in 1957 and settled in a small coastal town in the south of Sydney. He first started diving at the age of 9 and joined a spearfishing club in 1971. He has been a commercial abalone diver 35 years, he has been competing in spearfishing competition since 1973 and represented Australia no less than 18 times. He is looking forward to diving the Fresh Water competition.
Born in Austria and have been an Aussie since I was one year old. Started non-competitive spearfishing at 15 and introduced both my sons to the sport at a very young age. My youngest son and I started competition spearing 16 years ago and still enjoy the sport to this day. There is nothing I enjoy more than to spearfish with my youngest and to have my eldest at the helm of my boat taking good care of us. I have dived in freshwater but never speared in it – only line-fished for trout; as well as carp (also a very successful invasive species in Australia). I have competed in the NZ Nationals as a pair with my son achieving a good result considering the age of my son at that time and our limited experience in pairs based competitions. I have competed in approx. 10 Aussie Nationals with mixed results but mostly finished well in Veterans and Masters. I am looking forward to being able to spear pest species in freshwater, as our regulations do not allow this as yet.
is 49 years old, lives in Port Fairy Victoria Australia. He is an Professional Abalone Diver.
He has been spearfishing since the age of 14.
His Spearfishing accomplishments :
Victorian Open Champion 2003
Multiple Western District Open Champion
Eden 3 Way Veterans Champion. 2015 &2016
Eden 3 Way Open Pairs champion. 2016
is an 18 year old apprentice Plumber. He also lives in Port Fairy. He has been Spearfishing
since the age of 10.
His Spearfishing accomplishments:
Western District Junior Champion 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Western District Open Champion 2016
Australian Junior Champion 2014
Eden 3 Way Junior Champion 2016
Eden 3 Way Open Pairs Champion 2016
My fascination for the underwater world started when I used my first mask and snorkel at 7 years old thus, allowing me to admire all the alien underwater creatures and brightly coloured fish. However, my real passion was any type of fishing, with anything, as long as I had a chance of catching a fish. I was selected in 1996 to compete in my first national competition in the South African National Spearfishing Championships. I have spearfished in 14 such competitions since in South Africa and have won the South African Open Spearfishing Championship in 2008. Whilst spearfishing in South Africa, I won a number of local competitions in Natal over my 22 years of competitive diving, such as placing 1st in the Wahoo Winter Gamefish Competition out of 131 divers in 2003. The aforementioned placing’s saw me being ranked by www.saspearoranking.co.za, using a statistically valid methodology, as No. 3 in South Africa in 2007/2008.
I was invited to dive the ‘Springbok Trials’ in January 2008 where I finished 6th out of South Africa’s top 8 divers and in the same year I was selected to compete in the World Champions League held in Kastelorizo, Greece, placing 7th out of the top 14 European teams and having to make dives to -47m in order to shoot fish.
My travels have allowed me to spearfish in Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania, France, Tunisia, Greece, United Kingdom, Thailand, Indonesia, South Africa, Australia and now Nevada, USA.
In 2008, I immigrated to Perth and dived my first national titles in 2009 where I placed 13 out of 42 divers. I have dived 6 national titles since and have also represented Australia in competitions held in South Africa in 2009 (placed 1st against 3 SA teams) and 2013 (captained/managed the team), as well as being selected to represent Australia in the 2016 XXX World Spearfishing Championships in Syros, Greece. I regularly compete in various other spearfishing competitions, which I have sometimes won or placed in the top five, but the winning the Annual Glynn Drommey Competition (largest spearfishing competition in Western Australia) in 2013 and 2014 is most notable for me. I have worked as PADI Divemaster/Assistant Instructor, Commercial Diver and Naval Clearance Diver, but am now a Corrosion/Chemical Engineer.
Bree Fox & Craig Fox
30kg Kingfish in New Zealand
22 kg Southern blue fin tuna in Port Fairy
30 pound Mahi Mahi In HawaiiPersonal highlights ( Bree )
Blue water hunting in Hawaii
Australian titles 2016
Western Districts Victoria 15,16,2017
My name is Joe Martindale, I’m 56 years of age & I live on the east coast of Australia in a city called Newcastle two hours north of Sydney.
My love for spearfishing started at the age of (35)
In my 20 years of spearfishing, I’ve been lucky enough too dive all over Australia in some of the most beautiful waters the world has to offer as well as exploring oceans abroad.
My achievements in spearfishing are winning several big fish comps & shooting notable fish but most of all introducing my kids into the sport.
