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?
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:)
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
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
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.
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]
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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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