Interview with Spearfishing Huntress Valentine Thomas
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Labeled by the Daily Caller as a “hot spearfishing goddess” and theChive as a “badass spearfisher”, Valentine Thomas is our first female guest and she was a pleasure to chat with. Looking at Valentines pictures you could mistakenly believe that she is just a pinup girl, but as you will find out in this interview, she loves her spearfishing and has learned quite a lot in a fairly short time. With an unconventional start to spearfishing on Ascension Island her first fish was a 12kg Black Jack. Now a few short years later Valentine Thomas is a world record holder with a host of international spearfishing experience. She is looking to achieve even more in the sport and in this interview she shares some insights into her passion for spearfishing.
Fast navigation through Valentine Thomas’s interview
2:00 Bluewater Hunting for her first fish ever. Ascension Island 12kg Black Jack
4:00 Mentors and Valentines fantastic attitude to learning from all spearos
5:00 A bit about London Diving (her current home)
7:00 Overcoming childhood fears in the open water, Taking on Spearfishing
9:00 Veterans Vault – Bluewater Hunting Insights including a tip for attracting Wahoo
14:00 Sharks, dealing with them and the fear you have starting out
18:00 Dive buddy humped by a turtle!
19:00 Fast Five Facts for Noobs
23:00 Super Stoke Story, First Crayfish
25:00 Crucial Kit for Noobs, advice for women particularly wetsuits
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Valentine Thomas on Bluewater Hunting
As Blue Water hunting was my first experience in terms of spearfishing, I had a special relationship with it. You don’t need to dive deep, you don’t have to worry as much about current and other factors that you normally would have on an inshore dive. The dangers are different and experience is a key – so starting was a bit stressful for me, especially considering my fear of the ocean at that stage.
A float is necessary. You never know what you can encounter in the deep blue and if you see a fish of a lifetime, you have to be ready for it. But a float means bungee and bungee means dangers of entanglement. If one day you shoot a massive fish, you have the possibility of becoming entangled by mistake, it could drag you very deep and your buddy could do nothing about it. A tuna is so powerful that it could easily drag you to the bottom of the sea, which I’ve been in up to 800m depth. To avoid this, using a thick floatline reduces the chances in my opinion. Less chance of tangling as it is easier to see and feel. As for a float, the best in Blue water is to use both a hard one and a soft one. The hard float won’t be able to be dragged to the bottom and make you lose all your gear, but is hard to travel with as it takes up lots of space. The soft float, you have the chance to lose it but it is easier to travel with.
The other “unusual feeling” if I may call it that is the fact that you don’t see the bottom. You are surrounded by blue 360 degrees. For hours. You have no ground point. You might have sharks coming around to check you out as well and it is harder to judge their distance when you don’t have a bottom to compare them with. You have to keep an eye on them all the time. They can come from behind, under or in front. You have to look around you constantly, in all directions.
Its also why I like to use bigger guns. A lot of people use wooden guns in Blue water hunting, but I find them quite heavy. Of course with technology, they manage to make them lighter etc, but euro guns can achieve pretty much the same result and are much easier to use. With the roller guns coming back as well, You can transform a 130 (which is the max I can load) to a 160-170 and have a smaller gun with lots of power. Especially for women, smaller is more user friendly. But in case of a shark getting aggressive, a longer gun feels a bit better hehe.
So that is my two cents about Blue water hunting. To sum it up, I think that BWH is amazing but you rely as much on your skills as you do on your gear, so it is important that you use the right one, that you feel comfortable with, it could save your life one day.
To learn even more at becoming better at spearfishing check our book 99 Tips To Get Better At Spearfishing. Its insights from 40+ spearfishing experts, authorities and characters from around the world like Valentine Thomas
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