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When Dentex becomes an obsession…


dentex copA new partnership was born between Apnea Magazine and Deep Worldwide, the bimonthly greek magazine of our friend Dimitri Kollias, about freediving and spearfishing.

For several months, we will publish some articles from the ellenic magazine about various arguments.They will be available on our website and social networks channels, both in English and Italian language. morover, by clicking on the interactive cover you will find on th top of each article, you will reach the deepww.com website. We wish you good reading!

During more recent years, dentex hunting has become my top priority, almost an obsession! Great thrill, even bigger disappointment (mostly disappointment), and sometimes incredible moments have come along with this amazing prey. Dentex-dentex is a unique species. A notorious predator full of specialized characteristics and abilities: speed, suspiciousness, power, and two pairs of ultra sharp fangs! Total devotion and dedication to the hunt, along with deep diving and long breath holding abilities of course, are mandatory in order to just begin discovering their secrets. Still, you will never be able to feel completely sure against them. There isn’t a point that you will totally master this specialized technique. When it comes to dentex hunting, the possibility of ending up with your shaft lying on the sea bed and the fish swimming unharmed, miles away, is always at the top of the menu. Total frustration!

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Of course, years of experience, devotion, and obsession can reward the hunter with moments worth remembering and one of the most good-looking and best eating species on the deck: emotional overflow!

On that day, the ripping current had pushed cold water from the deep to the top of the pinnacles; our hope for shallow and easy-to-shoot dentexes had vanished into thin air. After a full day without a single shot, I was feeling rusty and numb, almost like falling asleep. I needed an adrenaline rush to wake me up. Let’s go to the deep pinnacle. The “deep” or “hell’s” pinnacle is a really… deep spot, lost in the middle of nowhere, with the shallowest point just reaching 24m. That is just the point. The hunting area lays 5-10 meters deeper. Strong currents along with murky waters and illusive drop-offs make for an ugly and spooky place. The local dentex school though, sometimes includes massive fish, reaching 10kgs in weight. What a challenge!

dentex2Without a second thought I pushed the throttle, the engine roared and there we were, cruising full speed towards hell’s pinnacle. Fortune favors the brave!

It took us several tries before our anchor hit the small top of the pinnacle. The visibility was awful and the current was strong, as expected. “I have a feeling we won’t be seeing any dentex today, so stay on board while I’m checking down below” I told my dive buddy. I dove in mid-waters just to see the bottom and get oriented with the area. While I was checking for my familiar characteristic sand mark on the seabed, a big dentex crossed it. “Shit! I have to go down there and lay on the bottom for an ambush now” I told myself. So I did. I landed gently. Then, I had to fight the current in order to just line up the gun. The sounds of this effort made me lose a slight opportunity to shoot the biggest fish, a 7 kilogram monster! The rest of the school kept swimming around nervously. I pushed my body against the bottom like being afraid and remained still until they showed a willingness to approach. I attempted a long range shot to the one that seemed to be the easiest target and initially, thought I had missed it. Then I saw the reflective shine of a fish dropping dead, far away from me. Holy cow! Out of air, I immediately started ascending, not even caring about the old fish line that got tangled on my fish. I had just loosened up the reel and left for some fresh air. After 29 meters and some deep breaths, I started pulling the line from the surface. There was some drag but nothing more. The fishing line came all the way, tangled on the fish, and few meters before the surface it had slipped away. My shaft had just penetrated the fish’s hindbrain by some millimeters with both barbs closed. Bull’s eye!

Spot: Evia Island, West Aegean, Greece
Species: Dentex dentex
Depth: 29m
Dive time: 1min 55sec
Gun: Bleutec Raptor 115

Two weeks later, the cold current had changed. A nice, cool thermocline starting from 20-22 meters had taken over. Ideal! Already during the second dive, I saw two fish, dentexes of course, passing by. They came from an opposite direction than I had expected, leaving me no chance against them. I changed spots and dived again. This time I spotted them while still descending! A school of about ten, in hunting mode and coloration: flashing pinkish with vertical purple stripes, their war colors! I knew that they would approach soon, and so it happened. I had just hit the bottom and my position was not yet perfect, therefore I spooked a big one that had quickly swam off, leading the entire school away. Shit! Of course, that left me the chance to perfectly hide between the rocks. I stayed for a while until they showed again, willing to approach. I pulled the trigger and let my shaft fly to the big lady the moment she came within shooting range. I heard a “crack” and the fish suddenly remained hovering with the line crossing its skull. Pure Orgasm!

On surface the massive adrenaline rush forced me to scream, just to get rid of all the tension. A scream so ancient, coming from memories forgotten that had deeply shocked me.

Remarkable moments.

Spot: W. Aegean, Greece
Species: Dentex dentex
Depth: 24m
Dive time: 2min 01sec
Gun: Abellan Denton 110

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Category: English, Spearfishing

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