Interview with Pat Swanson

Should I try diving for a job? I love the water and I think could spend all day in it so why not make it my job? This is a thought Ive had and in this chat with veteran spearo and ex-commercial diver Pat Swanson we dig right into whether its a good idea or not. Pat’s a three time New Zealand spearfishing champion and a resident of Taranaki, New Zealand. This is where I grew up so I was pretty stoked to catch up with Pat in his New Plymouth home. In this interview Pat also lays out some practical tips and ideas for scouting a potential area and we dig into some of the key considerations for assessing its dive-worthiness. Listen into our chat here.

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Pat Swanson Interview Time Stamps

3:00 Pat Swanson introduction and background + Pat’s insights into a dive with Shrek

8:00 Influential Books mentioned

10:00 What were your biggest obstacles starting spearfishing?

12:00 Commercial Diving for Spearos

  • What has been your experience and background commercial diving?
  • What advice would you give to spearos wanting to try commercial diving?
  • What is required of commercial divers?

19:00 Most memorable fish – New Zealand Hapuka

Pat Swanson most memorable spearfishing catch the New Zealand HAPUKA

Pat Swanson with New Zealand’s prized Hapuka

24:00 What is your favorite spearfishing hunting technique and how do you apply it effectively?

30:00 What is one of the toughest situations you’ve had in the ocean? What happened and what did you learn from it?

34:00 Veterans Vault – Reconnaissance 101 for shore dive spearfishing

  • How do you assess an area?
  • What do you look for?
  • What are your biggest tips for finding spearfishing spots?
  1. Shore Dive Spearfishing Guide – Part 1
  2. Shore Dive Spearfishing Guide – Part 2
  3. 3 Online Tools To Find Spearfishing Locations

42:00 What has been your funniest moment spearfishing?

45:00 What spearfishing equipment do you use?

50:00 Spearo Q&A

  • What is the single best piece of advice you have received for spearfishing?
  • What does the spearfishing experience means to you?
  • Who has been the most influential person to you in your spearfishing and why?
  • If you started spearfishing all over again, what would you do differently?
  • During your 30+ years of spearfishing, what is one of the biggest lessons you have learned?
  • What current challenges do you face in your spearfishing and how do you approach them?
Pat Swanson with NZ Snapper record spearfishing catch

Pat Swanson with NZ Snapper record spearfishing catch


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