In this episode of THE SPEAR by SpearoBlog, I interview Clark and Rhett McNulty. Clark is the founder of Hookbuzz.com. We cover the story of how HookBuzz came about, talk epic spear fishing trips, and invite you to the 2nd Annual Kirk McNulty White Seabass Spearfishing Classic.
So let’s dive into this episode and learn about Clark, Rhett and HookBuzz.
Roman (RC): Welcome to The Spear. The Spearfishing Podcast, where spearos share stories, insights and tips to help you on your spearfishing journey. Welcome to the tribe, and now, your host, Roman Castro from Spearoblog.com.
Today’s episode is brought to you by Audible.com. Get a free audiobook, download and a 30-day free trial at www.audibletrial.com/thespear. Over 150 titles to choose from, for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or MP3 player.
On today’s episode, we have an interview with Clark McNulty, the founder of HookBuzz.com. We talk about how HookBuzz was started, the Clark McNulty White Sea Bass Classic, and some epic spearfishing trips.
Before we jump into the interview, I thought it would be cool to start with a SpearoBlog tribe announcement segment during this part of the show. So, basically, if you run a spearfishing or freediving club anywhere around the world and you want to let the community know what you’re up to, shoot me an email with your upcoming events. You can email me at roman[a]spearoblog.com and I will announce the latest things happening. Thank you. Alright, so let’s get on with the show. Enjoy.
RC: Joining us today, we have Clark and Rhett McNulty. Clark is the man behind HookBuzz.com. Clark and Rhett are here to talk about their spearfishing journey, how HookBuzz was born, and their second annual White Sea Bass Spearfishing Classic in honor of their brother, Kirk McNulty. Guys, thanks for showing up and welcome to the show.
Clark (C): Thanks for having us.
Rhett (R): Appreciate it.
RC: Let’s get started right off the bat with talking about what HookBuzz is.
C: Sure, yeah, HookBuzz, I think mostly we’re probably known in the community for videos and content. But primarily HookBuzz was founded for being an online retailer; so, an online store that sells product, whether if you’re into fishing, diving, scuba diving or spearfishing –
RC: So it’s not just spearfishing stuff, it’s also like –
C: Marine products and fishing dive gear, yeah.
RC: Nice. Let’s talk a little bit about how you got started with HookBuzz.
C: Sure, so back in 2007 and 2008 I was working for a tech company and we were doing ecommerce online. It was all of this home, housewares, home and garden stuff. It just obviously wasn’t my passion. So, it wasn’t exactly the right niche market for me.
C: When I left that business, actually I think Rhett had made the suggestion, hey you know how to build these things, it’s where your expertise lies, why don’t you look into it? So I did, and I think I started with 10 products. And right now I think we’re right around the 25,000 skew mark.
RC: Wow. Do you remember what those products were?
C: Oh yeah. It was anything I could put up at the time that would sell. I think the first 10 products were like, it was fishing gear, it was lures, some swim baits, and I think I had a reel on there. You know, nothing too extravagant.
RC: It’s a pretty big site now. How long has it been around?
C: The store’s been operational now for 5+ years.
RC: Wow, nice, that’s good growth. That’s good growth. Nice. Do you do anything special for Rhett for giving you the idea?
C: Yeah, he gets free trips on the boat and sometimes we make him pay for diesel.
R: I’ll take it.
RC: Nice. Cool. Do you remember what your first sale was?
C: Yeah, my first sale was probably to myself. Testing the system. No, I think my first sale was like going to my buddy’s and saying, hey you really need this reel or you need these gloves or whatever. My buddies are always good supporters so I’d have to bug them about it but they’d go hunting and purchase stuff.
RC: Nice. That’s awesome. That’s great you guys come on the show because you guys are in the middle of 3-month long spearfishing competition, right?
C: That’s correct. We’re about 6 weeks away from the deadline to submit fish. And we’ve had, I think, 6 or 7 fish submitted so far. The biggest one, upwards of 72lbs, speared by a guy in San Clemente named Joel Olenkin, he’s a well-known free diver and a good friend.
RC: These results are bing posted as they come in?
