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"How I Accidentally Became The Happiest Person On The Planet"

Key West Waterman's Story

Today marks the first ever Community Spotlight edition! These spotlights are part of our effort to turn our focus to those who make up our wonderful sport.

We'll be highlighting the men and women who positively represent spearfishing, the kind of individuals who make us proud to be spearos. Our aim is to feature one person each month.

So, without further ado…

Hey there, spearos. This is The Stone Shot, your weekly dose of spear content (and maybe some fishing, but we try to keep it below the water line)

Here’s what we have for you in this week’s Community Spotlight:

  • The Story: How Aaron Young went from $400 a week to living in paradise and spearfishing everyday.

  • 4 Questions W/ Aaron: Learn what improved his spearfishing the most, His favorite thing about the Keys…And more!

Aaron Young

In 2012, Aaron was living in Titusville, Florida, and was working for Florida Power & Light. He was happy as a clam. He loved his job, had a 3-bedroom house, and spent his days off spearfishing.

He thought he’d be doing this until the day he retired.

Then, in 2013… Aaron was laid off from that job he loved so much.

“My world was turned upside down. I went from having everything I could ever want to barely getting by… At the time, I thought it was the worst thing that could ever happen to me.”

The Status

Aaron wasn’t doing well. He knew his life was meant for more than part-time work and barely scraping by.

On August 8th, 2013, he posted a Facebook status that changed his life forever.

A guy he met in college, for no more than 5 minutes, responded saying he had a room for rent in Key West.

After a weekend of weighing his options, Aaron did what a lot of people fantasize about:

He sold everything and moved to paradise.

The Price Of Paradise

He had a small buffer fund from the severance package he received. So when he first moved to Key West, he decided he was going to take 3 months off of work to enjoy his new home.

“I literally fished and dove every single day. I was living the dream. It was everything I ever wanted.”

This is what the locals call ‘The Keys Disease’ - and it’s a slippery slope.

But heaven on earth ain’t free. And Aaron knew this.

So after his three months were up, he buckled down and got back to work.

He started working on a boat that would do snorkel excursions, then moved to installing signs, and finally ended up working for AT&T Power.

During all this, Aaron was fishing, diving, and spearing any time he could. He posted photos on Instagram and slowly started to gain a following.

As a result, this following started to ask him to take them out on charter trips.

From Instagram To A Charter Business

As anyone who reads this newsletter knows, fishing and spearfishing are expensive hobbies, especially down in the Keys where it’s harder to get resources like gas.

So, knowing nothing about how to run a business, Aaron started Dibbs On Bottom, mostly as a way to pay for his hobby.

For the first year, he worked 5 or 6 days a week at AT&T and then used his days off to take people on charters.

In 2017, he quit his job at AT&T to focus full time on being a charter captain. He bought a 30 ft Contender, all the gear needed, a boat slip, insurance…the whole nine yards.

“It was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done.”

*At this point, it’s important to note that this whole story takes place over the span of 10 years. Aaron always says, “Social media is a highlight reel; there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes.”

The same rings true here. Those first couple of years of his charter business were extremely hard. He worked his ass off and did whatever it took to make the business work.

But for our purpose, we’re focusing on the bullet points that brought Aaron from jobless to living his dream.

From Charter Business To YouTube

After 2-3 years of building his charter business, Aaron's friend gave him some advice.

“Dude, you have a pretty wild life; you really need to start a YouTube Channel.”

So, he got to work.

He began making spearfishing videos and had his friend edit them. It was a grind, and after a while, he started to lose focus on YouTube. But one day, he decided to take over editing and post a video every week - no matter what.

His channel doubled in size.

“My life changed when I started following through with what I said I was gonna do.”

Over the next couple of years, he realized that not only could YouTube be another stream of income, but it would also simultaneously grow his charter business.


Four years after Aaron launched his channel, Key West Waterman, he has decided to shut down his charter business to focus full time on YouTube (and another business that he has not yet made public).

Starting next week, he will no longer be taking out fishing or spearfishing charters.

As you can see, Aaron has come a long way from 'barely getting by.' He’s living his dream down in Key West, diving, spearfishing, and fishing every chance he gets.

Aaron was kind enough to talk to us here at The Stone Shot and answer a few questions for our readers.

4 Questions W/ Aaron Young

  1. What is one thing that has improved your spearfishing the most?

I would say increasing the frequency that I dive has helped improve my spearfishing the most. Spearfishing is one of those sports you can’t really practice without doing.

You can improve your free diving on land with breathing exercises, working out, etc. But in spearfishing you really need to spend the time in the water to hone your skills.

Spearfishing is after all a form of hunting. The more time you spend in the water, observing fish and their behavior, becoming more comfortable with your gear, learning to remain calm in high stress situations - the better hunter you will be.

And all of that comes with time. Theres no alternative in my opinion.

  1. Many people dream of living in a tropical paradise like the Keys. What's your favorite part about your home and how has it changed your life?

It’s gotta be the access we have to the ocean. Growing up, getting out on the water was a full day production. Living in Key West, I can be on the boat in less than 10 minutes from my house and pop out for just an hour or two if I want. Realistically, I could hop on a paddle board in our back yard and be on the water in seconds.

I am truly the happiest when I am in or on the ocean, so having it in my back yard has really changed my life for the better.

  1. What's your most memorable or adrenaline-pumping spearfishing experience, and what made it stand out?

I have so many memories that come to mind when thinking of this, it’s really hard to just choose one!

But if I had to choose just one, it would probably be the day I speared my biggest black grouper (66 lbs). It was special to me because of the teamwork it took the land the fish, and that my friends were there to share it with me. It was truly a battle and I couldn’t have done it with out them. Working together in unison, free diving into a cave at 84 ft. It was something to witness.

It’s is a day I will truly never forget.

  1. Your journey seems to be about turning dreams into reality. Could you share some practical steps you took to reach your dreams and goals?

My life changed when I started following through with what I said I was gonna do.

For years I would talk about dreams and goals and just leave it at that. After a certain point I got fed up with myself and my life, so I decided I was actually going to do something about it. I was going to follow through.

The hardest part is taking the first step, but once the wheels are in motion it just continues to get easier. It’s terrifying to leave our comfort zone in pursuit of something we don’t know. But as they say, if you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.

Self discipline also played a huge role in my journey, a lot of days you’ll wanna give up, sleep in, put off what needs to be done. But I quickly learned that if you put in half ass work, you will get half ass results.

I've made many mistakes along the way and continue to do so. But simply following through and not being lazy changed my life and got me to where I am today.

And there you have it! Thanks so much to Aaron for taking the time to talk with us. Follow his journey at the links below!

Aarons YouTube - You probably already follow

Aarons Instagram - You should probably follow if you don’t

FL Keys Real Estate - The best real estate agent in the Keys

FL Keys Paddle Board Rentals And Tours - Who doesn’t love paddle boarding?

That’s it for us! We’ll see you back here next week.

PS - We’re looking for our next Community Spotlight! Who should we interview?

Respond to this newsletter with who you think we should interview next!

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