EP///008 Spearfishing and free diving:::ANNE DOHERTY

Anne is a four time women’s national spearfishing champion. There are meets that happen a few times a year where you go out the fish that you catch count as points. The meets are timed and the more fish you get, and the bigger fish, the more points you get. So she is good at spearfishing. 


I went to Anne’s house in Watertown on marathon Monday to interview her for Cooking Up A Podcast. Her house is is small simple place right near the Charles river. She has a small yard with all the extra space filled with raised beds and chicken wired patches of freshly tilled earth for her gardens. 


There is a boat covered with a tarp in the driveway. She said she didn’t even take it out last year.  The kayak is much easier to get on and off of to go diving. 


She freedives. Mostly in naragansett bay, in Rhode Island because you are allowed to spearfish striped bass in RI and not in Massachusetts. 


She motors around on the top of the water with a wetsuit, goggles, flippers, a weight belt, and her speargun. While she is swimming around she is gettting her body ready to dive, relaxing her muscles and getting her body to not use so much oxygen. When she finds a spot she likes she dives down and hold her breath.  With the weight belt her body doesn’t naturally float back up, it sort of keeps you put on the bottom.  And she waits, finds a fishy spot. Maybe next to a gully or a big rock. Maybe a fish swims by. Maybe she spears it, or lets it go if its too small or a female tautog. Then she goes up. When she can’t hold her breath any more. Then she motors around and keeps doing this process all day. 


She has the bug. She goes out every weekend pretty much no matter what. She feels the call of the ocean and being in it. She describes it like being on a vacation. Every time she goes out. 


I can’t wait to go out with her. Be on the ocean and free dive and spear fish for the first time. It’s going to be a vacation for sure. I’ll take pictures and videos. First i need to get a wetsuit and some other gear. But it will happen. And we will eat fish together. Hopefully black bass because that is her favorite.