The US Freshwater Nationals have grown over the last 17 years to now include international teams, and helps host the WFSC, World Freshwater Spearfishing Championship May of 2017. Aug 26th saw the Freshwater Nationals in one of our Nations most beautiful lakes, Lake McConaughy. Big Mac as the locals call it, is the largest Reservoir in a 3 state region and when full is 20 mile long by 4 miles wide. Its well know for its record walleye and wipers. Over half of its north shore is covered by beautiful blazing white sand dunes that drop into the water and makes for some excellent camping right along the water. The sand reminds me of being on a beautiful Hawaiian beach, but only during the summer months.
This years Spearfishing Nationals saw 50 top divers from around the nation and a few from different nations. It also allowed scuba divers to compete, and is one of the few areas in the Nation that super strong scuba divers have figured out a way to beat freedivers. Most of the diving was in the top 40’ of water with many fish taken right on the surface in the early morning hours. We were allowed to dive the dam for some very beautiful clear water, but for the most part divers stuck to the sand looking for small drop offs or thermoclines that might hold more fish. The competition was very intense right down to the last hour, as divers scraped for those final fish.
Carp were the main go to species, however wipers, and walleye were legal as well. In that last hour, 2 individuals figured out that the carp had come up to the surface and mid water to feed, and they got into 30-40 extra fish. At the weigh in, it looked clear the Scuba Boys were in full control of the meet again, as one after another huge collection of carp would roll in. But…. at the very end, Super Man, Mike Ban of the RMSA pulled out the single best catch ever seen on the lake, moving him to an easy first place individual. 2nd place
went to a long time champ of this lake, Mark Wiezorek Scuba Boy supreme.
Top 3 women’s divers were Shelby Peterson #1 from Ut, she also beat her husband. #2 the “ROCKSTAR”, Texi Herrick from Wy. and #3 in her first freshwater event from Hawaii…..Donell Palmer.
Top teams went to:
Mens: #1Mark Wiezorek and T. Kelly.
2nd Mike Ban, and Duke Spackman.
3rd Casey Sack and KC Merrihew.
#1 Calvin Lai and Donell Palmer,
2nd Shelby and Ryan Peterson, 3rd to Savanah and Kelston McGuire
2018 Freshwater Nationals is planned for Wahweap, Lake Powell, Ut. June 8-9
This will be a great diving location for 2 days of beautiful water and red rock scenery, a huge change from Lake McConaughey. Day one will include 5 species of game fish and day 2 will be carp and shad. Watch the RMSA web site for details: www.rockymountainspearfishing.org
The 2017 and 2018 Freshwater Nationals will pick our best teams for Mens, Womens, Masters, and Mixed to go to the WFSC in New Zealand March of 2019.
A huge Mahalo to all our Sponsors and HSD for promoting the fast growing events in the nation.
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