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CATCHING UP WITH UNDERWATER FISHING

While Guam gets ready to hold their own in Pohnpei at the 2014 Micro Games, a special group of individuals will be taking the under water scenic route in an attempt to grab medals in underwater fishing.

By Robert Balajadia

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While Guam gets ready to hold their own in Pohnpei at the 2014 Micro Games, a special group of individuals will be taking the under water scenic route in an attempt to grab medals in underwater fishing.

2014 Underwater Fishing Team

James Borja – Competitor

Raymond Flores – Competitor

Michael Cassidy – Alternate Competitor/Safety Diver

Kenneth Borja – Manager

Stephen Meno – Asst. Manager/Safety Diver

The team is full of veteran competitors, namely James Borja who competed in the 2002 Micro Games that was also held in Pohnpei.

“All of the team members are experienced spear fisherman and have competed in numerous spearfishing competitors on Guam and Saipan,” stated Borja in an online interview.

The team also has international experience competing with Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, New Caledonia and Hawaii in the Inter-Pacific Spearfishing Championships previously held in Kauai, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and Raiatea, French Polynesia.

One of the biggest challenges Guam will be facing is the home-field disadvantage. The home waters are in the backyard of the Pohnpei team and they already know where the best spots to fish are so every other team is at an obvious disadvantage.

“The home team will have a big advantage of knowing the fishing zones.  They will know where to find the various fish species, when they will most likely be there such as morning or evening, incoming or outgoing tide or what phase of the moon.  They will also be familiar with which way the currents run with the changing tides, said Borja.

Then again, that would just make winning gold that much sweeter! Besides, they’ve got a game plan that has yet to fail them.

“We’re going to try and scout the fishing zones as best we can before the competition to find areas within the fishing zone with qualifying fish, which way the currents move and general fish behavior.  Hopefully, the weather conditions stay the same from the scouting day to the competition and not have an negative affect on fish behavior and water conditions.”

Lack of training is not an excuse the team will be looking to use having practice run for six hours on the weekends and long swims two-three times a week to build stamina!

Guam had done well in previous the previous Micro Games winning in these categories.

1998 Micronesian Games – Palau

Team Gold

Individual Gold

2002 Micronesian Games – Pohnpei

Team Silver

Individual Gold

2006 Micronesian Games – Saipan

Team Silver

Individual Silver

2010 Micronesian Games – Palau

Team Gold

Individual Bronze

Although the Guam spear fishermen won’t be sporting a uniform like all the other teams the easiest way to find them in Pohnpei is to just look out for the biggest catch.

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