Encinitas local Ryder Devoe is no stranger to the ocean lifestyle. When he isn’t ripping up the surf, you’ll find him spearfishing in the kelp patties of his back yard. Don’t let the baby face and soft spoken demeanor fool you. Ryder’s spearfishing skills are well beyond his 19 years. A flat spell during a surfing trip in Fiji and consequently missing the scheduled fishing boat led Ryder to borrow a pole spear and spear his first fish. From that moment on he was hooked. Shore dives appear to be auspicious, landing Ryder a 53lb(24kg) white seabass, 37lb(16.8kg) yellowtail and a 40lb(18kg) pacific cubera snapper.
Devoe shares his excitement on spearfishing. ”The most rewarding part of spearfishing is finally getting that one fish I’ve been trying to get for weeks and being able to share my catch with my family and friends and watch everyone enjoy it!” said Ryder. Jay Riffe took an immediate liking to Ryder with his passion and enthusiasm for the sport, evoking memories from his own youth.
I started free diving when I was eleven years old, I’m now 16. I have also been certified as a tank diver for the past five years as well.
Diving background – when you started. What moved you to spearfish?
I have been brought up around the ocean since I was a new born. I rode my first wave at 8 months old with my dad at Ponto jetty in Carlsbad, I was fishing shortly after. My dad would always take me fishing off shore to catch Tuna and Dorado and I loved it! I remember I was on my first Tavarua, Fiji trip and the waves were flat and I missed the 10 am fishing boat so I borrowed my Friend Eddy’s pole spear and speared my first fish. From that moment on I was hooked on Spearfishing.
Top 5 fish you’ve landed and the experience behind it:
- My first White Seabass, 53 pounds with my dads Riffe euro 130. I received a phone call from my friend Garo the day before Easter that some fish were shot nearby and he invited me to go out on his boat early the next morning. I was a bit torn because my girlfriend just flew in from Texas late the night before and I had not seen her in two months. Up to this point I had tried so many times to shoot one of these fish with out even seeing one so I was leaning towards not going. Garo insisted that I went with him and so I did. Man was I happy!
- A 37 pound yellowtail on a a shore dive directly in front of my house with a Riffe euro 110 reel and a flopper.
- 40 pound Pacific Cubera on a shore dive in Troncones beach, Mainland mexico on a surf trip.
- 14 1/2 pound red grouper at 80 feet with my Riffe polespear off of Bimini island, Bahamas while on a Saltlife team trip.
- 30.4 pound sheepshead when I was 14 years old on a shore dive in Encinitas California.
Biggest fish you’ve seen and haven’t been able to land or most impressive fish you’ve seen in the water:
Big Wahoo in the Sea of cortez. These fish were really skittish and wanted nothing to do with me.
Favorite place to dive. Why? Describe one memorable hunt:
Catalina Island is my favorite place to dive because it offers three fish that I love to eat, White Seabass, Yellowtail, and Halibut. One memorable dive was when I shot my first yellowtail over 20 pounds close to where I was staying.
Favorite fish to hunt. Why?
My favorite fish to hunt is the California White Seabass. The White Seabass is a prized fish to me because they live in cold murky water and you really have to put your time in while hunting these fish. Also excellent eating. Just seeing this fish alone is rewarding. Scariest thing you’ve seen while diving.The Scariest thing I have seen while diving has to be witnessing multiple black outs in one day. After seeing this it made me realize how dangerous spearfishing/freediving can be and to always dive with a buddy you can trust with your life.
What’s the most rewarding part of spearfishing for you?
The most rewarding part of spearfishing to me is to finally get that one fish I have been trying to get for weeks and being able to share my catch with my family and friends and watch every one enjoy it!