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Bahamas Dreaming

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2002

This past weekend I had the opportunity to take a trip to the Bahamas on fellow DB member Angelos's (AKA Frogman) new boat. It turned out to be a most awesome trip!!! I shot the biggest grouper of my life using only a Hawaiian sling. It was a beautiful black that weighed 44 lbs gutted so it was probably pushing 50 lbs whole. Angelos got a nice one himself that came in at 37 lbs gutted. I've been doing trips to the Bahamas now for about 5 years and I am still amazed every time I go by the fish I see over there. Guns and SCUBA diving have been outlawed there for a very long time and I guess it’s worked because using only the primitive weapons (pole spear or Hawaiian sling) you're allowed to over there I've shot 4 of the 5 biggest groupers I've ever taken in my life in the Bahamas. Other than the 34 lb black I shot in West Palm Beach last 4th of July weekend, I’ve taken 44, 33, 31, and 28 lbr's all from the Bahamas using only a sling and/or pole spear.

I’ll attach a couple pics of my fish and one of the gear I used. I may turn the fish in for an IUSA World Record since it's not too often you get to claim a World Record using only a Hawaiian sling.

Take care and I hope everyone had a great Father’s Day weekend!



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Another Pic

Here's another pic of my fish.



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Here's a pic of me with the gear I used to take the fish. Notice my super secret, special shooter!

Another Action Shot

Here's another picture of how a sling works just in case the other one I posted is a little confusing.

Awesome fish! Wish I could have been there. How deep did you go to get them? Is that one of the Hawaiian slings from the guy who was posting his on the board last year?
44# and 37# Blacks on HS...that's sick! Good shooting. Did you see any big Muttons?

What depth were the blacks in?
Did you have any shark encounters? I've heard some horror stories before.

I've never been to the bahamas, may get out there someday, first, I'll need a bigger boat.
Let me get this straight...Angelos shoots a 37 pound Black grouper on the weekend of his birthday and on his first fathers day? What a better script than that one, gotta love our sport!
It was really an awesome weekend! The fish were no deeper than 40 feet. The area was really low lying coral ledges and there was a lot of life everywhere: Blacks, graysbies, hogfish, few muttons, big margate and triggers, schools of cero mackerel, yellow jacks, amberjacks and african pompanos, baitfish, cudas, a couple of porpoises playing around, and of course, some sharks patrolling the area. It was a very nice way to spend my B-day and Father's day. I will post the picture of the grouper I got later on.
With you all the way Rolando, magnificently scripted day. Exceptional fish Sturgeon, keep up the good work, sounds like a wonderfull pace to swim and spear. Part of me wonders if Hawain slings / no scuba are the way to go worldwide to peserve fish stocks and to preserve the sport. Would I be that good if I got a Hawain sling? probably not.....

It takes a little practice but luckily in the Bahamas there are so many fish even a non-proficient slinger can still get a few nice ones. I don't know about banning guns in the USA but I do know if they banned SCUBA spearfishing, we'd probably have more fish over here than we'd know what to do with.


Muttons with a sling are a completely different story. At least the groupers you can chase into a hole to get a good shot on them but nailing big, free-swimming muttons with a sling is tough (at least for me). You should see them over there though. 15-20 lbr's are nothing and I swear I've seen them 30+. For being monster muttons they're pretty mellow and I’m sure you could tag them easy using just a 70 cm gun but for me it’s not worth possibly going to jail for. I got lucky on one trip though and did manage a 13 & 9 lb’r using a sling but these sized fish are mere babies compared to the ones you see swimming around throughout the day. I got pretty lucky this trip too because I hit my big black free-swimming in open-water (at least for the first shot). After that he holed up under a small ledge and I put a second sling shaft and a polespear into his head before I even thought about touching him (I didn’t want to take any chances with this fish).

