Imbrisic, Prkic and Perusko on the podium

Sandi Imbrisic (Epsealon), spearfisherman from the club Marlera Liznjan is the winner of the 31st Croatian individual spearfishing championship held in the waters of the island of Pag. The event was organized by the club Luc from Novalja. Second place of the competition of 22 athletes, went to Petar Prkic (Split) with 160.66 percentage points. Split was fourth on the first day and sixth on the second. Imbrisic’s club colleague Sandi Perusko was third with 157.32 percentage points. Imbrisic was second on the first day, behind Bruno Zic (DSNM Volosko), while on the second day he won and with a total of 198.63 percentage points he gained his first Croatian title.

Comments by the winner

I did not expect a victory. I had almost given up going to this competition because I have been battling one injury for a year and a half. At the Inter-County Championship, I fished in the shallows. When I came to Pag, in the first days I was exploring only with the sonar because I had never dived there. After that, I moved on the positions I found and did the dives. I spotted some good points, but along the coast, so it didn’t help me much. Finally, I fished down to 42 meters and I caught the shallowest fish at – 34 meters. There simply was no shallower fish. The conger eels requested huge effort by me because they were deep too, and I had to fight with them. It is not a problem to catch a red scorpionfish or a white seabream in the deep, but eels of seven, eight, and more kilos are dangerous. It was a very difficult and risky competition“, commented the new champion Sandi Imbrisic from Pula.

On the first day of the competition, after five hours of fishing, Imbrisic caught two forkbeards, one red scorpionfish, one brown wrasse, a blacktail bream, and five conger eels for a total value of 17,338 points.

“I wasn’t sure about my health when I left, a nerve has been bothering me for the past year and a half. But when I solved it, it was my motive to continue. The zones were poor, and the fish were getting smaller as the moon changed, and this was shared among the spearfishermen. In addition, the fish moved a lot. When we reached below 28 meters it was very cold, and I found some points with a lot of fish, like blacktail breams, red scorpionfish and forkbeards. After a few days the temperature grew by three degrees and everything changed”, Imbrisic added.

Winner of day 2, Bruno Zic

The winner of day 2, Bruno Zic, had 17,579 points, thanks to two conger eels, a gilthead seabream, a white seabream, a red scorpionfish, three blacktail breams, a goldline, a forkbeard, and three brown wrasses. “I felt my leg tingle, so I moved to the shallow. That’s a pity because I still had a lot of fish to catch that day. Anyway, I stopped in time. I had a nine-day preparation and when the competition started everything went according to the plan. Fish after fish I was doing well, but after two and a half hours my body said it was enough. Personally, I fished between 33 and 38 meters, but it was not a problem that day. It was harder to fish so many days of preparations without a break”, said Bruno Zic. He actually had to go to the pressure chamber after the first day and did not compete on the second day. In the end, with only one day of fishing, he finished in ninth place.

Sjepko Kesic, 2021 winner

The third place on the first day went to last year’s champion Stjepko Kesic (Strozanac Podstrana) with 16,785 points. After five hours, Kesic had a red scorpionfish, a forkbeard, two brown wrasses, two blacktail breams, and four conger eels on the wire. However, for the second day in a row, the three-time champion finished only in eighth place and finally ended the competition in fifth position.

  • “I did not prepare the second zone well. If I had spent two more days on it, it would have been better, but I could not honestly find the time. The zone was bad, it took days to search to find a spot with one or two fish, it makes no sense at all. If, for example, I caught another conger eel on the second day, I would have skipped several positions, because there were small differences in points”, said Stjepko Kesic.

Sandi Perusko, third overall

Sandi Perusko, a club colleague of Sandi Imbrisic from Marlera Liznjan, finished in the third position in the overall standings. On the first day, Perusko was fifth with four conger eels, two red scorpionfish, and a cuckoo wrasse. He was fifth also on the second day when he had three conger eels, two forkbeards, and two brown wrasses. “The zone was good on the first day, but criminal on the second day. It was a very hard championship, like never before. I thought the next day people would bring who knows what, but it wasn’t like that. Preparation for me lasted nine days, and I thought if I caught seven pieces a day I would be satisfied. I did that and I am satisfied because I did not expect a medal. Kesic scared me a little because he dived a lot more there. I thought it would be easy, and it was not, we needed to go deep for fish. The shallowest fish I caught on the first day at 32 meters, and the second at 29. That’s too much. But there was no stress in me, and I did everything relaxed after the first half-hour”, added Sandi Perusko.

Final standings

On the second day of the competition, Vice Belamaric (Pirka Tribunj) and the experienced Antonio Buratovic (Periska Ploce) settled behind Imbrisic. He had three conger eels, a forkbeard, one white seabream, and four red scorpionfish, for total 14375 points.

The heaviest fish was caught on day 2 by Marcel Skunca, a conger eel of 14520 grams, and the most valuable was forkbeard 3132 grams heavy, caught by Sandi Perusko on day one.