What initially drew you to spearfishing/freediving?

I surfed as a kid and still enjoy surfing, I also loved line fishing. When the swell was small one weekend some mates invited me to come spearfishing with them. from that first time spearfishing I was hooked!!

How do you stay motivated and inspired in your pursuits?

I'm a very goals-oriented guy. I love to set goals on the sorts of things I like to achieve, which leads to the goals on what fish I'd like to spear. To add to this, i love targeting very difficult fish to capture, this causes a continually learning pathway to capture those tough species.  

How do you balance risk and adventure in your endeavors? What safety measures do you prioritize?

I'm a husband and a father, so risk management is very important to me! we have huge risks in spearfishing, Sharks, weather, shallow water blackout and Boat strikes just to name a few. I best mitigate those risks by diving with people i trust with my life! When I can't dive with those people, I make sure I'm diving well within limits and not taking any risks!  

Do you have favorite dive spots where you feel most connected?

I feel most connected to diving in my own back yard of South East QLD and Northern NSW. I know these areas so well in my head I can see all the spots that I dive and I have a photographic memory for these areas. I do have a few areas where I enjoy diving, NW WA is a long way from home, but the diving is world-class! Mind-blowing fish live there!!

What lessons have you learned from your mistakes?

Every time I go hunting for difficult fish to hunt, I learn something! I believe we must always be continual learners. From failed trips, I've learned hunting techniques that don't work. I learned hunting specific areas are the wrong places. I've learned what conditions are best for particular species!


How do you balance your passion for spearfishing/freediving with other commitments in your life?

This is a huge challenge to any serious Spearfisher! I am always checking the weather and the conditions. Some days I struggle to work thinking about what would be going on at my favourite spots! Now I'm blessed to love the job I do for work as a pastor, working with a community with many needs and the vision of making a difference in a wider community helps keep me focused.

What is your go-to RIFFE setup and why?

My go-to Riffe Setup is the Riffe Euro 120, with HF reel. It is my go-to because it just works! every time I pull the trigger, I know this gun is going to shoot exactly where I aim. I know if I set goals to target difficult fish and I finally get a chance this gun isn't going to let me down.This is hugely important when you put in all the effort to get to these difficult locations to target difficult fish, you need gear that never lets you down.

Tim McDonald is a seasoned spearfisherman from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, who has over 20 years of experience in the sport. He’s known for his experimental mindset and keen observation. Tim continually refines his techniques to outsmart a variety of fish species. His remarkable catches include several record-breaking achievements, such as a 13.57kg Large Mouth Nannygai, a 14.3kg Mangrove Jack, a 3.5kg Queensland Pearl Perch (setting a new state record), a 12.7kg Jobfish, and an 11.7kg Threadfin Salmon and is the current Queensland and Australian Spearfishing Champion.

He exhibits exceptional patience, focus, and mental strength, especially in challenging visibility conditions. His expertise in fish behavior and specialized techniques for different species demonstrate his mastery.

Beyond his accomplishments in spearfishing, he is admired for his generosity and commitment to his community. Tim is a revered pastor who actively participates in initiatives aimed at supporting and feeding his community, showing his dedication to making a positive impact.

Additionally, he shares his expertise through podcasts, YouTube videos, and various media platforms, serving as a mentor and ambassador for the sport. Included is the link https://www.youtube.com/@Spearfishing-Downunder