From Adelaide, New Providence Island, Greg Maillis speared his first fish at age 4. By age 14, he began searching for new hunting challenges in deeper waters and he developed equipment to start taking Reef Pelagics and Open Ocean Pelagic gamefish without using a speargun, as they are illegal to use in The Bahamas. Today this remains Greg’s passion and he has taken it as far as South Africa and Indonesia, some of the worlds most dangerous and challenging waters to dive. At the World Championships, he plans to stick to the Bahamian way, using only Hawaiian Sling and Polespear! Greg sees spearfishing as an analogy for life and hopes for the Bahamian spearfishing style to be propagated worldwide, as well as the respect for the ocean that comes with it!
The first time I ever saw a spearo was about four years ago. He emerged from the water in a camouflaged wetsuit, with a rubber-band speargun, and fish! From that moment, I knew this was my calling. I began my adventure along the north and south jetties at the Indian River Inlet, in Delaware, and quickly realized this wasn’t what I expected. On a good day, the vis is about four feet, or a little over a meter. Anything over that can be considered divine intervention from Poseidon himself. I soon came to love these waters and how close it brought the fish to me. There’s nothing quite like laying on a rocky bottom and watching a school of over thirty striped bass swim circles around your head, within touching distance. I harvested many stripers, flounder and tautog, once I got the hang of it. It was quite a shock to me when the ocean told me I had to pay my dues and I met the taxman for the first time. Luckily, by the end of my first year, a fellow spearo noticed me and invited me to join the local spearfishing club. I first joined the Delaware State Skindivers club in 2014. The club was founded in 1959 and has many experienced spearfishers that have been diving and spearing for most of their lives. During my first year in the club, I speared my heaviest fish to date, a 55lb(25kg) black drum. Luckily, the next weekend, during a club meet, I speared another large black drum at 48lbs(22kgs) which won me biggest fish for the year and helped me secure spearfisher of the year with most total weight. I continued diving with the club and went on to win spearfisher of the year in 2016 as well. Among many other things, one of the highlights of my time diving with the club was coming face to face with an 8ft(2.4m) bull shark that probably thanked me for the free meal. I found this competition online by chance and decided to apply on a whim. I didn’t really realize what I signed up for until I read through the profiles of all the other divers competing. The combined level of skill and experience is astounding. I am truly honored to be a part of this competition and look forward to meeting everyone.
Best of Luck,
Magali is from Rimouski, a small coastal city in Canada. She worked as a commercial diver for years, doing mostly dam work and underwater welding.
After years of commercial diving, she took her first freediving class in Hawai’i and was instantly hooked. She has been spearfishing the Hawaiian waters mostly around Big Island.
You can also find her often on the California coast and on Vancouver Island hunting the local fish over there.
She loves spearing a little bit more than freediving itself, but you will still find her training on the line to keep good form and work on her personal bests. She believes both disciplines compliment one another perfectly.
1x Hawai’i women pole spear record holder
Placed second in Kikaha freediving competition in 2017
First and foremost, I want to express how proud and fortunate I am to be a part of this tournament. I truly believe the World Freshwater Spearfishing Tournament is one of the greatest tournaments in the world because it promotes safe and friendly competition. My personal story with spear fishing is a simple one: fifty years ago I used my first speargun and was hooked ever since. I grew up in Havana, Cuba, right by the ocean and took every opportunity to get into the water and catch some dinner. After using my first speargun, I have been involved in spear fishing ever since. I first attended a local classifying tournament when I was 16 years old. By 18 years of age I was already a regular at any available meet. As time passed I moved to Miami, I became involved with Miami Free Divers Club and gained championship experience in Florida. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to attend countless events representing my adoptive country, the United States of America, on at all levels: local, municipal, regional, states, nationals, Pan-American, and world championships. In 2007, I was certified as a CMAS international spearfishing Judge, and I was granted the privilege to act as a judge on an Euro- African championship and two Pan-American championships. At this WFSC tournament, I have the distinct honor of representing the people from my native land, Cuba, in a team with a well renown USA spearfishing champion, Harolf Dean. I wish clear waters and good fishing to all the participants. Thank you for the opportunity to be here rubbing shoulders with you all, the best of the best!
I am a Cuban American diver, that was initiated in the practice of underwater spearfishing at the age of 13 years in my home town of Havana, Cuba. It was not until the year 2000 when I arrived in the United States that I got involved in spearfishing competitions after I enrolled with the Long fins Spearfishing club, in Florida.
I have attended many local, statewide and national tournaments that granted me the opportunity to represent my adoptive country as a member of the USA Team at Pan-American and world tournaments. I am privileged to hold some important titles like US national champion in 2011, Pan-American champion in 2013 and a 10th place at the world championship in Venezuela in 2008, when competing against the top divers around the world.
