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Have You Seen This? When halibut attack

A spearfishing trip off the Kenai Peninsula earlier this year was particularly memorable for free diver Chris Pollack. He’d already bagged three fish in the 100-pound range when an aggressive halibut decided to turn the tables.

A spearfishing trip off the Kenai Peninsula earlier this year was particularly memorable for free diver Chris Pollack. He’d already bagged three fish in the 100-pound range when an aggressive halibut decided to turn the tables. (Alaska Freediver via YouTube)


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DEEP BLUE SEA — Chris Pollack and his friends don wetsuits and target large halibut with spearguns in the cold waters of Alaska. Rather than use scuba gear, these brave souls free dive.

One spearfishing trip off the Kenai Peninsula earlier this year was particularly memorable. They'd already bagged three fish in the 100-pound range when an aggressive halibut decided to turn the tables.

Check out the surprising video:

What exactly was the fish doing? Pollack thinks that it mistakenly tried to swallow his spearpoint for food. The "flopper" on the spear might've resembled the baitfish in the area.

"I made the drop and I'm just sitting on the bottom, and I hadn't even been down there that long," Pollack recalled in an interview with MeatEater. "And then, all of a sudden, that halibut just cruised right in on me and it snapped at my flopper."

The halibut was actually too close for Pollack to use his speargun. After a brief skirmish, the fish escaped with minor wounds. I was personally glad to hear that it survived because we need more fearless halibut in the world.

As for Pollack, he plans to continue free diving in his home state. He and his wife run a spearfishing shop called Alaska Free Diver and serve as pioneers of this unexpected sport.

How did they even come up with the idea of free diving for halibut?

"We'd been surfing up here for years, so we already had the wetsuits," Brad Conley, Pollack's friend and fellow diver, explained in the MeatEater interview. "So, we thought it would be fun to try and spear one of those big halibut. After the first time getting towed around by a big fish, I was hooked. It's pretty surreal to be in the water wrestling a fish bigger than you."

Indeed. But now that we know the halibut in the area are mobilizing, Pollack better watch his back.

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Grant Olsen joined the KSL.com contributor team in 2012. He covers outdoor adventures, travel, product reviews and other interesting things. He is also the author of the book “Rhino Trouble.”

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