C: They’re being posted daily. We have, if you go to HookBuzz.com you can see, you can follow the leaderboard, you can see all of the rules and regulations, where the proceeds go and what prizes and up for grabs.
RC: So give me a little more detail about this tournament. What’s the area it covers and maybe how much it costs?
C: Sure, so the tournament runs from March 1, 2015, to May 31, 2015. The costs are only $10 to enter. Currently we have a ton of different sponsors, from Electric Visual, Guardian Charters, Pelican Products, Celestron Telescopes, Dark Seas , Salty Crew, Watermans Sunscreen, Fish Restaurant 101, Body Glove, Dive N’ Surf, ReefRunnerGear – God, there’s so many in there.
C: Right, JBL, Spearing Magazine, Spearing Forum – So there are a lot of guys that are involved, contributing product. There’s probably $3,000 worth of prizes in gear. We’re having an awards party June 14 at the Body Glove headquarters in Redondo Beach. That’s a Sunday, from 1-4. We’re going to have live music, we’re going to have raffles for gear.
RC: Do you have to be a participant in the tournament to show up for that?
C: No, you don’t. Yeah, you can just show up. We’ll be raffling off – Daryl Wong sent us a reel, we have a ton of other raffle gear and prizes. So, it’s going to be fun and the tournament location is very broad. So, anybody in the San Diego County, Orange County, LA County, Ventura, up to Santa Barbara. It’s actually wherever you can spear a white sea bass, you know, from Baja to Central or – I don’t know how far sea bass go up the coast but I’ve heard up to San Francisco even.
RC: Baja’s fair game?
C: Baja’s fair game, you just need to follow the tournament rules and regulations as far as how you document your catch or proof of catch. So, that’s all on the website. But, yeah, it’s going to be a great time; we’d love to see everybody at that party because it’s hard for us, we’re all online, we’re all so virtual, and we don’t get to meet face to face. The awards party’s going to be a great chance for everybody to meet so hopefully people come out for it. June 14, 1-4pm.
RC: Nice. Awesome. Let’s talk a little bit about why this tournament came about.
C: Sure. So this tournament came about back in March of 2014. Last year. Because unfortunately our little brother passed away, unexpectedly. We were all, as we grew up together, we spent a lot of time in water. And Kirk was an avid free diver, surfer, just all around waterman. And so we figured the best way to continue his legacy and carry his honor would be to start a tournament in his memory.
RC: That’s awesome. That’s a great thing you guys are doing. That’s great, so he was an avid waterman and you’re supporting something he was passionate about?
C: Yeah, definitely. Kirk was big into sustaining ecosystems and how to protect environment for future generations or just for the local community, and trying to understand how to get people involved. And obviously he was a big spear fisherman, and one of those things that we would always do together that we always enjoyed was going to hunt white sea bass.
So, the money here and the proceeds all 100% of it go toward the local white sea bass grow-outs out the Southern California coast, which are supported by Hubbs-Sea World.
RC: That’s awesome. So if you guys are interested in doing this tournament, you can sign up at HookBuzz.com. And I’ll have a link to it on the show notes page. So, look for it there.
So, let’s move on to the normal question and answer session we have for you guys today. So, in this segment, it’s called The New Spearo, and this is where we talk about how you got into spearfishing.
So, the first question is: Tell us a story about how you discovered spearfishing.
C: Yeah, this will be good. I couldn’t drive, I know that; I think I was 14 or 15 years old. We grew up in Palos Verdes and you know you have access to the cliffs there and there’s some great diving up there. The kelp beds are massive. And so I was hanging with a couple of buddies, I think we were just out of high school one day, and one of my buddies had an old, rusty, polespear in the backyard. And so he had on a mask and I think we split a pair of fins, so he had a fin and I had a fin, and the surf was sort of pumping.
And we go out to this spot that’s sort of known for sort of when you’re surfing out there it’s got some punch. And so we’re ragged, trying to get out first, and I think we lost the polespear and then we found it again because thought we went far out but we were probably only 10ft, we didn’t know what we were doing, you know? So that was my first experience into freediving. And from there we figured out better entry points and sort of started learning our way through them
RC: That’s cool. I got slammed there in Palos Verdes once, I was coming out and my timing was way off and I got pounded.
