My name is Bob Diaz. I have lived in South Florida my entire life and go spearfishing quite a bit. In the summers, it's pretty much all I do on the weekends down in the lower Florida Keys (responsibilities allowing). I hope you enjoy visiting my site as much as I enjoy maintaining it with my fish pictures and stories (some of them aren't even exaggerated ;).
I dedicate this site to three people:
My Dad, for being my Dad and teaching me that I can do anything I set my mind to. I miss him more than words can describe.
My Brother-in-Law, Rolando Breton, for continuously teaching me how to better enjoy this great pastime.
My Father-in-Law, Rene Breton, who is no longer with us. We miss him terribly. He is the person who started it all for us.
If not for these three, I would probably never have gotten the chance to enjoy this wonderful sport.
My father-in-law and brother-in-law started to teach me how to spearfish in about 1992. Growing up in South Florida, I had been diving and doing other water sports since I was a teenager. I had done recreational diving for a long time, but had never gotten into spearfishing. Shortly after meeting my wife in 1989, I started to dive with my brother-in-law and father-in-law on a fairly regular basis. After tagging along with them on numerous spearfishing trips, I decided I wanted them to teach me.
You see, being the geek that I am, I like to know all the ins and outs of just about everything I do. So, rather than just jumping in the water with a loaded speargun, I decided it would probably be best for me and all those involved if I learned this exciting sport from people who were experienced and whose tutelage I trusted.
I used to think I knew what it was to go free-diving (which is the only way to see the underwater world, IMHO), but when I started to go on these spearfishing trips, I soon realized that all I had done before this, was go for dips in the ocean.
We would be in the water swimming for hours (literally). And as I will write about in Locations, some of the spots we go spearfishing have tremendously strong currents due to their proximity to land masses. Don't worry, I will write about where we go.
Here comes the disclaimer...
I am no professional spearfisherman by any definition. I don't hold any world records, and I don't compete in any national or even local competitions. I really don't think I'm at that level (yet). I do, however, enjoy spearfishing immensely. I created this site in the hopes that someone who is thinking about picking up the sport, can see that you don't have to be some super-jock-ironman-triathlete to do this. A normal joe like myself can do it, and do it well, if you have just a couple of things (besides a speargun:).
1. The desire to do it well. I often meet people who say they want to start spearfishing. But a lot of these people don't want to learn to spearfish, they just want to jump in the water and shoot something because it looks cool in pictures or movies. A lot of people have the desire to do things, but having the desire to do it well, means you will take the time to learn the right way to do something. Not just how to point and shoot. Any moron can pull a trigger, and unfortunately many times do.
2. Someone trusted and experienced to teach you. I know we don't all have in-laws that are experienced spearfishermen, but it could be a friend or even a hired dive instructor that might spearfish and comes recommended. Either way, I strongly suggest being taught. This is an extremely dangerous sport, and not knowing how to do it correctly can do more than just get you hurt. It can kill you. That last statement is not an exaggeration. I am not in any way encouraging anyone to do this dangerous sport without the proper knowledge. And the fact that you read my stories and the text among the pages within my site (Spearfisherman.com), does not mean that I am condoning doing otherwise. I will not be held resonsible for anyone hurting or killing themselves or others because they have visited my site. And the fact that you have browsed this page and/or browse any of the pages within my site, implies that you agree to this. Otherwise, you should leave this site now.
If you don't have access to people who can teach you, there are numerous books that can give any potential spearfisherman the right start. Among these are:
Last of the Blue Water Hunters by Terry Maas
Any book by Carlos Eyles.
Check out your local dive shop for these and many more.
While I do feel that just about any level-headed, semi-responsible, semi-athletic person is capable of participating in this sport, that is not to say that it is for everyone. I base this opinion on the fact that I personally, am not a great athlete by any stretch of the imagination.
I would also venture to say that it is not for the meek. There are times when we are spearfishing that I feel like I'm not much more than a human chum bag. You will definitely have run-ins with some of the more aggressive and powerful creatures under the water's surface. Remember this, you're on their turf. They own the water and you're just a visitor, actually, more of an intruder. This is something that I feel no spearfisherman should ever forget!