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Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Dairyland diver
Apr 7, 2001
I think that I finally might have some divers from Chicago interested in freediving this area with me. Is there anyone else out there???

There are more darn trimix divers in these parts than I can shake a stick at, but how about some more freedivers???
We have nice shallow lakes with warm water and lots of fish- less than 30' deep.
We also have deep lakes with great vis that have training lines put into place down to 105'. The lake itself goes to around 400', but the vis gets sketchy below 200'.
There are also some of the best preserved wrecks in the world right out in Lake Michigan. They range in depth from 6' to 370'. I am sure that anyone could find a depth that's right for them.

I just need some training partners to do it with safely.

I taught an entry level wreck class two weeks ago on six different wrecks in 60' of water. I was wishing the whole time that I was freediving them instead. It is way too much overkill to throw on all of that gear to dive a wreck in 60' of water! I could have explored them a lot easier by freediving.

Isn't anyone in my area?:waterwork

I hear your pain. I read your post and could just about use it for my own. I've got a few people semi-interested but they are not addicted quite like I am ...yet. They're having some trouble equalzing (although not while scuba diving) and I think they're letting that deter them from pursuing the freediving. If I was having trouble equalizing I'd be equalizing all day long to get over it.

Keep hoping..

Fred Johnson (you know, up in north dakota)

BTW - I visited the cuyuna mines... interesting dive sites located in one area, had 30' of vis, some sunkin boats and stuff to look at, free camping, a dive shop just 12 miles away at Brainard. Going again toward the end of July.

I was out freediving on one of the wrecks in Lake Michigan last night and had a blast.
The water temp is now 72 degrees down to 80'! Actually, it might even go deeper than that, but I hit sand and couldn't go any further. :head
The east winds blow all of the warm surface waters over to the west shore where they can build up and carry the warm water down deep.
There were schools of fish to swim through, but nothing to spear. Vis was over 30' and I ended up diving in only half a wetsuit because I was overheating in my full suit. My father-in-law was diving in just his swim suit. I think that those who wore their drysuits ended up feeling a little bit over dressed.
Now, if I could just find some other freedivers in this area things would be great.:waterwork

Buddies at last!

I finally found two freedivers from the Chicago area to come out and dive with me!
One actually made it out on the boat this past weekend.

Surface temp in Lake Michigan is about 75 degrees right now. The thermocline is at about 20'-30' feet- this week.;)
Bottom temps are always in the 40's.:waterwork

The vis has been between 30-50 feet. Diving mostly wrecks, but there are a few fish out there to see.
Now, if we can spread the word a little bit more we might actually be able to start a club or something.:confused:

I tried to get into one of the local dive training lakes.
It has sunken planes, buses, cars, boats, and training platforms in it. It also has some nice training lines that go down about 80'. It would be a wonderful place to play around for a day.
But, when the owner heard about breathold diving with "weightbelts" on he freaked out! He didn't want anything so risky to be done in his lake. He also couldn't fathom the fact that we actually were able to get past 15'!:head

I guess that the bubble blowers still have a lot to learn about our sport. Hopefully the word is slowly getting out there.


I finally got up to Lake Wazee with a group of four freedivers last weekend. Lake Wazee is this pretty little training lake in Nrthern Wisconsin that drops down to almost 400'. It is kind of a tech diving playground and training area.

We had a diverse group out enjoying the hot summer day.
One was a newbie diver from our local fire department who set her personal best of 20' . Another was a Chek transplant who is way into tech diving and wanted to do something different. She hit 62' after about 10 minutes of instruction. At the end of the day she declared that she wasn't really a freediver, but just liked diving without tanks.

We also had Jim, from this list, join us for a day of diving. He has been out with me on Lake Michigan. He is a good diver and seems to enjoy a little adventure- like when the steering goes out.:head
It was nice to have another competent person there to spot me for a change.

We had warm water, 75 degrees, and decent vis down to about 30'. Below that it dropped down to the low 40's.

Since I had some tech diving buddies up there we also had lots of toys to play with- freediving with a scooter is my favortie type of diving!:D

Now we just need to find a few more people to train with in the area. Maybe if I keep badgering everyone on this list I can drum up some more contacts.