I consider myself very lucky in this sport since I have caught very large fish including two world records .
Coming to the WFSC is an important step in my career in this sport, I hope to make new friends and enjoy rubbing shoulders with many of the best spearfish divers in the world.
I wish you good luck for everyone and dive safe
Hafa Adai. I am born and raised on Guam. My father, Mike, and nino (godfather),
Pat, started taking me fishing on their boats before I could walk. My first memories
on the boat were of us trolling for Tarakitu (Trevally) just outside of the reef. In
those days it was not uncommon to get four on at a time. Since then I’ve made
fishing a huge part of my life and for the last 6 years until present…my full time
My first fish I speared was a Sak Sak (Bigscale soldierfish). My biggest fish speared
was a Mamulan (Giant Trevally). My favorite place to spear fish is on the East side.
My favorite fish to eat is a M’atan Hagon (Bigeye Emperor).
I learned to spearfish from my Uncle who is my dive partner and my 2 brothers Todd and Myles. I am the only female on Guam that competes in tournaments so I am usually a solo competitor.
I started diving in Guam at an early age. For the last two years I have been competing in the women’s Inter-pacific competitions.
The first fish I’ve ever caught was a real small parrot fish. My brother Todd said if I didn’t catch a fish the first time I could never go with them again. Lol
I come from a family of Fishermen but me and my brother are the only ones that spearfish.
I do not hunt commercially, if I did I would be broke. Lol
My Biggest 🐟 fish is this king fish I’m holding in New Zealand
I have spearfished in Saipan, Yap, Palau, Guam and New Zealand. I look forward to traveling the world and spearfishing everywhere.
My best dive ever would have to be in Yap, fish everywhere, crystal clear water and warm water.
Hafa Adai, my name is Chase Weir I’m 26 and i’ve been spearfishing fishing for about 8 years. I am a dive boat captain on Guam and spend most of my time out on the water. Whether its fishing or driving, I find myself on the water 5-7 days a week. I own my own underwater production company “Liquid Soul Industries” which allows me to travel throughout the pacific shooting commercials and taking photos. Fishing has always been a passion for me and I have a great time diving with my partner Monique and her brother Todd and close friend Myles. I am very excited to participate in my 1st freshwater tournament.
My name is Sergio Astuti and I come from Genoa Italy.
Genoa is where in Italy after the second WW all the diving equipment started to be projected, realized by names like Egidio Cressi, Luigi Ferraro, Duilio Marcante, Ludovico Mares and more….
Being part of the C.N.Sturla dive club, I got in touch with Silvano Agostini the strongest spearo I ever met and owner of the TopSub wetsuit company. He showed me not only the personal techniques he developed but the love for the sea.
I took part for 10 years to the qualifications at the italian championship 1st division, 4 italian team championship and international tournament in France .
I’m a Spearfishing instructor and very proud to represent my country at this World Championship.
Republic Of Moldova
– Started spearfishing at the age 18.
– Traveled all over the Soviet Union participating in many USSR Spearfishing Championship’s.
– Participated in the Spearfishing European Championship’s in 1997 and 1999.
– Went to Australian Bluewater Free diving Classic’s in Woolgoolga in 1998.
– Participated in the 20th World Spearfishing Championship in 2006.
I have also had opportunities to participate in Championships in Bulgaria and Croatia, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Turkey and Greece. I have spearfished in New Zealand, Fiji, Dominican Republic and USA.I would be honored to get a chance to participate in the 2017 World Fresh Spearfishing Championship in Lake Mead. This sport has allowed me to travel all over the world and most of all meet many people and make great friends.
Scott has been diving for over 20 years. Born in New Zealand, he now lives in Missouri as a farmer and has lots of freshwater spearfishing experience. He has won numerous New Zealand competitions as well as being the World Freshwater Champion in Beaver Lake 2016.
Ian is a 6 times New Zealand spearfishing champion, has competed as part of the New Zealand spearfishing team a total of 16 times in numerous national and world tournaments. Ian has also been the manager of numerous national teams. This is his 3rd time competing in the Freshwater champs so has lots of freshwater spearing experience under his belt.
Darren has been spearfishing for over 45 years and has been the New Zealand champion 6 times.
He has competed in the World Spearfishing championships 4 times and has managed numerous national spearfishing teams on overseas competitions.
He currently holds the New Zealand yellowfin tuna spearfishing record and came 2nd in the World Freshwater Spearfishing Championships in Beaver Lake 2016.
