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Interview With Spearfishing Huntress Valentine Thomas

Fed up with her day job, Valentine Thomas dropped it all to take up a life of global travelling in pursuit of the best spearfishing opportunities. At one time fearful of the ocean, but now freediving to extreme depths with sharks, Valentine shares her adventures on one of the best Instagram accounts we’ve encountered. We caught up with this spearfishing “huntress” to discuss her recent trip to Thousand Islands National Park and get the lowdown on the sport of spearfishing.

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Photo: John Severino

When did you begin spearfishing? How did you get into the sport?

I started Spearfishing about five years ago. My friends were going to do a free-diving course and they asked me if I wanted to join. I’d never even heard of the sport before, but I’m not the type to say no to new things, so I booked my trip and went with them. I instantly loved it.

Is spearfishing your full-time job? Has it always been?

I have been doing this full time for about a year now! I studied law in Canada and when I was about to pass my bar, I thought, “This can’t be it. This can’t be my life.” So I packed my bags and left to live in London. I lived there for 6 years while working in finance. Meanwhile, I started spearfishing more and more. But it was one trip in particular that really opened my eyes. I was there to film a documentary and I remember sitting pitied one night and telling myself, “This is how my life should be. This is how I should earn money; by doing what I love and being surrounded by beautiful people that do not care about the brand of my shoes and how much money I have in my bank account.” A month later, I quit my job and began this journey full time.

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Photo: John Severino

What are some of your favourite locations to travel in Canada?

I spent all of my weekends in the The Laurentians when I was a kid so I have a soft spot for that area! During our trip to the Thousand Islands I was very impressed and it made me realize that as a part of exploring the world, I shouldn’t forget my own country. I’ll be exploring British Columbia this July and then Quebec in August!

What was your favourite part of your trip to Thousand Islands National Park in Ontario?

I liked the fishing part best obviously 🙂 I always like to discover new waters and new places to fish! I also enjoyed shooting the canon at Fort Wellington! I guess it always comes down to shooting things and fishing haha

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Photo: John Severino

Did you learn anything new about Thousand Islands National Park while on your trip? Did anything surprise you?

I didn’t know that Ontario made whisky and a good one too. It was also a pleasant surprise to discover the whole Thousand Islands area and to see how breathtaking it is. I would definitely go back to hang out in the Thousand Islands and go camping in the summer. It’s so beautiful and I love being in the forest.

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Photo: John Severino

Have you spearfished much in Canada? If so, what is your favourite location for spearfishing in Canada?

Not much! I organized a trip a couple weeks ago with four strangers from the Spearfishing community. I invited them to my country house in The Laurentians to discover our rivers and lake. I’m exploring the world so much, so I thought, “why not start with my own backyard!?” It was a lot of fun. We caught some bass, some perch and some walleye. Then, of course, we grilled it all on the fire. It was incredible.

You hold some world records in spearfishing, can you share the story on that?

It was in Ascension Island when I went there for the second time. The rules say that you have to load your own gun in order to file for a record. I shot a fish that was a world record but I didn’t load my gun because mine was broken and I was using a much bigger one. I was gutted but came back the following day with my own gun and shot an even bigger one.

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Photo: John Severino

What would you recommend to someone planning a trip to Thousand Islands National Park?

Plan a fishing trip with one of the many local operators and bring your sunscreen!
Like this post? Check out Going After The Big Ones In PEI and Unplug From It All In Beautiful Battle Harbour, too!

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