Southern California has seen some historical fishing over the past year. Anglers say that the current specie size of pelagic Bluefin Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna and Wahoo is a once in a century type event that is attributed to El Nino. In June of 2015, Aaron Shook, an avid freediver from San Clemente, Ca. speared a 173 pound Bluefin off Dana Point, Ca. that shattered the 33-year-old California state record by 75 pounds previously held by legendary blue-water hunter Terry Maas. Since Shook’s fish there has been multiple fish taken over 200 pounds and the record is being broken weekly.
Roark’s Orange County sales rep and Revivalist, Joel Olenik, AKA @seabeagle has had a life long passion of the ocean and is a world class freediver and spear fisherman. His static breath hold is five minutes! “There is nothing better to clear your head then putting on a mask and slipping beneath the ocean’s surface after a long day on the road selling,” Olenik says. He dreamt of spearing a Tuna and had taken multiple trips to Mexico to realize his dream only to be skunked each time.
The Seabeagle’s dream was finally realized this summer just 14 miles from his house in the waters outside Dana Point Harbor after he landed an 80-pound Bluefin. “The Blue’s have been hot all summer in So.Cal waters. I’d gone out six or seven times without getting one. Everyone wants to catch these fish so there have been a lot of boats going out and it has been a bit of a shit show when you find the fish,” Olenik said. “They are a hard fish to dive for and spear as the swim very fast, can be down deep and spook real easy. We killed the motors and slipped into the water as we saw the school and luckily they swam right towards us. My first one wasn’t very big, 80-pounds, but it sure was fun and I’m stoked to have gotten a Bluefin so close to home,” Olenik added.
Olenik also landed a 75-pound Yellowfin and a 55-pound Wahoo within the past year all within an 18 mile radius of his home. “To get a Bluefin, Yellowfin and Wahoo all in my local waters is really special since these species don’t come around very often. I’m still looking for the 200 plus pound Blue fin and the season isn’t over yet!” An adamant Olenik said.
Even though some of the Seabeagle’s dreams came true in 2015/2016 season, his favorite fish to hunt is the White Seabass (video hunting), which is considered the Holy Grail by many California spearfisherman. “The Pelagic fish we have seen this past season come and go but the White Seabass are here each and every year and they are very challenging to get,” Olenik said. Joel has landed quite a few White Seabass in his time and won the 2nd Annual Kirk McNulty White Seabass Spearfishing Classic in 2015 with a 72-pound beast.
For those wondering how Olenik’s @seabeagle handle came about the story is this. Joel’s first boat was originally named the Sea Eagle when he and his partners bought it used. The Eagle had seen better days before they got it so they decided to re-name her the Sea Beagle which is now Joel’s moniker in free diving circles and a fitting one for his fish tracking and hunting instincts synonymous with the canine counterpart.
The Fear The Sea pieces are the Seabeagle’s favorite in the Roark collection!