Hey Jon,

Seem that I'm a little late finding this site to make good on this season, but FYI, I LIVE IN THE SAME CITY AS YOU DO. I've been spearin and freediving in Mendota/Monona and northern Wisconsin Lakes all summer. In fact I'm going up to Trout Lake today. I also have a tough time finding buddy freedivers to train with (seems this area just likes to SCUBA), so let me know if you want to hook up. We could grab a beer sometime on the Union Terrace and swap stories/techniques/etc. if you want.

Another freediver!:D

I have taught a couple of scuba classes in Mendota and Monona in the early spring, but they both get so crappy by June that I don't spend much time in them. By July they are so choked up with weeds that I can't even paddle my surfski out there without having to clear of my rudder ever two minutes!:head

I have done some freediving up at Devil's lake- very shallow. Mostly I go out on Lake Michigan and freedive the wrecks. I was up to Lake Wazee freediving a couple of weeks ago. We usually use that place for mix diver training, but it is very nice and clear for freediving too.

What do you spear, and where is Trout lake? I have a new speargun at home that I have never tried. I would love to come out and give it a go.

There is a group of us who play underwater hockey and drink beer, not at the same time, every Monday night all winter long down in McFarland. You should join us next Monday- 8:00 at the highschool.

I also know some good guys from Chicago that come up and freedive once in a while. We should all meet up to dive together this year.
E-mail me for my number.

Last edited:
This list is awesome!!!

My new freediving buddy, thanks to this list, used to work for the DNR and is now a fisheries biologist for the university. I have learned more about lakes in the last week than in the previous 22 years of diving.
Yesterday, I even went spearfishing for the first time since I was 14. It turns out that you can spear pan fish and rough fish. I got a nice perch and some bluegill. It takes a few to make a meal, but it was a blast.
I think that I am finally hooked on this whole spearo thing. I guess that I 'll have to start asking questions on the spearing links. Maybe I'll even get out to the coast and go for something a little bit bigger.

Still lots of room for any other area divers who want to give freediving a shot!

lucky you. Hey, I tried spearfishing for the first time this spring.. you're right - what a blast! Well, I have met one fellow that's interested in the sport but he's 230 miles away..(the twin cities) so it's only occassionally that I can work with him. He's going to be good support and is doing pretty well already. Gotta get a few more dives in before the water turns to ice eh?

The lakes are just starting to get nice around here!
In another couple of weeks they will start to turn and the vis should go way up. Lake Michigan has been pretty rough the past few days, but the inland lakes have been ok.
I thought about starting Great Lakes Apnea Divers to get people interested. That would just be G.L.A.D. for short, as in I would be GLAD to have some more dive buddies.:D
This spearo thing is addicting and can be done at a lot shallower depth than the wrecks I have been diving. After last weekend I was really starting to think about dumping the scuba gear. It is SOOO easy to spend 6-8 hours in the water with just a single bag of gear. Compare that to our deep wreck dives that take 4-5 tanks of gas and an hour of deco for a scant 20-30 minutes of bottom time.:head
I know which one I would rather do!;)
Now, I need to think about a new gun. I have a nice wooden one that I won in a contest. The only problem is that it is too long for our vis. One lake I went into I tried to aim with it and realized I couldn't see to the end of the muzzle, let alone the end of the spear tip.:waterwork
I started to read through the old spearfishing posts to decided on what type of gun to get. What are you using?:confused:

I am obviously a little late on the draw with this post as the discussion happened last year, but I'm going to try anyway.

I am new to scuba and have done no freediving. But I want to get into freediving so badly that I can taste it. :p If any of you guys would like an appalling inexperienced partner with plenty of tenacity, I'm your guy! I am eager to learn and have a fair amount of free time.

I am moving to Milwaukee as I type and am very eager to find folks with whom to dive, free or otherwise. I have scuba gear and if I take to freediving as I expect that I might, it won't be long before I get a set of freediving fins.

Did anything every come of G.L.A.D.? I'd certainly be tossing myself into the pot if it did.

Feel free to PM or email anytime :)

Jon, Fred

Could you do me & other freedivers a favor and add the spots were you freedive (Lake Michigan, Wazee and Devil's Lake I read) with some details to the database at www.freedivingspots.net .

That might help others looking for a buddy & place to freedive to get started.


I posted a few and will post more later. IS there any way I can attach photos of these sites?

Thanks Jon!

At the moment it's not possible yet to upload pictures
I've got more requests for that feature, so probably I'll be programming it this week.
The diskspace for my website is limited to 25 Mb though, of which I'm already using 12 Mb, so I have to be careful with that

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