North X Northeast: Justin Burkle

Spearfishing Might Not Be For Everyone, But…

Words & photos Justin Burkle | Follow @41degreesnorth
Each summer the gulfstream meanders northward bringing with it a plethora of pelagic species. During the season you need to constantly check the sea surface temperature charts to keep track of the water and the weather forecasts offering up weather windows to make trips offshore. When everything comes together a crew is assembled, boat is packed with ice, fuel and gear.

The trip begins under complete darkness.

Trolling at sunrise.

The run out can be anywhere from 65 to 100 nautical miles, so the trip begins under complete darkness—we get to the grounds with light filtering in from the east. The early morning hours are spent covering ground trolling lures behind the boat in search of tuna. Each trip is different but once good water is found the fishing gear is reeled in and the dive gear is brought out.

Mica Marder subduing a speared tuna from the depths.

Dipping below the surface into the abyss 80 miles offshore in clear gulfstream water is what brings us back trip after trip. The diversity of sea life seen here is remarkable including: porpoise, manta ray, whale shark, tuna, mahi mahi, sea turtle, triggerfish, tripletail, marlin, and whales.

These trips aren’t for everyone as the lack of sleep, excessive sun exposure and exhaustion can take a day or two to recover from, but in my eyes it’s all worth it.