Talking about sharks, we had a sort of an attack this weekend. Everybody on the boat had been shooting some nice hogs around these big coral heads when it was finally my turn to be in the water. After shooting my first hog, I noticed everybody was on the boat. When I looked over at them one of my friends (Jim Fyfe) was screaming he had just been attacked by a shark. The story goes that my friend had shot a snapper with his pole spear and a 5 foot or so Caribbean Reef shark was becoming pretty aggressive with him (they had been shooting fish the whole time in the company of several of these kind of sharks) so he decided to drop his spear and let the shark have his fish. But I guess it was my friend the shark wanted and not his fish because the shark swam past my friend's fish and went strait for his face. Jim got lucky and after several punches to the shark’s head he was able to make it into the boat unscathed.


Same principle on the sling I use as far as the way pressure is distributed on the wrist but mine is a little different because it still has all the wasted slack rubber prior to the draw.


It was a great trip. Thank you again for inviting me!

As I promised, here's a picture of the 37 lb black grouper (gutted) I got in this trip.


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Amazing, happy b-day frogman....
this once again proves the axiom:
it ain't the arrow but the Indian......
id love to hear a bit more on this awsome feat.........
Great fish sturgeon, super pictures. I am curious where you were. It sounds like Issacs or the Breads or maybe the back side of Abaco. Can you let on?? Also, your sling. I've always liked the idea of a pistol grip sling, but could never get it to work for me. Always tended to pull off my aim. What is your secret?


Slings and freediving are deceptively efficient. For a good shooter, in Bahama conditions, shooting hogs and grouper, that is the most efficient combination there is. Nothing else will put as much fish in the boat in the same amount of time. That said, a poor shooter will do better with a gun and scuba. The effect on the resource depends on how many of which kind of divers are around.

I agree in large with what you have said. I was thinking aloud when I wrote my comments above. It sounds as if using slings only, in the Bahamas has had a significant positive effect on fish stocks and that has to be a good thing. I have dived in parts of the mediteranean which have been stripped of fish (or the fish have fled!) this is dismal and deeply saddening. I have dived in marine parks in the red sea where there is no fishing whatsoever and marine nature at its most natural (excepting tourists hand feeding fish with bread etc) is an awesome sight.

I'd ban scuba spearfishing and I'd be happy fishing using a sling!

David (no longer thinking aloud)
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Great guess! We started just north of Bimini on the 1st day and ended up in the Gingerbreads for the 2nd.

I know what you mean about handled slings pulling on the wrist and throwing off your shot. But my sling's different and that's what makes it so special. Check out the first picture I posted of me and my gear and you'll notice that even at full draw my hand is open. My sling puts absolutely no pressure on the wrist as far as up and down. You can shoot it just like a bow with your hand wide open if you want. Check out the picture closely and you'll notice the rubber comes from above my hand and below it so it applies equal pressure from both above and below.

You guys amuse me...
How do you think the scuba hunters stack up against the millions of anglers as a user group in south Florida? Do you really think stopping them will have an effect. The Bahamas simply do not have the overall fishing pressure, thats a simple fact.

Its the holier than thou attitude of many freedivers that alienates them from the tank guys. We need to stand together once in a while. There is much new legislation out there right now that will directly impact our sport and we cant even work together. We are already vastly outnumbered by all other user groups and that will be reflected in our allotment. Banning one form of spearing only sets a scary precident that will make it easier to ban it all.

There are several groups of tank divers out there fighting for your rights as we speak. The RFA has adopted a spearing friendly platform and the CCA isnt far from doing the same thanks to the efforts of some active tank divers.

Beautiful fish Scott.
Hi rig,

Could not agree more with your political stand, right on target.

However, don't think that things are all OK in the Bahamas. Freediving spearing can put quite a dent in the resource in the right conditions (not in the Northern Gulf). Add fish traps and fishing the spawning agregations and grouper populations in the Bahamas have been severly depleted, not withstanding the fact that you can still find some good spots.

Should have looked closer at the picture. Where did you get yours?


Just saw your post. A sling is my preferred weapon, but your romantisized view of it makes me crazy.

NO NO A million times NO, slings are not inherently good for the resource. Freedivers with slings have decimated grouper and hog populations in large parts of the Bahamas. In those conditions, there is no more efficient gear, period. If you are into banning efficient gear, you would surely ban slings in the Bahamas. In other places, restriction to a sling or freediving only amounts to a total prohibition on harvest by divers.

It isn't how you take'em, its how many you take. Nearly everywhere, people are taking too many.

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