tampabay.com

Daily fishing report

By CHAD CARNEY
Published June 25, 2005


Wednesday the Times printed a Great Catch photo of a 403-pound Warsaw grouper and of Dan MacMahon, the commercial spearfisherman who shot it on a wreck in 425 feet off Naples. The magnitude of this feat deserves elaboration. This fish was bigger than a 338 pound Warsaw shot in the early '90s off Pompano, which took the shooter two days and four spearguns to bring up.

MacMahon's condensed account of the dive:

"The fish came charging down the wreck towards me and went into an aggressive mode, changed colors and threw up his dorsal fin. Awesome! I slammed a free shaft into the sweet spot, almost rolling him. He started shaking back and forth and I slammed a second shaft into his head. After grabbing the fish we crashed into the wreck at 397 feet and I had my hands full. He was still moving around a little and I didn't want to be tied to this monster at great depth, so I power-headed him. I'm not sure whether it was necessary, but at the time it seemed prudent. Pumping some air into his mouth and swimming him up 20 feet blasted him to the surface."

MacMahon and his brother-in-law, Rick Hampton, had five regulators and tanks each, containing various mixtures of helium, nitrogen and oxygen for the seven-minute deep dive and required decompression stops of well over an hour. They had two support divers in the mid 200-foot depth range and a freediver at the surface to assist.

The full account with photos is at www.spearboard.com - click on today's posts then the "Do I shoot or do I run!!" thread.

Chad Carney teaches diving and spearfishing in the Tampa Bay area. Call 727 423-7775 or e-mail chadcarney@verizon.net