Photo: Michael Orr
Growing up in Orange County, California my first love was the ocean. I started surfing from an early age and wanted to spend as much time in the ocean as possible. This desire led to my friends and I getting SCUBA certified at a very young age. In 1990, I was 12 years old when I dove Catalina Island for the first time. Before the first dive of the day, there was a guy who jumped in the water without SCUBA gear but he had really long fins and a speargun. I remember watching him dive down, and all the other divers were talking about how they saw him at 90' just cruising by them. I was immediately interested in this strange new activity.
My Early Days of Spearfishing
In 2000, after college, I decided to move down to San Diego with a buddy of mine. Now with true independence, I dedicated my life fully to being in the ocean. I started surfing bigger waves, and breath hold diving became an important part of my life. I was able to land a job working as a diver for the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program. This was perfect for my progression as a diver and waterman. At work, I met others like me who were into to surfing and spearfishing also. I got my first boat and we began diving more around the kelp beds in Point Loma.
First Boat AKA The Death Trap
Paddy Hopping With My Son, Hunter
In 2015, the 200+ pound bluefin tuna showed up off the coast of California starting a "gold rush" for fishing. Now you could shoot the fish of a lifetime right in our own backyard. This led to a popularity explosion in spearfishing here in California. For of this, I turned my focus from the kelp beds to bluewater. Chasing after tuna caused me to fall in love with spearfishing all over again. Currently, I am focused on sharing the information I have learned over the years with my family, friends and now YOU!