I’m jordy Wilson. I am 17 years old from New Zealand and have been free diving since the age of 8 years old and spearfishing since I was 12 years old. I have competed at two New Zealand spearfishing nationals and recently won the junior division at the 2017 champs. I am also a New Zealand representative competitive swimmer. My best fish to date is a 20lb snapper which is a very sought after fish in New Zealand
-Constantin Ursa & Andrei Cucos
My name is Andrei Dandara. I am 38 years old. I have been spearfishing for 9 years. Spearfished in Russia, Moldova,Turkey, Italy, Ucraine and Bolgaria. In Romania spearfishing is against the law, so we only get to do what we love when we go on vacations or we have to find privatly owened lakes,the closest to my house is 400 miles away. Sometimes we go to visit our friends in Moldova and Ukraine. My biggest trophy is 25 kg. carp. My favorit thing to do is travel with my friends and family. I have started to introduce my 10y.o. twins to this amasing sport. This woild be my first Big competition and my first visit to USA. In Romania spearfishing is against the law, so we only get to do what we love when we go on vacations or we have to find privatly owened lakes,the closest to my house is 400 miles away. Sometimes we go to visit our friends in Moldova and Ukraine.
Started spearfishing after being unsuccessful at shore fishing. I was about 25 at the time. I slowly progressed to make the provincial team. Lived in Australia for 2 years and made the west Australian team.
Eventually came back to South Africa, and then after many years made the South African Team. Since then I have represented South Africa In Spain Chile Tahiti and Croatia. I have competed many times in Greece in the Champions league
I have speared in many countries around the world Including England Portugal Madagascar Zanzibar Kenya New Zealand Trinidad And Tobago and some more.
My passion is the sea. I have 2 sons who I am very proud of. They live with me and support me in my passion.
Guy Le Meme
My name is Guy Le Meme and I am 37 years old. I am a Wahoo Dive Club and Durban Underwater Club member. I am also a SAUFF member and the unions development officer. I began my Spearfishing journey in 2009 in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. My competitive career began the day I purchased my own boat in 2011. I currently own my own business in the financial services sector which has allowed my Spearfishing career to progress. I train everyday to improve my Spearfishing ability and general fitness. If I’m not diving due to South African weather conditions I am training in the gym or pool to maintain condition. I also follow an extremely strict diet which promotes my healthy lifestyle. My favorite reef fish to hunt is a Daga Salmon / Mulloway. I enjoy the general depth of 30m that you find these fish on the South African coastline. I also enjoy the sheer power the larger species have. My favorite pelagic fish is an amberjack which we find off the Kwazulu Natal South Coast off a reef called Protea Banks. The depth of this reef is between 26m and 38m and the larger amberjack fish are found during the months of March and April. I won my first competition in 2012 at the annual winter Game Fish competition at Cape Vidal on the Zululand Coast. In 2014 I became the Kwazulu Natal Spearfishing champion and was selected to represent a South African (Sauff) team to dive against an Australian National Team. In 2015 I also won the the Kwazulu Natal Spearfishermen title and was selected to dive the Champions League Competition in Limnos Greece with 5 fellow South Africans. The Spearfishing in Limnos (Mediterranean) was by far the most difficult and rewarding Spearfishing experience of my life. The fish in the Mediterranean Sea are extremely challenging to hunt and the Europeans are the best divers in the world which made the competition my most memorable experience.My most memorable fish was my recent 253 kgs Black Marlin off the Kwazulu Natal north coast. The current iusarecords world record is 211kgs which I unfortunately could not claim as I had to cut the fish to transport to a weighing scale big enough. After weighing all the parts separately the total weight came to 253kgs. I shot the Marlin with a 1.2m double band standard reel gun with no float. I fought the fish for 2 hours and it took 4 hours to tow it back to the launch site. The Black Marlin showed me what I have been looking for everytime I risk my life and spend time away from my amazing family. It made me realize why I dive.
My biggest 5 fish in order are:
253kgs Black Marlin
39kgs Daga Salmon (mulloway)
24kgs Black Mussel Cracker
Spearing my first fish at the age of seven and introduced to the sport by my older brother, I became an absolute spearfishing fanatic and always dreamt of representing my country. My goal is to dive as frequent as possible in various locations around the world. I also make an effort to capture my underwater world of spearfishing on film, enabling me to share my adventures with everyone…
I have taken part in 2 World Champions League Events in Greece and it was an amazing learning experience.
As current and former South African spearfishing champion, it is now an absolute honor to represent my country in this international event.
I am looking forward to meet new friends and learn from foreign divers and their hunting techniques.
Bonani M Cele
South African Team
In December 2011, I became passionate about spearfishing after attending a Beginner Spearfishing Course.