C: It’s easy to do, for sure.
RC: That’s awesome. Did you start at the same time, Rhett?
R: Yeah, I don’t remember. Yeah, pretty young. On a pole spear. I think my first time getting in the water with a pole spear was probably somewhere much warmer and easier to do. I think probably Hawaii or Mexico. But it kind of fed into that adrenaline of like you know how cool it was to be underwater and catching a thing. You’re so out of your element and so to be able to conquer that was a lot of fun, and led both of us down the path and all 3 brothers to getting better gear, spending more time in the water. Spending time in the water in different ways than we were used to. We grew up doing a lot of sailing and surfing.
RC: That’s cool. What were your initial challenges, besides gear?
C: I think the initial challenges were probably just getting there. We didn’t have a car so you’d have to have your mom drop you off at your buddy’s house and then you’d suck up enough courage to figure out what you were going to do. We’d go play in the surf a lot so it was really just getting to the destination, you know?
RC: What was your first game fish?
C: Gosh, I think it was a schooly white seabass. I mean, obviously calicos. Mostly, I mean after perch it was calico.
RC: Let’s go to that white seabass story. What was it like when you first shot a white seabass?
C: Sure, you know, I think it was again up in that same area. I had about 20 little schoolys swim through and I ended up trying to pull the trigger and I think my safety was on or something. And they stuck around. They just were swimming in a circle like just feeding on little bait fish. And I realized okay safety off and I mean it was pretty much a no-brainer, they were sitting right there. And so that was my first white seabass, a little schooly, just legal and I definitely made sure he was lying flat. Yeah, you know, I was young, I mean –
RC: What did it feel like?
C: It felt great. Come home with some nice filets of fish and…
RC: So what did your parents say when you came home with that thing?
C: I mean, my mom was always super into food and stuff so she loved anything we brought home. She was always fired up.
RC: Awesome. So how old were you when you shot that one?
C: I was actually in my 20s. It took me a while.
RC: No, that’s good.
C: Slow learning curve for me.
RC: That’s how it is. So, let’s move into the next segment, which is a segment where you share some tips for new spearos. These tips are intended to help you guys become more competent, safe, ethical, and selective spearos.
C: Yeah, I think if I were to name a few tips for entry-level spearos, I would first probably say it’s important to buy quality gear. When you have good equipment, you know, one, you now it’s going to last if you take care of it, and, two, it’s going to help you land the right fish. You know, you never know out there. It’s all time in the water, so if you’re out there and you happen to have a nice yellowtail swim by or a sea bass and you’re shooting a two-ban gun or something that’s underpowered you’re not going to land that fish and you might even lose your equipment. So if you don’t have the right setups, you know, the right floatline, reels, and depending what environment you’re in, it’s important to have the right equipment.
It’s tough when you’re young because you don’t have all of the money to spend. So you buy equipment that you can make do with. But if you can come out of pocket, buy the right equipment up front, it really helps improve your game.
RC: Awesome. That makes sense. You kind of save a little money in buying the quality stuff instead of continually replacing half-ass stuff.
RC: That’s a good one. Tip number two?
C: Tip number two would be to dive with different people. So often, like for me we were diving with the same group all the time. When you go dive with people you see what their techniques are, you see how they do it, you see how successful they are. If they’re really successful obviously you’re curious what are they doing that’s different?
So, it’s important to dive with different people because you see a lot of different techniques and you see how people sort of run their whole program and setups and all of that.
RC: You learn more, yeah. That’s good. Yeah, that’s probably where I’ve learned the most is when you dive with a new person you pick up a lot of stuff.
RC: Even if you’re out there observing, you pick up a lot of stuff.
C: Yeah. How they enter the water, that’s really critical, you know. If you’re shore diving, it’s not a big deal. But when you’re getting off the boat and, especially if you’re capping in your own boat, how do you guys approach the kelp? What kind of conditions are they looking for? Are they looking for current, are they looking for birds, are they looking for bait before they anchor the boat? How do they drop the anchor? And then, what are they doing in that setup process when they’re getting suited up? Are they loud, do they have music going on, are they quiet, are they dropping the anchor quiet? Are they getting in the water quiet or are they splashing in?
