Wednesday, January 9, 2013


A 20-pound snapper Vlad shot on Christmas Eve!

Vlad went spearfishing for the first time a couple of months ago, and he came back a changed man. “It’s like being a mid-level predator,” he said with this exhilarated expression on his face. On land, if you have a gun, you’re pretty much at the predator apex, but in the ocean it’s a different story. You’re slow. You only have one shot. You’re not nearly as good at being underwater as the fish are, and if another fish with sharper teeth wants the fish you’ve speared, well, it gets it.

I don’t find being a mid-level predator particularly appealing, but Vlad loves it. Now, he wants to go spearfishing every day, which is an odd obsession for someone who doesn’t even like eating fish. He will spend hours out fishing with some of the cruisers we’ve met, who we’ve dubbed “the killers” because they go cruise the outer reef with giant fins, are able to hold their breaths for 3 or 4 minutes, dive down to forty feet nonchalantly looking in caves and are only satisfied if they land a fifty-pound grouper. 

So far, Vlad has shot us a smorgasbord of squid and fish, including the awesome snapper (a special thanks to the crew on Infinity for all the good Christmas fish wishes), and I’ve even given it a shot, popping a lion fish, though it escaped into a hole. By the way, lionfish are an excellent spearfishing practice, if you can get past the whole poisonous spine thing. They are an invasive species that kills the reef, and they have no natural predators in the Caribbean. They stay still, making them easy targets, and they taste pretty darn good too.

Here's a post on the triggerfish - one of our favs - from Controlled Jibe. They say that the Mexican's call the trigger conchito, or "little pig," which is funny because our cruiser friends in the San Blas call it "pork of the sea."


  1. 3 or 4 minutes? What is the secret? I'm lucky to get 30 seconds.

  2. Now we want action shots of Vlas hunting underwater! I'm so jealous!

  3. This appears to be the largest Dog Snapper caught in Kuna Yala, and was only a few pounds short of the world record. Congratulations, Vlad!

  4. "mid-level predator"... that had me rolling! That must be what's commonly known as 'living on the land', or 'the sea' as it were. How many recipes for fish can one have? I hope Vlad is learning to eat it.

  5. This cracked me up - I could have written that exact same post about Rick - only he's been at it for 6 months!! Nice catch!! (Triggerfish make fabulous ceviche by the way...)

  6. mmm Fresh fish! Sounds DELISH. I've been with people who spear fish but I've never done it myself. I guess I was always to afraid a shark would show up or something.

    I'm sure once I get out there though alot of my unreasonable fears with sharks will go away. Right now I only have Jaws as a comparison, though I'm not that's not right ;).