Interview with Tom Blandford

Great White Shark tales, White Sea Bass chasing and an epic Guadalupe day surrounded by huge fish. Sound like a fun listen?

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These are just a few of the highlights of this interview with veteran spearo Tom Blandford. As mentioned in the intro, I purchased (and read) Tom’s first book ‘A Dented Badge’ which has stories about his life serving in the LAPD during the 70’s and 80’s. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I think its a nice compliment to this interview which focuses on his spearfishing life. Listen in:)

Tom Blandford Noob Spearo Podcast Interview. INSTAGRAM POSTS(1)

Image left is a huge Amberjack. Image right is a picture given to him on the day of his retirement from the LAPD.

A bit about Tom Blandford

“He’s been diving forever — he decided to go to a local junior college back in the 60s because that would allow him to dive more than some of his other options. He was a founding member of the LAPD dive unit. He’s been a member of the Long Beach Neptunes since the early 80s (if not earlier). He made a bunch of trips to Baja in the 80s and 90s — actually spent several months once living out of a tent and a van on one of those trips, diving every day. More recently, he’s taken to cruising in the Sea of Cortez and has dived/spearfished in tons of different spots. Aside from all that, he’s mentioned in Terry Maas’s book in the story about the white shark incident in 1984 at Guadalupe Island — that’s the one where Harry Ingram was launched out of the water by a white shark. As luck would have it, my dad had a front row seat and helped get Harry out of the water. He also has his own white shark story from 1988 where he actually shot a white shark at point blank range! He’s an old salt now (74 in November), but he still dives quite a bit.” – Ron Blandford

Tom Blandford Spearfishing Quote

Interview Time Stamps

4:00 Tom’s beginnings. Shooting rocks and loving the spearfishing experieeince.

7:40 White Sea Bass hunting story

8:50 Early mentors Jack Prodonovich and Tom Murray

Jack Pradonovich (sp) holding his tuna gun. Notice two things: the gun has eight bands and the size of the reel is about the size of a basketball.

Jack Pradonovich (sp) holding his tuna gun. Notice two things: the gun has eight bands and the size of the reel is about the size of a basketball.

11:00 Long Beach Neptunes spearfishing club

14:00 One of Tom’s best days spearfishing in the Sea of Cortez. Surrounded by Yellow Fin Tuna, a huge Wahoo, massive Amberjack, Grouper and just one of those special days on the water.

21:00 Tom’s favorite two species to hunt are Yellowtail Kingfish and White Sea Bass. Tips for finding locations where Yellowtail are schooling and the technique he uses to shoot them when he’s in the right place. Bait species that Yellowtail chase including Mullet and Mackerel.

Tom Blandford with a White Sea Bass: This fish was shot at catalina Island. It may have been same trip where the white shark was speared off Eagle Reef

Tom Blandford with a White Sea Bass: This fish was shot at catalina Island. It may have been the same trip where the white shark was speared off Eagle Reef

27:50 Guadalupe Island and a very memorable Great White Shark incident. Big conversation about sharks.

48:00 Tom’s history serving in the LAPD dive unit.

54:00 The funniest moment he has had out on the water. Watching a Yellowtail try and keep up with a school of Bluefin Tuna

56:50 The contents of his divebag

62:00 Spearo Q&A

  • The single biggest lesson he has learned in his spearfishing is to respect the prey
  • The best piece of advice he has been given is to stop hyperventilating
  • Current challenges he faces
  • His favorite people to go spearfishing with are people with good judgement
  • “To hunt, respect the prey and enjoy eating it” is his main spearfishing motivation

To reach out to Tom email him at [email protected]

Harrys' Whit Shark pancake-day after GWS attack. Tom Blandford

The infamous pancake for Harry the day after his near-miss Great White Shark incident at Guadalupe

These spearfishing retailers now have 99 Tips in stock!!

99 Tips to Get Better at Spearfishing Retail Outlets

Australian Spearfishing Retail Stores

  • Adreno – Brisbane. 56 Deshon St, Woolloongabba QLD 4102
  • Adreno – Melbourne. 1184 Nepean Hwy, Cheltenham VIC 3192
  • Adreno – Sydney. 1/678-682 Botany Rd, Alexandria NSW 2015
  • Adreno – Perth. 2C / 376 South St, O’Connor, WA, 6163
  • Spearfishing SuperstoreCairns. 303-305 Draper St, Parramatta Park QLD 4870
  • The Dive Shop – Port Lincoln. 4 S Quay Blvd, Port Lincoln SA 5606
  • Frogdive – Willoughby. 539 Willoughby Rd, NSW 2068
  • Spear and Fish Downunder – Newcastle.  990 Hunter street. Newcastle, NSW 2302
  • Spear West – 2/1 Baden Street, Osborne Park. Western Australia. 6017
  • Extreme Spearfishing – 1/539 Pitwater Road Brookevale, Sydney NSW 2100

USA Spearfishing Retail Stores

  • The Dive Source – Florida 16 #2, 3721, St Augustine, Florida
  • Oregon Freediving Company – Oregon City 919 7th St, Oregon

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Written by Shrek

Shrek

Shrek is a Brisbane based Spearo, Podcast Co-Host and Blogger. Initially experiencing the underwater world through scuba diving, the hunter gatherer orientation quickly became apparent along with the enjoyment of breath-hold diving.

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