All of those things are important, whether you’re superstitious or you’re just being overly cautious about not scaring fish. You never know, you could go on your first drop and there’s a second row of kelp out in the boat and there could be fish there if you keep quiet.
RC: That’s true. One of our previous guests Volker (Episode 007), he equated it with deer hunting. He said, you don’t drive a truck into the meadow and smoke a cigarette when you’re deer hunting.
C: Exactly, yeah.
RC: Cool. That’s awesome. So, tip number three?
C: Tip number three would just be understanding your limits. Know your safety. And it’s hard when you’re young to understand what your limits are. You know, you pretty much feel invincible so you’re going to press yourself to stay down longer or to go a little deeper. But, I always tell people look don’t press it.
Especially now. I mean, there’s so many instances now of shallow water blackout and people getting in trouble out there. You know, so I would just say understand your limits or at least take your time and don’t rush it, you know. Just try and have a – you know, one thing about free diving is when you’re down at depth, especially for sea bass, your cadence is so important. So having a really slow stealthy cadence coming and entering through kelp ruins. And that’s kind of the same thing I equate to like knowing your limits. You want to have like a slow and steady cadence. And that will hopefully in the long run equate to successful dives.
RC: That’s perfect. That’s good advice for new people. Actually, for everybody. That’s when I find I see the most fish is when I am going slow, not even kicking that hard, just drifting along. It makes a big difference.
Cool. So let me summarize these tips. I have tip number one, which is get the right quality of gear right off the bat. It’s going to save you money in the long run and you’ll be able to land fish, you won’t be under rigged.
And tip number two is dive with other people. That’s how you’re going to learn; it’ll shorten your learning curve. And pick up things that maybe aren’t on YouTube or on social media. Stuff that people keep to themselves but you can learn from watching them.
And then tip number three is know your limits and shoot for slow and steady progress instead of rushing through and trying to push yourself too hard.
Yeah, so speaking of gear, if you’re in the market for gear and you want to support the show, check out SpearoBlog.com/speardeals. The slogan for Spear Deals is “The best spearfishing gear at the best prices” and so far it’s been true for me. They are currently giving a discount of 5% off your order. And for any order that’s over $100, they’ll ship it for free. So, there you go. And to make things even sweeter, any sale at the affiliate link I just gave you earns me a small percentage so that I can cover the costs of producing The Spear. It doesn’t cost any more than you would have spent anyways. So, if you’re looking for gear, use my affiliate link, help the show out a little bit, it’s much appreciated. The link again is SpearoBlog.com/speardeals. Thanks for your support. Okay now back to the interview.
So let’s go into the next segment, which is the Seasoned Spearo. And these questions are geared more for seasoned spearos. So here we go. Can you tell us a story of your most epic spearfishing trip?
C: Sure, yeah, I mean I’ve had a few.
RC: We have a lot of time so go ahead and share them all.
C: In different regions of the world I’ve had some really good ones. Two of the highlights would be one in deep Baha for yellowtail and then mainland Mexico for elfin tuna. So one of my highlights or one of my most favorite dive trips was down to pacific side Baha, about a 15 hour drive. We were down at a spot down there that is known for big yellowtail. And pargo. I mean essentially we were there diving yellowtail, the reason we were there. So we had 3 days of diving there.
C: You know, the fish were in the 30-50lb grade for yellowtail. And I think it was the second day and I had dropped down to about 45ft on this side of this ledge. And I saw sizable yellowtail come up. And they were sort of crisscrossing, trick-chasing bait off of my right. And when I swung my gun over, you know, it’s always that typical fish story, oh the first one was bigger. The second one I got I was smaller. There was a bigger one there, you know, and I swear there really was. This fish, I thought he was pushing 45 or 50lbs. And he sort of swung out, and the next one swung in. And I ended up getting a nice shot on that one, right behind the gill plate.
RC: That was the secret service fish that jumped in and took the shot.
