HONOLULU (KHON2) — Justin Lee of Honoka’a, Hawai’i is now the 2022 National Spearfishing Champion.
The competition took place on Lake Powell in Arizona on April 29 & 30.
We’re Hawaii’s weather station, get the latest forecast and radar information here
A total of 68 spearfishers from across the country competed for the national title.
On day-two of the event, Lee said he caught a 20.4lbs carp that ultimately helped him win the competition.
“Have I always dreamt of this? Yes. Have I always pushed hard towards it? Yes, but for this to finally all come together and get my hand raised at the end of the day. It was surreal,” Lee said.
Lee explained that he’s been dreaming of winning a national title since he started competitive spearfishing in 2014.
“As of right now, it’s still fresh and it’s still. I still got chicken skin just thinking about what it was like to hear my name,” Lee said about winning the event.
Lee caught a total of 82 fish over the two-day competition.
“At the end of the day, as as much as it is an individual award, it’s truly a team that makes it happen,” Lee stated. “You know, having the support of the guys on the boat. The guys are dealing with literally 1,000s of pounds of carp on the boat getting sloshed around with fish slime.”
The fish they were catching are considered invasive to the Lake Powell ecosystem, so Lee said the competition helped to control the numbers.
In the team rankings, Lee’s team, which was comprised of Justin Lee, Mike Jutt and GR Tarr, took home secon place.
So what’s next for Justin Lee? He hopes to someday become a world champion.
Weird rescues, long-lost artifacts, check out Weird News here
“Some of the best fisherman in the world are local boys out here in Honoka’a or in Hawaii rather, that just need the opportunity,” Lee said. “Super, super stoked that hopefully, you know, a couple of the young kids from Honoka’a or along the Hamakua Coast can see Uncle Justin and be like, ‘Brah I going! I go chase some fish!’ And hopefully it just celebrates, you know, our way of life.”