Ron E. Church and two friends were diving off Los Coronados Island about 30 miles southwest of San Diego off the Mexican coast last Saturday when Church spotted a king-size bass (see cut) swimming slowly against the current at about 35-foot depth. He finned to within about four feet of the brute, let him have it in the left gill with a four-foot spear fired from a rubber-spring gun. For a few minutes the bass seemed unaware that he had been hurt, continuing to swim slowly in lazy zigzags. Then he took off, with Church hanging on to a 60-foot line. Without breathing equipment, Church was forced to surface every minute or so, tracked the bass's movements with the aid of a " Mae West" he had attached to line. After 45 minutes and a 500-yard chase, surfacing and returning, trying to bring the bass up, Church finally surfaced with the fish.
It weighed in at 464� pounds—for skin divers, a world record.