Murdering yellowtail with the tbar prototype! I thought that was a great title lol.
Author Archives: René Potvin
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.
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. www.orcatorch.com
In Baja, yellowtails are very common. Here are a few of my best shots.
From a while back, 42 pounder.
Spearfishing among mobula rays
Here was an epic day of spearfishing. The mobula rays were everywhere!
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!
Do subscribe to my channel.
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…
Poor man’s dentex
Most days are slow days during winter in Baja. The fishing is difficult, deep and the water is cold. People showing up during the winter are shocked by how challenging it can be.
I’ll shoot fish but I have to work for them. Fortunately, there are some fish that stick around. One of them is the “poor man’s dentex” : Barred Pargo (Hoplopagrus guentherii). Bar pargo can present a challenge any time of the year, and they are all over the place. They can be easy to shoot in some circumstances, when they get territorial, but that’s not in winter.
These were shot at 16 and 23 meters. Each took their time to show up. It truly is a breathold game with these… a bit like dentex.
See how they can simply swim around a shaft
Here is an example of a bar pargo being territorial
I’ll have to post the footage of my largest this year (2021). A 25 pounder that swam straight to me at the end of april.