I’m so honored that you are visiting my blog and hope that the pictures and stories here will bring you closer to the feeling that we as spearfisherman, divers and fisherman enjoy in our lives.
My family is from the Cayman Islands and diving, fishing and ships have been at the center of our lives for almost as long as the islands have been on the map.
I’m 33 years old and work as a Captain on huge ships getting paid to travel around the world and with a four months on and off schedule I’ve been able to spend months at a time in the best known dive spots in the world. Even better, I’ve been able to travel with my friends and family and discover the newer and better dive spots that have been the envy of the rest of spearfishing world.
We are always looking for that which hasn’t been done, specializing our gear and finding the perfect recipe for every location and fish we pursue.
I work year round with Riffe International (www.speargun.com) developing the latest and most hard core spearfishing equipment so that I can have the best gear perfectly suited to our hunting and abuse we encounter in third world countries and in less than ideal conditions.
I’m lucky to have scored some great fish along the way with my top ten favorites being:
#1 has to be Steve Bennet. 155 lbs. Speared at 75 feet after he had blacked out and was sinking to his death. Luckily the shot was true and the story you’ve likely already read. Steve glad you are with us my friend.
50 lb Wahoo shot by my father this past year diving together and I got it on video. One of my favorite days in the water ever.
119 lb Wahoo
Blue Marlin 280 lb (WR) (shot in the open water NOT TROLLING)
280lb Yellowfin Tuna
201 lb Dogtooth tuna (WR)
102 lb Spanish Mackerel
105 lb Amberjack
60 lb King Mackerel (WR)
28 lb Blackfin Tuna (WR)
35 lb African Pompano (Diamond Trevally) with a Hawaiian Sling
I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the original hosts of the show SPEARGUN HUNTER by Terry Maas. I took the team overseas to a secret spot and within the first two days shot and landed a World Record sized Pacific Blue Marlin. On that first trip we also landed more than a dozen big Dolphin (Mahi Mahi), Wahoo, giant Trevally and Yellowfin Tuna. Terry captured all of the action on video and but the video has never made it to TV and I obviously am not the host. It was a great experience but my refusal to let the video of shooting the record Marlin be shown on National TV did not go over well with the producers. It worked out good, they have a great host and I believe we kept even more restrictions and bad publicity for the sport from coming down on us by keeping the fish private. I have nothing against shooting billfish, but the hypocritical Sportfishing World will only bring more harm upon our sport we value so much.
It also worked out well because I can still go to all the best spots in the world and not worry about giving them away on national TV!
Over the years I have always written for different magazines and put videos up on the web and through Riffe, Spearboard, Spearfishingplanet, Facebook, my seminars in dive shops and emails answered hundreds of question on everything from gear to girls around the world and the best combination in between for spearfishing.
I don’t know everything there is to know about the sport but I have gathered information from every corner of every ocean and retained it and I hope that I can help every diver out there dive safely and enjoy the sport for years to come.
I will constantly work to make the blog better, more navigable, more informative and useful to you. As my internet connection allows while I am traveling overseas (which is about 8 months out of the year) I will download pictures and video for you to check out and enjoy.
I encourage everyone to participate in the blog and ask questions and get out of it what you want. This is my way of sharing my life with you and sharing my knowledge with you as well to make you a better, happier and safer spearfisherman or woman.
You can email me at email@example.com
On the Riffe Website: www.speargun.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=58&Itemid=32
On YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/cameronkirkconnell
Thanks for visiting and stay in touch. The best part about this sport is all the people you meet around the world and learning from every diver you encounter whether they are in Alaska or South Africa or an inland lake in Missouri.
More long winded about me:
My parents had us in the water at and early age and we started freediving for conchs and lobsters in the shallows and holding on to our parents while they searched the reefs and drop offs for hours on end hunting Groupers and Hogfish in the crystalline waters of the Caribbean.
As I got older we continued to spearfish and scuba dive in Florida from Jacksonville to Key West and up to Tampa.
When I was 14 years old I started saving for my first speargun and after two years I bought my first gun, a Riffe Hawaiian with a reel. One of the first days out on the water we found a school of cobia and I jumped in to be surrounded by more than a dozen and shot a 45lb one.
I self proclaimed myself a bluewater hunter on the spot and knew that there was nothing more I wanted in life then to be near the water and enjoying all it had to offer.
