My good friend from Polosub, Giuliano Tagliacozzo invited me to Blucamp 2018 to go spearfishing on the island of Ponza off the west coast fo Italy for a week with over 30 Italian divers. Of course I jumped at the opportunity to finally go spearfishing in the Mediterranean.
I never anticipated it would be as difficult as it was. The fish or pesce are extremely shy and very smart. The type of spearfishing here was unlike anything I had ever experienced… Plenty of Catch and Cook in this vlog with authentic Italian hospitality.
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I don't think I could ever have imagined how difficult it would be to fish here in the Mediterranean we're just at San felishj a San felishj launching Giuliano's boat to head to ponds oh yes this is maple ponds er is a small island located around a hundred and thirty kilometres south of Rome on the west coast of Italy for the next five days this was our home so if they're really early start and leave from room made it to Ponzo took Juliano's rib across here just walked up about 180 stairs to get to our villa and I'm gonna take it easy it's about midday then we're gonna go fishing at about 5 o'clock this afternoon in the meantime I'll show you what this villa looks like a little bit nervous first time spearfishing in the Mediterranean sort of a bit of a dream really because he used to look at this stuff when I was 15 16 years old and you'd see these guys in the Mediterranean diving to insane depths and insanely clear water putting these awesome shots in cool fish like dentex and Grover and it's kind of a bit of a know a mecca for me to finally be here so a little bit nervous not sure what it's going to be like but the goal is just to get a fish any fish in four days and I'll be happy the only bad thing about this place was the amount of stairs before we went diving every day my legs were already burning yes you're anglo-saxon so I'm gonna get that boat okay thank you I'm still not really sure what being anglo-saxon had to do with my ability to swim the mission for the afternoon was to go and find some Barracuda for dinner Barracuda are not something I would normally target in Australia but here there are different species and allegedly very delicious within a minute of being in the water Juliano has spotted a shoal of Barracuda and begins to give me some instruction on how to approach them all I managed to do was spoke to school I quickly realized that spearing a fishy was going to be a lot more difficult than I had originally anticipated they just buggered off so quick many many Matagorda didn't shoot fast it up I managed to get a little bit closer but nowhere near enough for a shot it was time for Giuliano to show me how it's done in the Med owing to the lack of sharks in the Mediterranean most guys will string their fish on their weight belts something you would never ever even consider doing in Australia even if you do get close enough for a shot you have to pull the trigger really quickly the fish don't hang around at all at the next spot I spied three Corvina from the surface in about fourteen meters of water Corvina are like a very small mulloway and in the Mediterranean if they are a highly prized fish I thought this was game set and match I'd completely blown my chances on these Corvina I should have dived down behind some of the nearby rocks and ambush them from the bottom and never saw those fish again it was now 8 p.m. and we only had time for one last spot sharing a meal together is such a massive part of Italian culture given that there were over 30 divers here from all over Italy it made for a tremendous dinner after all that pasta I had a carbohydrate induced coma I was off to bed dreaming of what tomorrow would bring about Ted out this morning he looks a bit flatter with forbid sir and the Roberta two really good divers and yeah the aim of the game is to get a couple barracuda for dinner I'm hoping to find a convener again and redeem myself but got one fish yesterday I got a little amberjack so I shot something so that's the main thing but yeah we'll see see what today brings back down those stairs again despite the water being a cruel 21 degrees it was still blistering hot in the Sun on my very first dive of the day I caught a glimpse of what is one of the most prized fish in the Mediterranean the dusky trope up or as the Italians would say churn yeah yep that tiny little head peering over the rock at me that's the only target this fish would allow me to see him itself I decided I would call the boat over to get a torch and a small gun I mean how how could be to find this dusky roper that's just gone inside a hole after half a dozen dives I was left scratching my head about where this we should gone it just disappeared seeing as we only put one Barracuda on the boat yesterday Giuliano asked if we could get a few more for dinner once again we were on the move I soon spotted the shoal of Barracuda and began to plan my dive I was going to sneak down behind one rock through a bit of a gutter and hopefully come over the ridge and surprise the Barracuda planning is one thing execution is another after getting super frustrated not being out to get anywhere near these fish I decided to try the good old fashioned swim at the fish method doesn't work in the Mediterranean at all those fish certainly weren't hanging around so I decided to have a look at some of the deeper rocks and this is when I saw my dream fish the dentex a dentist is at the very top of my list of Mediterranean fish I would love to capture I returned to the surface to calm down and have a relaxing breather not a dent X but he take what you can get finally got myself a fish all day after I saw a nice group of this morning but didn't shoot fast enough I saw some dentex offer a little bit of a rock bear on the previous dive I thought I'd go back down and then I saw maybe one off in the distance and this Barracuda came in