C: Yeah, he totally got in the way, you know. But it worked and so I fought him for a while but, you know, yellowtail pound for pound are some of the strongest fighting fish out there. And when I got him, I was sort of working him up on my float line to the surface and he was pretty green still. Even though I had a solid holding shot, he was still sort of doing the whole wagon wheel thing below me and as I got him up I tried to grab him, you know, by the throat or in the gills and I couldn’t quite get him.
And he took off and jumped out of the water, over my head, and went behind me. Got my mono wrapped around my arm. And I was essentially just starting to clear gear. That’s all you can do, just clear gear, and just let the fish do what it’s going to do; don’t fight it on that but just clear the gear because you don’t want to be anywhere near that tangle.
RC: Clear gear means not having anything around you, just keeping it clear of yourself. Right?
C: Right. Get it away from your arms, your legs, your neck, all that stuff. And that’s why it’s so critical, one of the most important things I tell guys that come on my boat, and a lot of these guys are seasoned, they know what’s up, but I always dive with my knife right in the center, almost on top of my balls. Even though people don’t like having their knife there because it can poke them in the leg or poke them in the stomach or whatever, but at least that way if you do have a wrap or you do get in a situation where one arm you have some tangle you can grab that knife with either hand.
RC: That makes sense though, now that I think about it, because I just got SCUBA certified and one of the things is to have a triangle of access right there. And that’s where you keep stuff that you want to have handy.
C: True. I mean, a lot of guys dive with their knives on their arm, but what happens if your other arm gets tangled. You can’t grab that knife. It’s useless. So if you keep it in that triangle what you are talking about access you always can grab that knife if you get it tangled in one arm or another. But back to that story, the whole … I landed that fish, got him in the boat and he weighed out at 39lbs. So, he was a nice yellowtail.
My biggest yellowtail, very solid fish, and I think I speared 8 yellowtail in 3 days down there. And actually stumbled into a pargo, which I think was sort of far north for pargo, from what I’ve talked to a few people and it seems like that area is a little bit cold for pargo. But there was a pargo. He weighed out at 31lbs, and, you know, I couldn’t believe he was there, sitting on a rock ledge.
When I swam down he was just sort of hanging. I popped him, he took off, nosedived under some rocks, and I was able to get ahold of him. And it wasn’t a long fight at all but when I got him up I sort of turned him around and grabbed his – instinctively because I had been shooting yellowtail for a couple of days and I was shooting some of them by the lip and by the jaw – just as I was moving him around, and I grabbed him by the lip and he just sunk his big dog teeth into my thumb. And my thumb got all infected, got some nasty stuff in there, just a rookie mistake because it was my first pargo I had ever shot. So I wasn’t really prepared and, you know, that happens. No everybody’s a pro, you know.
RC: Perfect, no, that’s good. Just as you were used to shooting yellowtail. That makes sense.
C: Best eating fish out there; oh, so good.
RC: What did that thing weigh in at?
RC: Nice, that’s cool.
C: Yeah, it’s a good one.
RC: That sounds like an awesome trip. Alright. And then you have another trip that is maybe even more awesome than that?
C: Yeah, I made a trip down to mainland Mexico.
RC: These are all on charter or you went on your own?
C: The one down in Baha was just sort of a trip on our own and the one in mainland Mexico I think it was 2012 and I met Cameron down there, he was running some trips so I jumped on one of those for a chance to shoot a yellowfin.
C: And it’s great, there are a lot of local free divers from here that were down there that I had never met. And then I met them down there. And a lot of guys from Florida who I follow on Instagram that were great divers. So it was really fun. To go on a trip like that and meeting all of those people was so good for the network and just networking with different folks.
The first day, it was funny, I got paired up with a guy named Nick Gold, and it was funny because we didn’t know each other, you know, but we were chumming for each other and the way you work spearfishing for bluewater and big tunas is one person chums and the other person just basically sits watching down current at the deepest piece of bait. As soon as that piece of bait disappears, you know, you’re diving on it.
So we’re doing that, we’re doing that, we’re seeing some fish swim through. We didn’t really see all that many, we didn’t have that many opportunities. It was probably, you know, 2 1/2, 3 hours, had gone by in the day. I think one guy in another boat had landed a fish. And I sort of hear a whistle and I look up and the Pangero’s sort of looking at me and I’m like no I’m alright I’m alight.
