2 Cool Fishing Forum banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

4,158 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pole fishing in Bahamas can be dangerous stuff
For some, natural progression from spear gun is simply diving with a spear

Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

CAT CAY, BAHAMAS - When seasoned anglers want a new challenge, they take up fly-fishing. Gun hunters switch to bows and arrows. For spearfishers, the graduation is from spear guns to pole spears.

One of the more visible leaders in the back-to-basics pole spear trend is "Shark Man" Manny Puig, the Tarzan-like wildlife wrangler featured in MTV's Wildboyz and Jackass.

try{OAS_AD('Middle');}catch(e){}The Cuba-born Puig, who has wrestled everything from Goliath groupers to grizzly bears on TV and in movies the past decade, has developed a signature pole spear and underwater hunting knife now available at some South Florida dive shops, as well as online at www.mannypuig.com.

"I went from using the most powerful spear guns on the market to using a pole spear," Puig said. "I like to fish very primitive and very simple."

The Manny Puig Pole Spear uses a hand-held rubber band instead of a trigger to fire the barbed shaft into the body of a fish. The device requires that the hunter get almost close enough to touch the fish before letting go.

"It takes skill," Puig said. "I've shot everything from a bally hoo up to an amberjack with it."

After shooting a fish, Puig uses his double-edged Predator, which looks more like a sword than a knife, to gut the fish and scrape off the scales - all while he's still in the water.

"I can use it to call sharks by scraping it underwater," he said nonchalantly. "The shark thinks I'm a predator feeding. But it can be very dangerous."

No kidding.

Some of Puig's underwater hunting friends have taken up using his pole spear.

Their mission: kill fish 30- to 80-feet deep with pole spears while holding their breath.

"(It's) like hunting with a long bow rather than shooting deer with a rifle," Carlos Coro explained. "That's what makes it fun - because it's so hard."

Clad in dark wet suits, extra-long fins, masks, snorkels and weight belts, the freedivers brandish their primitive weapons and search for fish to spear.

Having a spotter to watch over you can be a life-or-death decision. Coral Gables, Fla., oral surgeon Carlos Coro has lost friends and acquaintances to shallow-water blackout, which occurs when the lungs suck oxygen from the blood on ascent to the surface. If there's no one around to rescue the diver, he plummets to the bottom unconscious and drowns.

I knew a man in the West Indies who took an 800+ lb jewfish with an Hawaiian sling (pole spear) while free diving to 50 feet from a home made daggerwood raft. Eddie had to half-disassemble the raft to get enough rope to pull the fish from its cave after he "crimped" it. Then he had to paddle and drag it six miles back to his village. He did it with just goggles and no fins. ~ It earned him the island sobriquet of "Spear" for the rest of his life.

1 - 3 of 3 Posts