Courtesy Chris [email protected]
Third-generation Floridian Cheyenne Lee is a six-time International Underwater Spearfishing Association world-record holder in women’s spearfishing and a member of Team Salt Life. She grew up spearfishing as part of her family’s commercial fishing operation, but the exhausting pace did not dampen her passion for the ocean and all things fishing. Instead, it instilled a powerful work ethic. She shared what it’s like to spearfish for a living and for fun.
How many years have you spearfished?
I started with my family at 13, and competed for world records since I was 15 years old. At 16, I shot my first world record—a 28.5-pound kingfish.
What are some of the biggest fish you have speared?
The biggest was a 41-pound cobia. I also set a world record for a 32-pound jack crevalle. But the toughest fish of all are amberjack. They are so strong and dive deep.
What’s your most harrowing experience while spearfishing?
I’ve had quite few run-ins with sharks, including a hammerhead that closed in on me fast after I shot grouper. My brother was diving with me and was able to hit it with an unloaded gun to scare it away. Goliath grouper can be just as aggressive—as soon a speargun goes off, they close in.
What are the most exciting places you’ve spearfished?
I love going to the Dry Tortugas off of Key West, Florida. Same with Bahamas. The coral reefs are beautiful and there are plenty of fish. I also like diving the oil in the Gulf off of Louisiana.
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How did you first become associated with Salt Life?
I’ve always been kind of a Tom Boy and have worn Salt Life stuff since I was 10 years old. I always identified with the brand and the lifestyle, and so I reached out to them about four years ago, and we hit it off right away.
You can learn more about Cheyenne Lee’s ocean adventures at saltlife.com.