When Pete Correale was 11 years old and shooting striped bass in Montauk's summer waters, he couldn't fathom where it would land him today: world-record holder, professional spear guide, citizen of the world.
Pete has been a guide with Palapas Ventana for the past 6 years, putting clients on enormous tuna on the Pacific side and combing remote locations in the Sea of Cortez for trophy pelagics and monstrous reef fish. He splits his time among spearfishing hotspots like Panama, Montauk and Mexico. Just before the 2018 Blue Water World Cup, we caught up with Pete to talk tournament strategy and why he keeps coming back to Baja.
When you first started spearing, did you know you were going to make a career—a life—out of it?
I guess I didn’t really think about it like that. We grew up in the woods and on the water and it’s always been a part of our lives. I guess I didn’t really anticipate it as something I’d be doing for a living. I guess it was organic. Originally it started where it was like—how can I be diving and be in the water all the time and feed myself and make a little bit of money? The way it all started for me—it was in Panama when I started that outfit with my friend. There was no other designated spearfishing outfitter. It happened at a time when a lot of people from the US who were going to Vallarta to shoot their trophy tuna said [Panama] was the next big place to go. People were going there before, but it was low key.
It really came down to—how can I dive all the time? There’s the thrill of the hunt, there’s a connection with the ocean and fish and the cycle of going out and harvesting your own food. It’s a very satisfying, fulfilling feeling from beginning to end.