Fish for the Future

VALENTINE THOMAS

 

Hometown. Where from.

Im from Montreal Canada, then I lived in London for the past 6 years. Now I have no address.

Years Diving.

I have been diving for 5 years and prior I was scared of the ocean!

  

Diving background – when you started. What moved you to spearfish?

I completed my free diving course in Egypt. Then my friends took me on my first spearfishing trip in Ascension Island! Food is what is drives me. The idea of catching fresh fish and seafood and enjoying it with my friends and family sounded like paradise…plus it has the adrenaline factor involved.

 

 

Top 5 fish you’ve landed and the experience behind it.

  

1. My first fish, a 12 kg blackjack. It was my first time spearfishing and I was doing dives to learn how to dive with a big gun (with a gun at all actually) and on my way up, I see this big black jack looking at me. I was out of air, but decided to go for it and I stoned it! I was so stocked! It also was about 200g under the WR…that hooked me to spearfishing!

2. A 25kg wahoo in Cape Verde. This was a really hard trip and we have been sleeping about a couple of hours a night and we were having a meal a day. My muscles fell sore and I was half asleep in the water when a massive wahoo came right by me. I couldn’t see anything because I had somehow tuna can oil in my mask so it wouldn’t get clean. I shot at it and the spear didn’t go all the way through. I was sure I was going to lose it, but with patience and slow reeling and a friend to put a second shot in it for me, I landed it.

3. A 60 pounds Amberjack in Tampa. A few people don’t eat them, but i think they make lovely ceviche. I was on a mission to get one for lunch for the boat and was planning on getting a small one but this 60 pounder just showed up so I shot it. I landed it using a bungee clip and with a bull shark on my tail.

4. A 11.5kg Horse-Eye jack in Ascension island. It was a school of fish and I went down to check it out when I saw a loner on the side which was bigger than the others. I didn’t load my gun because I didn’t have time to repair the broken shooting line on mine so I was using a bigger gun. I was pretty disappointed when my friend told me it was WR fish so we came back the following day and I with patience I caught an ever bigger one.

5. A Dentex in Corsica. It was early May and the water was freezing cold. It was a shallow dive and I was having weight issues because I was diving with  7mm for the first time. This dentex came right at me, I was very lucky.

 

Biggest fish you’ve seen and haven’t been able to land or most impressive fish you’ve seen in the water.


A yellowfin tuna in Ascension. We were catching our own chum and we haven’t found anything they liked so far and I remember seeing this tuna passing below me. It went by so fast that I barely saw what it was. I was so impressed by its speed and its color.

  

Favorite place to dive. Why. Describe one memorable hunt.


I fell in love with Africa. It has so many different very cool locations and exceptional waters with incredible species. I remember spearfishing at the frontier between Mozambique and South Africa and there were so many different sharks around. Tigers, hammerheads, reef, blue, white tips and bulls. I decided that shooting a fish wouldn’t be the greatest idea but it was so impressive to see!

 

Favorite fish to hunt. Why.

I love hunting wahoos. I like the fact that you have to let them come to you and (wrongfully) trust you to shoot them. The fight they put on is also thrilling. You have to be gentle and focused. I love it! I lost and missed a few by making textbook mistakes like chasing them, pulling the line too hard and tangling myself in the line. You won’t catch me making those mistakes twice!

  

Scariest thing you’ve seen while diving.


Bullsharks in Florida. Especially when I am diving the gulf side up North. They have a way of sneaking up on you from behind and give you a scare when the water is murky. They got my heart pumping a few times.

  

What’s the most rewarding part of spearfishing for you?

 

The food without hesitation. I know that most of products we find at the grocery store are creating so much damages to the planet and I fell that when I go home with my catch and eat it, I feel like I’ve earn my meal and that I am being as responsible as possible while doing so. I am a big foodie so nothing beats a fresh catch!