Veteran Florida diver James Michaelin was spear fishing for prized hogfish on Sept. 28, 2021 in 120 feet of water, 100 miles off Florida’s Gulf Coast. He hadn’t seen much that day, and was about to give up when he saw the bright colors of a hogfish.
“Getting close to the end of the second dive I said there’s no way I’m coming up without something to shoot [with his speargun]. I had 1,000 PSI left and started swimming away from the big [reef] structure to some smaller stuff. Right when I started to call it, I saw a big hog[fish] come to the left of me,” Michaelin told the Bradenton Herald.
The giant hogfish was curious and swam right up to the tip of Michaelin’s speargun. That’s when he took the easiest shot of his life, and shot the fish through its gills.
“I was really excited when I saw it. It was a big male, I thought about 18 pounds,” he said.
Michaelin placed the dead hogfish on a stringer and swam toward the surface where his dive…