70lb Wahoo Grabs Spearfishing World Record

January 8, 2014

[Updated] James Adams’ 70.2 lb wahoo has earned him a place in the International Underwater Spearfishing Association’s [IUSA] record books, with his catch last last year classified as the world record in the Sling/Polespear wahoo category.

Spearfishing is an ancient method of fishing that has been used for centuries, with early civilizations using sharpened sticks to spearing fish from rivers and seas.

According to the Bermuda Fisheries Regulations [PDF] only a pole spear may be used for spearfishing, with no spearguns or Hawaiian slings permitted.

Spearfishing may not be conducted within 1 nautical mile of the shoreline and breathing apparatus is not permitted, so spear-fishers cannot use scuba equipment at all.

James Adams with his record setting 70.2 lb wahoo, photo by Brian Steinhoff via IUSA


In describing the catch to the IUSA, the 28 year old Bermudian said that on December 7th 2013 he was diving on Argus Tower when he saw four wahoo approaching.

“Luckily the largest one came close in a curious manner and I dove on it very slow. It began to turn away and as it did I shot it,” said Mr Adams.

“The slip tip detached and the fish took off. I pressured the float line until I got the fish close enough to place a second shot in its head to kill it. I then swam the fish back to the boat where captain Nick Cabral gaffed it and pulled it into the boat.”

Mr Adams actually held the wahoo record before, and broke his own record with this 70lb catch. It makes him a dual record holder as he also holds the spearfishing record for the Horse-Eye Jack.

The International Underwater Spearfishing Association was formed in 1950 to promote spearfishing and to assist in scientific and spearfishing competitive efforts. The IUSA is the certifying body of spearfishing world records.

According to their statistics, 6 of the 25 records in the Sling/Polespear category were caught in Bermuda.

The additional record catches made in Bermuda as listed by the IUSA, are below:

  • Almaco Jack: 32.8 lbs, Dylan Ward on Oct 6, 2013
  • Black Grouper: 100 lbs, Craig Copik in Feb 2013
  • Horse-Eye Jack: 21.1 lbs, James Adams on Oct 19, 2013
  • White Margate: 20.5 lbs, Bradley Thornbrough on Jul 13, 2010
  • Grey Snapper, 16.6 lbs, Tyler Princinsky on Jun 12, 2013


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Comments (19)

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  1. sage says:

    Impressive catch! Especially on a pole spear, why can’t these pro’s get a permit to use spear guns in the deep sea for wahoo, big amberjacks and tuna etc.?

    • YADON says:

      I think we should be allowed spear guns and Hawaiian slings as well. Having a fat hoggy slip off your pole spear injured to swim off and die is a waste of life. But we are always treated like children here and it makes me sick. Times are changing but the rule of thumb seems to be FUN=illegal in Bermuda.

      • sage says:

        You’re right, lots of fish are wasted in the way you describe, but of course that means nothing to those who are afraid “gang members” will abandon their semi -automatic, multiple round, hand guns in favor of seven foot long, one shot, deep water spear guns (so much easier to conceal). So this will probably never happen as long as our nannies don’t think it’s safe.

      • bda living says:

        Don’t think spear guns would see less lost fish just a lot more killed fish since it takes away allot of the challenge. Also lost fish aren’t really a waste, they will get eaten by something. It’s the circle of life!

        • Srsly? says:

          Killing a hogfish, the best eating fish around, for a bunch of stupid fish to eat is a waste of life in my books…

    • bda living says:

      I agree. It would be awesome to have spear guns. But would only want to see them used outside of the eef in blue water for pelagics

  2. Hugh says:

    Nice one guys!!!! I thought I was the only one to swim Argus in Dec!

  3. swing voter says:

    my co-worker does the same crazy ish….including crawling into caves 25ft down looking for lobsters

  4. Thats not a fisherman thats a CHEAT!

    • sage says:

      Go try “cheating” for yourself and get back to us. Dangling a baited hook on heavy test line while sitting in the boat is closer to cheating. Like using a long range rifle to “hunt” game.

    • Bermu says:

      How is that a cheat?

    • YADON says:

      Let me see you free dive to 30 feet then hunt and fight a powerful animal in its habitat on one breath of air. I doubt you could even get close enough to a bream to spear it let alone a top predator like a wahoo.

    • bda living says:

      Haha you are a joke, hunting on pole spear is the ultimate challenge!

      • He didnt go down 30ft! Why? Because Wahoo are surface fish. All he had to do is jump off the go under 3ft and shoot his spear! And thats challenging?! Haha! Thats a lazy fisherman!

        • ocean maniac says:

          Surface fish aye? When gunning for hoo’s I’ll take a pair of downriggers over outriggers ANY day

  5. simon says:

    Don’t get many of them in Wivenhoe !!!