And I put my face back down in the water and I hear him whistle again. I’m like he’s trying to get my attention dumbass, look and see what he’s saying. So I look up and he’s yelling at me like hey gringo over there. So I look over and there’s some pelicans and bird schools bombing a bait ball. And it was sort of far but my option was either to kick to the boat or kick to the bait ball. So I kicked to the bait ball and on the way I grabbed Nick; I’m like let’s go. And so we sort of kick over there, and below us at like 30 feet there’s tuna ripping by at like 40 miles an hour.
RC: I can only imagine how that looks.
C: Oh yeah, you’re so excited you don’t – you know, how often do you see 70-150lb tuna rolling by? So there’s tuna ripping by. So I’m diving down to like 20ft but on the move trying to dive down. And I’m like what am I doing, just get to the bait ball. That’s the key here, get to the bait ball.
So I get to the bait ball and it looked like a scene out of National Geographic. I mean, it was impressive. There was so much going on when I got there. I mean, there was dolphins, some kind of silver sharks, and they were so glued in on the bait ball. There was dolphins, sharks, and birds were bombing through. And the tuna were coming straight up from the depth, hitting this bait ball at speed. And anyone, if I would have been able to take a picture of it, you probably would have seen 30 tuna in that frame coming straight up from the depths, umbrellaing out after they had grabbed a fish.
So the hard thing was for me to decide in a matter of a few seconds what to do. You know, do you dive down and try to shoot one coming into the bait ball at speed? Because that wasn’t going to happen. They were going way too fast. Or do you just dive down and wait for one coming out of the bait ball, munching his fish? So that was sort of my deal. So I dove down, I dropped down; I mean, it wasn’t even that deep that I dropped to because they were up on the surface getting bait. So I think I dropped to about 30 feet, 35 feet, somewhere in there, and I just sort of hung out.
And I waited for fish as they were umbrellaing out at like a 45 degree slant at all different angles. They were coming down, eating their fish. So one came down, all fat and happy, and by the time he saw me he turned broadside and I just had a perfect shot. And it was a 60lb+ yellowfin. So that was the first yellowfin I had ever speared. And even though it wasn’t a monster –
CR: So, when you hit it, what happened?
C: Well, he took off, you know? I mean, they do what they do. He went right down and I had 2 Riffe 2 atmosphere floats on there. And I think I had 75ft of float line and then I think I had 50ft of bungee as well.
CR: What kind of gun do you have?
C: So what I was using down there when I was spearing that tuna was Riffe Metal Tech Mach 5. Essentially, it’s an enclosed track 3-band gun that, you know, shoots like a laser. I mean this thing – it was spot on the whole trip. I didn’t own the gun, I borrowed it, but I hit pretty much everything that I aimed at.
RC: And was it slip tip or a straight flopper?
C: Oh, a slip tip for sure.
RC: Because a slip tip is set up for breakaway. So it starts with slip tip, spear, filament, bungee, 25ft and the 75ft float line to that atmosphere floats. Sweet, that’s a nice set up.
RC: So, you tap this thing, it goes ballistic, and you bring it in. What was that like?
C: Well, I got him up for that bungee and sort of worked at the bungee, still pretty green, so that’s the nice thing about having that bungee cord is that you can give him line but at the same time he’s got that double stretch.
So if he runs it’s not like you’re putting the brakes on him. Let him run; you’re not going to tear him out hopefully. I was still worried about it; I mean, obviously it was my first tuna ever so I’m like I got to take a second shot at this thing, but actually the first shot was a holding shot. Yeah, so I got another gun and he came up and then, I don’t know, I put another spear in him and got him up. And it was sort of overkill but, you know, we slap him on the deck and I was really pumped. And we got back and I think there were only 2 or 3 fish taken that day, and I was one of them.
RC: Nice dude. That’s awesome. Did they fillet it for you? How’d that go?
C: Yeah, down there we were doing group dinners every night. So we just gave it to the chef, they fillet them up, and we were making all sort of great sashimi with it. And they did some cooked fish, as well.
