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Hidden Talents: The Spearfishing ’15er

This is what the brawny and elusive Bwog staff might look like (collectively) if we accompanied Max on a spearfishing trip.

In Hidden Talents, Bwog gushes over your classmates’ dexterity like a proud mom. In this installment, we join Freshman Fish Correspondant Sam Schipani as she learns about her floormate’s eccentric extracurriculars, and makes a handful of aquatic puns along the way. Know someone who has 900 toes and can use each one to perform a different task simultaneously? Tell us at

About two years ago, Max Gorelick, CC ’15, was surfing in Malibu when he witnessed a seasoned spearfisherman skewer a halibut a mere twenty feet from where he was riding waves.

“I just thought it was the coolest thing,” Max says. “I always saw people spearfishing from my backyard, but then I knew I had to try it.”

Since that day, the afishianado has been passionately spearing aquatic animals.

Choosing to forgo formal training, Max has instead honed his skills by hunting with more experienced spearfisherman, reading about spearfishing online, and practicing holding his breath for extend periods of time in the pool.

His record? A cool three minutes under water. “But that’s when my lung’s not collapsed,” says Max, who spent most of NSOP recovering from such a condition.

Though the term “spearfishing” may invoke images of bare-chested, ancient men with only a stone arrowhead on a stick to protect them, Max says that modern-day spearfishing involves a bit more preparation and equipment. The usual spearfishing excursion involves a 5-foot wooden spear gun loaded with a metal spear, a thick cameo wetsuit, a weight belt, fins, and a knife, which is used to put struggling speared fish out of their misery. But never fear, fellow ichthytarians—Max eats every fish he catches.

Because there is no spearfishing equivalent in New York City, Max misses his unique sport and pastime and looks forward to Christmas, when he can not only see his family (including his mom, the master chef of his many catches), but also pick up his spear gun and go for a hunt.

Excuse to make a “seamen” reference via Wikimedia Commons.

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  • Oh no... says:

    @Oh no... Bwog, you’ve done it. I’m offishally hooked on bad puns, and this will likely ruin any social interactions I have for the remainder of the weekend.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Gotta say, the picture really reeled me in.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous It was a pretty good hook.

  • Doctor in the house says:

    @Doctor in the house Are collapsed lungs a no-biggie scenario in the modern world? Did he collapse his lung while spearfishing? Suddenly I’m not so eager to imitate the gentleman…

  • hmm says:

    @hmm was that photo taken in the barnard pool?

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