Lisa Stengel of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, weighs a halibut on Monday, July 12, 2021, at Coal Issue Seafoods in Homer, Alaska, that she caught with a pole spear when totally free diving in Kachemak Bay. If confirmed, the 71.4-pound halibut would be the Intercontinental Underwater Spearfishing Affiliation planet history for a Pacific halibut caught be a girl utilizing a pole spear. (Image by Michael Armstrong/Homer Information)
An angler who pulls in with a rod and reel an pretty much 72-pound halibut may make a splashy social media post, but the massive fish Lisa Stengel caught Monday obtained distinction for how she took it, not just its dimensions.
Stengel, 32, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, landed her 71.4-pound Pacific halibut with a spear when no cost driving 25-ft deep in 45-diploma water in opposition to a 5-knot current. If confirmed by the Worldwide Underwater Spearfishing Association, that feat will put her in the document publications for the premier halibut caught by a woman utilizing a sling pole spear.
Really, there is no report nevertheless for a girl who has caught a halibut with a pole spear, so Stengel didn’t just established the history, she’s “setting the bar really superior,” said Brad Conley, co-operator with his wife, Lisa, of Coldwater AK, a Homer drinking water taxi and guiding company that took Stengel and her friends out on a spearfishing expedition this thirty day period.
Stengel fished with captain Brian Reid on the Castle Cape. The premier fish of any species caught with a pole spear by a lady is a 66.1-pound black grouper.
“The hardest portion was fighting the recent,” Stengel said Monday afternoon as she waited to weigh her fish at Coal Level Seafoods. “You have to get a seriously very good shot to hold him. It was a best shot — ideal in the head.”
Stengel’s halibut was almost as very long as she is tall. Even though some persons use spear guns to fish although free of charge diving, Stengel got her halibut with additional tough gear, a sling pole spear with a slip suggestion, a small harpoon head that pierces the flesh of the fish. The angler pulls back again on a massive rubber band that wraps all over the pole — the sling — and allows free with the spear.
Hooked up by a brief cable to the spear pole, the slip tip comes unfastened and holds limited in the fish. A modern adaptation of the centuries-aged Inuit toggle-head harpoon, pulling again with the pole and line sets the slip suggestion. Stengel had her gear connected to a large buoy so it wouldn’t get missing if the halibut yanked it out of her grasp.
That’s part of the exciting and obstacle of spear fishing halibut, Conley claimed. Some of his shoppers have caught 100-pound halibut.
“You recognize how humbling it is in the h2o with all those big, effective fish. They have so a lot torque and energy,” he stated. “… Which is what’s so neat about Lisa. She’s this tiny, petite woman. For her to get on a fish just about as major as her is an impressive feat.”
Conley called the distinction amongst spearfishing and a pole spear like the variance amongst hunting with a rifle and bowhunting.
Once the fish will get speared, “from that stage on it is battling it to the surface, I guess like rod and reel,” Conley mentioned. “You’re in the water, your bodily energy trying to persuade them to arrive to the prime. Those massive fish, you carry them to the leading and they’ll operate on you, and you’re together for the journey.”
On best of that, Stengel caught her fish while totally free diving, or diving devoid of scuba equipment. In Alaska, totally free divers have on wetsuits with hoods, masks and snorkels, weight belts, and fins pretty much as extensive as a person’s legs.
Stengel mentioned she acquired started off in underwater diving with scuba gear and then begun totally free diving. She has fished in south Florida for wahoo and other species.
“This is way fewer equipment,” she stated of free diving. “I like it superior.”
Coldwater AK has carved out a specialized niche in the halibut charter fleet. Conley, Reid and some other locals have grow to be knowledgeable cost-free divers and spear fishermen. Some will dive for up to two minutes in 100 toes searching for rockfish.
As a guided halibut sport-fishing procedure, Coldwater AK capabilities just like the extra traditional rod-and-reel fishery.
“As significantly as everybody is involved, we’re likely out fishing like every other halibut charter, just undertaking it a small little bit otherwise,” Conley claimed.
Other constitution captains have been encouraging about Coldwater AK’s fishing system.
“Because of the way we’re accomplishing it, they know we’re not competing with them,” Conley claimed. “They know we’re not heading to clear out an area. We’re in the kelp beds and the shallow waters.”
Stengel is effective as a initial mate for a non-public yacht. She first arrived to Alaska on a trip to Southeast.
“When I did that, I reported, ‘I want to fish up below,’” she claimed of that check out.
She arrived up with a team of close friends from Florida. Conley explained her group is regular of the kind of consumers he sees — knowledgeable free divers who want to discover Alaska waters. That usually takes some finding utilized to, he said.
“Alaska is an very challenging position to dive. It is not just cold water. It’s currents,” he said. “… A large amount of the divers are very able divers, but it requires them two or 3 times to get accustomed to the water. … Points start out clicking. Quickly they are taking pictures massive fish.”
Access Michael Armstrong at [email protected]