Author Archives: René Potvin

About René Potvin

Started freediving and spearfishing in 1986. I competed for the first time in 1994 at the Connecticut Open. I won the B division with a bunch of togs with Murphy's beat up 90 cm Viper. I later won the North Atlantic Championships in 2003, 2009 and 2010. I participated in the FIPSA Worlds in Cabo Frio in 2006; came in 13th. I also play underwater hockey with CAMO in Montreal and do a lot of underwater photography. In 2006 I started making spearguns. They are known as Renesub Spearguns. The website is

Near death in Baja

So today I hit my head at full speed on a ledge 15 feet from the bottom, a nice place to put a ledge, I still had 60 feet to go, mildly concussed, with the mask hanging on my nose, I had to fight against an incredible urge to breathe water all the way up to the surface. It felt like my body was fighting to kill me. This had never happened to me. Let’s just say that I now know how it is possible to drown; it’s a super strong signal to breathe in water, and it’s absolutely terrifying. I’ve been freediving for 36 years, and I’m so addicted I dive over 100 days a year, and this was one of the worse accident I have had. A less experienced person would have died for sure, and with this current and low visibility no one could have helped in any way.

I was on the bottom to test a lamp for orcatorch. I had my speargun with me fortunately because a dozen leopard groupers where hanging ont he next ledge. I belly shot the cabrilla and it zizaged in the caves and finally settle in an impossible hole.

The fish is a leopard grouper, also called a cabrilla in mexico.

Leopard Grouper

The lamp I was testing, I still have to do a review, was the D530 from OrcaTorch. It’s a 1300 lumen led light powered with a 18650 rechargeable battery.


In Baja, yellowtails are very common. Here are a few of my best shots.

From a while back, 42 pounder.

Gulf grouper in the sea of Cortez

I got this in the sea of Cortez. It’s a gulf grouper, they get much bigger on the Pacific side but are not very common on the Cortez side. I still plan to dive the Pacific to get at least of the 90 pounders. I stoned it at 24 meters. It was fleeing from me between the rocks. The shot was increadible, but you’ll have to believe me, the video got corrupted (thank you unreliable gopro).

White sea bass in Southern Baja!

White sea bass is the most prized fish of California. You can get some in the northern parts of Baja but it is rarely found south of Guerrero Negro. Normally we shoot corvina (extremely similar to white sea bass) and that’s what I thought I had shot but the local white sea bass experts told me it was a WSB, not a corvia. The head bones further confirmed this. Mine had the WSB shape, not the corvina shape with its bulb. Regardless, I stoned a nice fish!

The pargo teacher

So I watched the octopus teacher on Netflix, and I almost lost my lunch, but then I saw how popular it was, and since I’m super shallow I decided to join the masses, better I did my own spearfishing version! I super woke now, you’ll see!

Try not to puke and get to 35 seconds. I promise you will like it.

Barred pargo seem to have become my spearfishing mission this year. It has to do with the conditions, the lack of other fish for sure, but I’ve always liked spearing difficult fish. The barred pargo is the Mu or Dentex of Baja California in my opinion. I have figures quite a few things out about this fish. If you go through my latest videos you’ll find most tips.

This is a better video!

James Bond Thunderball special!

I returned to Montreal for the summer. Time was not wasted to head into the St-Laurent! I had to test the new mask I had purchased on Aliexpress! That thing is a very very good copy of the masks used in James Bond’s Thunderball. The speargun used here is the Cabalero Plastic. It’s not even 50 cm long! Yet I can shoot fish with it all day long.

Now I’d love to have more of the original movie gear. Like one of spearguns. I used the Nemrod pneumatics at the Race in Rhode Island with Pete Papathanasious. It’s very close to the thunderball gun alas it’s not what we see in the movie. In the scenes there are a few Mares Rapallo Vico Jet, Technisub Jaguar and Pelletier’s short. If anyone can lend me one I’d be grateful! I also have to get Voit fins. I’ve seen them for sale in La Paz Mexico. Next time I’ll purchase them! I guess I should look for the snorkel also lol.

Same mask, but diving deep!

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Une version francophone de mes vidéos! (French version of my videos!)

Ca fait un bout de temps que j’attends que youtube nous permettent de faire des versions en différentes langues pour nos vidéos. Évidemment, ca n’arrivera jamais (ai-je conclu). J’ai donc commencé une autre chaine. Les vidéos ne sont pas identiques toutefois. Les narrations ne s’équivalent vraiment pas, j’ai tout autre chose à dire en français apparamment…

Voici donc ma dernière vidéo sur ma nouvelle chaine!

J’en ai fait quelques unes depuis. Mes préférées sont probablement celles-ci…