finally put a shot in that worked and I have my fish yeah it's not big but it's apparently very very tasty and Giuliano is gonna cook a special pasta dish tonight featuring Barracuda looking forward to it everybody no pasta only Saturday Sunday our white fish small fish but we don't have him here so we use it for this Barracuda with spaghetti it's a special spaghetti with the hole in the middle we call them bucatini bucatini buco it's a hole buddhini [Laughter] something you would never eat in Australia it's pretty good in no bad this place was like driving a boat in a duck pond what are we hunting and maybe star baby gonna go over to Paula rocks and look within den takes loading up the seagull fired hopes of finding another dentex just mister Corvina don't know what happened just a bad shot probably a bit nervous but hopefully not the last fish I see today keep keep looking seats and saw goes then it looked very big but maybe a bigger I don't have it see this spot was fishy with small saw goes and maybe a big one would have came through but I was so devastated after missing that Covina so we ended up moving spots finally a fish sitting outside of its hole not moving too slow yet again I played cat and mouse for the next 20 minutes and all I did was catch a glimpse of these Grover Alessio and John Paolo had caught a few nice little fish each and they were really stoked to go back and finish the day I on the other hand I was just still bummed about missing all the opportunities that I did with the groper and the Corvina I just I had to go back out I dropped the guys back in at the Harbor and then headed straight back out hoping to redeem myself on sunset despite diving hard for the next two hours I I just didn't come up with a fish I couldn't do anything more but enjoy the sunset traditional Italian barbecue with the ribs big streets and salsiccia I know the mother but not the father [Applause] after gorging on all those ribs in pasta the carbohydrate coma came around real quick like every dive trip there has to be a last day and this was it I was headed out with Tony and Roberto to incredible Italian divers I was quietly confident we would find some fish we started diving on some pinnacles around 25 meters deep but I had just hadn't really seen any fish worth shooting on the other hand Tony knows this place like the back of his hand tony is shot a groper in a hole and now Roberto's gone to help him retrieve it so hopefully they get something several dives later and Tony returns to the surface with this beautiful dusky Groppi at 63 years of age tony is an absolute beast he's been diving for over half a century I just wish that I spoke Italian so he could teach me more about spearfishing in the Mediterranean you knew this you know the hole and this storm but now more than ever I just wanted to find a dusky for myself so I never really expected the fishing here to be quite so difficult it's just such a technical way of diving where you have to be mindful of every little movement every little noise that you make underwater and that's just something that I'm I've never had to deal with before in Australia you know you can splash around on the surface you can make noise and sometimes that'll even attract fish here it's just fish had gone just so quickly even at the sight of you you have to you know be planning your dive so you go down behind a rock this way so if there is a fish there maybe that they won't see you and then you can surprise them I've I've tried this a little bit on some small growers and even still they just they just disappear and yeah I've I've had a few opportunities at some Covina but just approach them wrong or I had one where I missed and yeah it's it's really tough out here and these guys have a really refined style of diving with the torch and they hunting holes a lot it's just something that I'm not used to at all and something that probably has to be refined and worked on to be successful here so learning a lot hopefully I can maybe shoot another fish but I don't hold high hopes for that will we'll see what the day brings on this legend 26 meters of water I found a small wrasse but I didn't come all the way here to the Mediterranean to just shoot a wrasse understandably Tony was done for the day he'd shot his prized fish but I asked on the way back if we could stop at the spot that I'd seen that dentex the other day I was kind of just hoping that I would get a fairytale ending to this trip the current had changed in there were no dentex and I certainly didn't want to shoot that Barracuda as the saying goes when in Rome do as the Romans and most of these guys were from Rome I grab the torch and started looking in holes [Applause] right Britta holes this is pretty good badly stock could pull it out hopefully uh this vicious last day last spot just gotta breathe up here on the surface for a bit calm down finally after four days I have been out with Tony the master and he's shown me how to hunt in the halls and I finally got one so very happy looking forward to eating this and thank you to Roberto and Tony for for helping me I'm very happy very happy at one point eight kilos this was by no means a big fish but it had taken me four days to get here so I was so stoked while I was messing about with my little groper in a hole Tony had shot this golden grouper in twenty eight and a half meters between us it took 11 dives to get it out the spearfishing here is like nothing else I've ever experienced it's kind of like a marathon runner and a sprinter they're both essentially running but they're completely different events I was really looking forward to eating my probe of a dinner secondi and everything with fish inside grouper chickpea tastes like success actually you're good the chickpeas Oh bones it was such an incredible honor to be invited to blue camp thanks to everybody who made us feel so welcome and Giuliano glad cm la I'll be coming back from identic