A spearfisherman shoots a once-in-a-lifetime wahoo off the coast of Melbourne, Florida.
While plunging into the water off the coast of Melbourne, Florida, commercial spear fisherman Ben Bencivenga didn’t know he was about to come face to face with a once in a lifetime fish.
Bencivenga was beginning to slowly surface from his first 90-foot dive in the murky blue water when a massive wahoo swam by him.
“I was finishing my first dive of the day and I was 15 feet from the surface, slowly coming up,” Bencivenga told Florida Today. “I saw the wahoo swim right by me and keep going.”
Although it swam close enough for him to get a clean shot, he didn’t no react quick enough to pursue the wahoo. He said he was sure that fish was gone and he missed his chance, until the curious fish turned around and came back towards him.
“That fish turned and came straight at me. My gun was still loaded, so I took the shot at his head when he was less than 10 feet away and he was dead instantly,” said Bencivenga as he recounted the unbelievable turn in events.
Bencivenga doesn’t use the normal pointed spear and rope that most people think of when they hear spearfishing. He uses what most commercial fisherman opt for instead, an underwater gun called a “Powerhead.” These weapons use a waterproof bullet and firing pin that is attached to the end of spearguns or long poles. After a safety pin is pulled they will only discharge after being slammed into their intended target, which in most cases instantly kills the fish.
The large wahoo came in at a whopping 80 pounds and is the largest fish that Bencivenga had ever speared. His second largest was a 75-pound amberjack.
Bencivenga said his shipmates who were also working the water when he speared the fish were equally impressed, “We’ve seen wahoo before, but have never been enough for a shot. It was sweet. A fish of a lifetime.”