With my cousin I applied to the US Merchant Marine Academy and after a long selection process we were both accepted and began 4 years of military school life studying the sea and how to be professional mariners. I graduated in 1999 and went to work as a third officer on a cargo ship and set off to the Indian and Pacific Ocean. With all the charts of the world at my fingertips for 4 months at sea I saw the world of spearfishing shrink to a million possibilities and my mind started racing at the potential.
With no car, no house, no girlfriend I paid the ships agent $100 when I disembarked in Singapore and convinced him to delay my ticket back the USA for two months.
A new ticket in hand I set off for Bali Indonesia and fell in love with the incredible waves and huge fish that lived there.
For the last ten years I have traveled to spearfish in Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and half a dozen islands in Indonesia searching for bluewater fish and learning techniques and meeting the best in the world in their home waters. Whether it is your first day or your 60th year there is something to be learned from everyone you meet.
Diving in Australia I met Robbie Lewis and Tim Neilsen of Adrenaline Spearfishing in Brisbane and Robbie and I became instant friends. they set me up with my first sponsorships and quickly my emails to my friends telling them the latest tall tales of big fish and crazy shark encounters started showing up in Spearfishing Magazines which I had no idea even existed.
For so long we had dove just to hunt dinner and to think that there were spearfishing clubs and competitions seemed completely foreign to us.
I made a lot of friends and slept on a lot of couches and didn’t pay rent for about 8 years and owe more favors to more people in more countries than I can possibly ever repay.
From all of it I gathered more knowledge than I ever would have imagined from so many different situations and waters that have led us to be able to plan trips any month of the year any where in the world and with high rates of success.
In my travels I’ve been blessed with some memorable fish and a handful of world records and record size fish that were just short of the mark or disqualified for one reason or another. The most common cause was being in the middle of nowhere in Fiji or Indonesia without a proper scale (or refrigeration.)
Some of the most memorable records or near records: King Mackerel 58 lbs, Blackfin Tuna 27lbs, Hogfish 21lbs, Golden Trevally 34 lbs, Pacific Blue Marlin 272lbs, Wahoo 119lbs, Blackfin Tuna 32lbs, Spanish (Narrow barred) Mackerel 102lbs, Dogtooth Tuna 201lbs, and a few other close ones.
We’ve figured out how to be in the right place at the right time. How to read the weather and water and where to be in the water and how to approach fish and how to get the biggest one to come close to you even in the middle of the blue 100 miles from land.
I’ve only entered a few tournaments but have had decent success.
In three visits to the Hatteras Bluewater open in Cape Hatteras North Carolina I’ve won twice and finished 4th on the other. I enjoy tournaments for the main reason that it brings together like minded people together and gives you a chance to rag on your friends and for them to give it right back to you.
No one believes me but I am happier when someone else gets the fish of their lives or the fish of the day then I am for myself usually. Through my work with Riffe, dozens of dive shops and thousands of divers around the world I’ve had a smile on my face doing what I love for as long as I can remember. Even when I’m not there every email from a young diver telling me how stoked he is on my new camo pattern or some bands or a tip on shooting black groupers that helped him get the fish of the day makes me so happy.
I can’t wait to meet every one of you and hope that each can get something out of these pages if only a laugh or a temporary escape from normal life.
In the coming months I will be opening a few other sections of the website that are VIP access. This will be How-to videos and detailed trip advice for divers around the world who are ready to take it to the next level. Planning trips is one of my favorite things and doing it right and being successful having done it with your friends help and all your hard work is by far the most rewarding way to go. It pays to have someone on your side that has been there, done that, and has the scars and fish scales to prove it.
Dive safe and send me pics of your adventures anytime
One of my first memories is of the East End of Little Cayman in the Cayman Islands. I must have been about 3-4 years old and small enough that I couldn’t keep up with my father and mother who were snorkeling on the surface on either side of me. Holding on to my dads arm as tight as possible my eyes worked quickly across the bottom trying to spot a grouper or snapper or the massive hogfish that lived there.
If you asked me then if I believed I’d ever be able to dive 90 feet and spear fish as big as my dad I’d probably boast and say I could only hope to be as good as him and my mom one day but hopefully better.
In those days their were no records, no float lines and no reels in our vocabulary and each fish was shot and dragged to the surface on the same breath of air. That we never had any blackouts is amazing and a testament to how good of shape we were in each summer visiting the Islands and diving for lobsters in the Keys.
This blog is a work in progress that I’ll try and keep you up to date on our trips and adventures around the world. Bear with me I do have a real job!