RC: How long was the trip?
C: The trip was 4 days, I think, in the water. It wasn’t that long but it was enough, for sure, because you know when you’re diving all day like that and you’re doing multiple drifts it takes it out of you, you know.
RC: That’s perfect. Yeah, it sounds like an awesome trip.
C: It was a great trip, for sure.
RC: Thanks for sharing those 2 stories. Awesome. What was the best advice somebody’s given you about spearfishing?
C: The best advice that I’ve been given for spearfishing is more on the safety side. Because everybody can tell you hey go down and be stealthy, don’t make noise, or approach from this angle, or don’t dive right on the bait. Or come in from angles. Or choose your – all that stuff. But what I think is the most important advice for me is safety advice, you know?
And it was one of those things – even keeping your knife in that triangle of access, you know. I think those kind of small pieces of advice are the most critical because at the end of the day if you dive enough and you spend enough time in the water you’re going to learn how to kill fish land fish. It might take you a long time to learn that but if you stay at it you’ll become successful. Obviously your kill ratios are not always as high as you would like them but that’s freediving.
But the most critical things that I’ve been told from people are small things of advice toward technique, how to dive with your gun, staying streamlined, where to keep your knife, how to stay safe, how to dive safe. Those things are most important.
CR: Perfect. Do you do the at arms thing when you dive down with the gun?
RC: Cool. Awesome. So what’s your current favorite piece of gear?
C: My current favorite piece of gear? It would be my Nauticam Housing. My Panasonic GH3 would be my current favorite piece of gear and has been for quite a while now. There’s definitely been a lot of times where I’ll swing back to the boat or I’ll go swap my gun out for my camera because sometimes it’s more important to have that on video for me writing HookBuzz as a social and lifestyle company to put that stuff out there online and then drive traffic back to the site. It’s important for me to produce good content.
RC: Yeah, I just invested in Nauticam Housing and a Sony Alpha 5100 for the same reason. I need better pictures for the site.
C: You need better pictures, you need good content, it goes a long way.
RC: Okay, we’re going to go onto the next segment, which is The Spear. And this segment is geared toward the more seasoned spearos that might already know all of the basics and want a little bit of an insight that they maybe haven’t had yet. So with all of your experience what is the single most important insight you have had about spearfishing?
C: I think the single most important thing I have realized or that has sort of affected my life because of spearfishing is that nothing is finite. You know, everything is sort of relative to that environment that you’re in. And when you’re diving, you know, it’s such a solitary sport, and when you’re down at depth, and I’m sure every spearo has their thought processes when they’re down at depth, but the most important thing is that you’re not in your own environment. You know, you’re in another dimension.
One, it’s always changing, so you’ll always need to be aware of your surroundings. You know, having 360 degree situational awareness at all times, or trying to. And that goes not just for what’s in the water but other boaters that might be out there. You know, I’ve had instances where I’ve had people almost run me over, and I’m sure other spearos have had that, those close calls, and it’s dangerous with other boaters.
RC: Yeah, when you’re down there you can’t hear where it’s coming from. You can hear it, but you can’t tell where it’s coming from.
C: It’s like riding a street bike on the street. You’ve got to be more cautious of other drivers than yourself. So I think that’s one of the most critical things is just being aware of your surroundings. And being cognizant of what the dangers are.
And diving as safe as possible. I mean, that’s pretty much my primary point here because, you know, I think the more you dive the more you realize hey this is a critical sport and you need to be as cautious as possible. And you need to dive with partners. And you need to take the safety precautions, whether you’re on a boat or you’re diving from shore.
If you’re diving from shore, the nice thing is everybody has cell phones. If you’re on the boat, diving from small boats, and you don’t have a radio, you should be bringing a handheld on there. Just small things to plan for.
RC: Perfect. Alright so we talked about kind of the beginnings of HookBuzz and how you got into spearfishing and some awesome stories you shared. What are you most excited about for this year and next year?
C: Yeah, you know, I’m sort of segwayed a little bit into – this past year I started a new thing called oceansglobal.org. OceansGlobal is a nonprofit dedicated towards driving awareness towards ocean ecosystems and sustainability. And the way that we’re doing that is through the underwater photography and short film documentaries.
