Unlike many other high school students’ hobbies, Andrew Mejia’s forces him to dive deep into the unknown and search and crucify exotic sea creatures. Spear fishing has been one of Mejia’s hobbies for close to a year and he is infatuated with the overwhelming feeling it gives him.
“I started spear fishing last year in December after I went on a trip to Catalina with my biology class, and I was mesmerized by all of the different types of ocean life,” said Mejia. “When I went the second time, it was amazing to me that I was still excited and in awe to see the same exact fish I saw the first time.”
Spear fishing is an ancient method of catching fish using a sharpened metal or wood pole. The more technological tools is a sharp metal spear that shoots out as far as eight feet and can penetrate a fish in seconds.
Because spear fishers have to go out into the ocean, it is a very dangerous sport and one could easily be harmed while spear fishing. Although it is dangerous, Mejia takes advantage of being alone in the peaceful environment.
“Although one should never go out swimming alone, I am forced to and there is a certain sense of being alone and it is scary, but that fear is addictive and rare,” said Mejia. “When you are by yourself and accomplish the task all by yourself, it feels much more rewarding.”
The danger that accompanies the sport is shown in the deaths per year. According to Spearboard.com, 100 out of around 5,000 spear fishers die per year while fishing. “One early morning I took my cousin out and the visibility was really low that day. We swam out to a sport and I saw a huge shadow next to me and I noticed a large ship approaching me so I had to leave fast,” said Mejia. “One of the challenges of spear fishing is not exactly what you see, but what you cannot see.”
Despite the dangers of the sport, Mejia still continues to spear fish about once a week and loves it. “I still spear fish because I am yet to accomplish many dreams I have,” said Mejia. “It is the best feeling in the world when I bring home fish to my family and see the smiles on all of their faces; there is nothing else like it!”
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