Since then I have represented the SAUFF (South African Under Water Fishing Federation) Team, at 2x National Spearfishing Championships.
From 2014 I have been a National Development coach who is involved in training young divers as well ascompleting my SASACC Coaches and Managers course in 2015.
When I dive I enjoy the challenge of spearing reef dwelling species in the ocean.
Rob Allen Dive Factory cc. is my day job, where I am the Factory Manager Architecture is my other passion, as well as maintaining a healthy mind and body.
Vegas will be my first of many new experiences as I have never travelled before and cannot wait to Represent my country and look forward to making new friends and exchanging experiences.
I started my spearfishing endeavors in South Africa some 14 years ago. Coming from a family of fishermen, my passion for spearfishing was a natural progression. I started my spearfishing career living in a coastal town on the South side of Kwa-Zulu Natal, which in my opinion offers some of the best and diverse spearfishing in the world. I have a love for being underwater and feel comforted by the quiet depths of the ocean. I have a preference for reef hunting where I can hunt on the bottom looking for challenging species to outwit. This is one of his reasons for moving toward competitive spearfishing – To test yourself, measure your progress and drive your own ability. I have put a lot of focus into competitive diving over the past couple of years and managed to rack up a few accomplishments including:
3rd place: 2015 South African National championships
3rd Place: 2016 South African National championships
Biggest fish award 2015 Kuwait spearfishing Challenge
1st place as provincial: 2016 South African National championships
1st place 2015 African Classic
1st place 2015 Kuwait spearfishing Challenge
His most memorable fish to date are:
114.7 Kg Bigeye tuna
116 Kg Yellowfin tuna
40 Kg Daga salmon
14 Kg Bohar snapper
16.5 Kg Dog snapper
Vaeamuni Kama or Vaea as he is known is a young and enthusiastic spearfisherman from the Kingdom Of Tonga. Aged 18, Vaea has been spearfishing since he was 12 years of age and has done the majority of his spearfishing in his home waters of the South Pacific.
He was taught the finer points of spearfishing from his close friend Ben Carlson. He is now on an extended trip to the USA to visit Ben and has been diving off Florida where he recently landed his heaviest fish to date, a 100 pound Amberjack.
Vaea works as a whale swim and spearfishing guide for Blue Water Explorer in the Kingdom of Tonga and enjoys underwater photography video. This will be Vaea first spearfishing competition and his first time ever diving in fresh water. Vaea has been sponsored by Blue Water Explorer to participate in this event and he is keen to do his best and experience competition diving for the first time and meet fellow competitors.
Took his first dive with a speargun when he was fourteen years old in the Kingdom of Tonga. He didn’t know that first shot would propel him into an adventurous career of spearfishing. In Tonga, he became a commercial freedive spearfisherman. That led him to start his own spearfishing charter business. After many great years with the business in Tonga, he decided to move to the United States. He sold his business to Rob Torelli and began exploring the waters off the coast of Florida where he now runs a commercial fishing business. He has a passion for deep-water spearfishing, and has won several spearfishing tournaments. He was one of the team leaders for the last DFAC trip to Panama – a yellowfin tuna spearing expedition. He is representing Tonga in the international competition.
I wish you all great safe diving and big fish
My parents are swimmers and underwater athletes, so as far as I can remember I have always been swimming and diving with a mask and snorkel.
I got involved in underwater target shooting in 2010 and attended several tournaments in Ukraine becoming the national Champion, also participated at International competitions as a member of Ukrainian National Team.
I am also a certified PADI Open Water Diver since 2010, but soon I understood that free diving and spearfishing is much better for me.
I have been lucky to dive in almost every place in Ukraine and was the best women diver at the Ukraine Spearfishing National Championship on 2012.
I have also been spearfishing in Turkey. On 2016 I visited Florida on a 3 weeks spearfishing trip and I love Miami waters full all fishes and sharks.
Started spearfishing in the croc infested freshwater lakes of Zimbabwe, Africa. Under the circumstances… not much water time was spent, however, over a two year span I had grown rather fond of the sport, and immediately tried to partake where I had left off here in the states. With little luck, I gave up …
During my college years, I was fortunate enough to meet Mike McGuire. Through Mike I was again able to endure on my spearfishing adventures and take full advantage of the opened doors for both new opportunity and skill level. The last two years I `ve been able to immerse myself back into the sport, and through Mike`s mentoring, have taken my skill level to great heights thus far. I thoroughly enjoy the sport of spearfishing and the opportunity to meet new friends along the way. I have competed in several spearfishing tournaments throughout the U.S., and have also dived the Keys and Mexico.