Yeah, it’s a cool little project. And we’re trying to partner with – the idea is to collab with as many people as we can. Because everybody’s out there doing their thing and they’re out there 100miles an hour. And the more people we can collab with and tie in on these projects, whether it be a marine scientist or a marine oceanographer who understands what the effects are of the tuna pens in Baha on the local ecosystem down there. And then, us going down to film something like that.
So that’s one project that we’re currently exploring to go do right now. So hopefully we’ll have something out on that in the next 6-12 months. But those projects, they take a while. Because you don’t just go down and film them once and bang they’re done. You’ve got to line up, interview people, you’ve got to talk to – by no means am I an expert on that so we’ve got to try to find the right people. And it’s nice to understand exactly what the impacts are. So, OceansGlobal is there to help educate people on different topics that are involved in marine ecosystems.
RC: That’s a great idea. That sounds like a really fun project. That’s something that maybe I would like to get involved with. Are you actually looking for other people to help?
C: You know, we’re looking for experienced video editors, obviously, because we have so much raw film footage to go through. And we’re also looking for sort of event coordinators and people who can help with emails and what not, just sort of office work. But really more so than that we’re looking for people to connect with for certain projects. People who are sort of experts in their own field, whether they’re marine scientists or they work for the fish and game, or they have compiled research on specific statistics that go with that particular project. Yeah, so people that we can collab with. Even other artists.
RC: Awesome, that’s perfect dude. Cool, so if you guys are interested in getting on board with that project or helping out, shoot Clark an email or contact him via HookBuzz.com.
C: Yeah, they can contact us at support[@]hookbuzz.com.
RC: Cool, so that’s how you contact Clark if you want to help with this project. So, just in general, how would people contact you? What’s your sites and give me all of your social media stuff.
C: Yeah, sure. So, obviously HookBuzz.com is my primary site. They can contact us at support[a]hookbuzz.com. We have our Instagram page HookBuzz. Our YouTube channel, which has over 100 videos on there, our HookBuzz YouTube channel.
RC: What’s the URL for that?
C: YouTube/HookBuzz. And then if you want to check out what we’re doing with OceansGlobal, OceansGlobal.org and you can click on the Internships tab there and you can read up on what we’re doing and you can see what we’re all about for that.
RC: Your Twitter handle?
C: Twitter handle is HookBuzz. Or they can follow me personally at ClarkMcNolty at Instagram.
RC: Alright, cool. So, all of the links will be on the show notes page. Clark, Rhett, thank you so much for taking the time to come out here and join us on The Spear.
C: Thanks for having us. I had a great time.
RC: That is it for Episode 11. Today’s show had ads for the first time. I hope you’re okay with these. I want to produce a better and better show, and that requires time and money. If you would like to hear less ads, or no ads for that matter, there is something you can do. I started a Patreon Campaign, where supporters can basically pledge as little as $1 an episode to help fund the show and take it to the next level, including no ads.
So, do me a favor a visit SpearoBlog.com/give. You don’t have to pledge if you can’t at the moment but at least check it out. And for those of you that can pledge, there’s some pretty cool swag and stuff. So, check it out. Again, that’s SpearoBlog.com/give. So, show notes are at SpearoBlog.com/ts011. Again, that’s spearoblog.com/ts011. Let me know what you think about the show. My email is roman[a]spearoblog.com. On Twitter, it’s @spearoblog, and Instagram it’s spearoblog, and YouTube is spearoblog. Anyway, you get the picture.
Okay, cool, so the question for the week is, have you done my reviews? Just kidding. No, there’s no question of the week this week so just enjoy your weekend. I think I’ve asked you for enough during this episode so I’m just going to cool it for now. Thank you. Thank you for listening. Have a great weekend and be safe out there.
Worlds of Wayne
Big thanks to Wayne Brekke over at Worlds of Wayne for the awesome show intro Voice Over!
Question of the Week
Thanks for Listening!
Thanks for listening and helping me stay motivated with your emails.
Have a great weekend! Thanks for listening! See you next week!