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Spearfishing Cobia off Bull Sharks

The title says it all. Paul Dabill, free diver and underwater photographer, filmed himself and a few dive buddies targeting cobia off none other than the backs of bull sharks. This tactic to put tasty cobia fillets in the box may seem a bit radical to some, but for these guys it’s just another day under the water and behind the gun.

Dabill had this to say:

“Ryan, Lars, Kegan and I departed the Lake Worth Inlet on March 17, 2013 to go slay some cobia. We set up our drifts in 100 to 120 feet in areas where the bull sharks have been present. We used flashers and kept a steady flow of chum with frozen sardines. Within 10 minutes of getting in the water Ryan spots a bull shark 65 feet down with 30 cobia in tow. He dives down, shoots, and scores a nice one.

On the following drift I jump in the water first and start deploying the flashers. While doing so I spot a bull below me. I made a tough dive (no time to breath up) and chased the shark as he is swimming away. I was unable to close the distance but decided to take a “hail mary” shot anyway and miss.

Later on Lars and I spot another bull with three cobia in tow. Lars sets up on the fish but there is delay in taking a shot. Turns out there was an issue with his gun that cost him a couple seconds. Not knowing this I decide that I’m going to take a shot. We pull the trigger on the same fish at the same time, but Lars does so a fraction of a second before me. He scores a nice fish. Now I’ve got two misses on fish and am more determined than ever to get one. I end up spotting a bull 65 feet down and make my dive. I had plenty of time to breath up and was feeling great. I started my dive, spotted the fish I wanted, got within range, placed my shot and scored. I quickly swam back up to the surface.

The sharks weren’t too aggressive on the fish we shot this day but I wanted to retrieve my fish as fast as possible. As can be seen in the video there was a shark that swam towards my shot fish, but the most spectacular thing about that was all the cobia the shark had in tow! My fish was the last of the day as our crew had our limit of one per person. Kegan was also along and shot a nice cobia too, however I was driving the boat at the time so there is no footage. But the cool thing about his fish was that it was the first time he pulled the trigger on his new Koah speargun and he lands a great fish – nice job.”

Look for Dabill’s incredible underwater photography in the Sportsman HD gallery, as well as in the April 2013 issue of Florida Sportsman magazine.