Spearfishing can be a very exciting activity, bridging the gap between man and beast as you are up close in the elements, navigating the same waters as your foe. Under the water, you are immersed in the undersea world as you come head to head with the very fish you are trying to catch. A long tradition of spear fishing goes back to ancient times where coastal tribes would use this tactic for catching fish and other sea creatures. But only recently has this fishing strategy seen a resurgence in popularity as more and more people try to become more connected to the environment that surrounds us.
But spear fishing is not without it’s dangers – from both other people and yourself. Following these guidelines will make for a more safe, enjoyable, and above all else fun time in the water. Not to mention you could finish your session with a tasty dinner!
Stay away from other people
This tactic is fairly common sense, but is an easy one to forget when you are in the water. It is a natural inclination to want to pair up and search for fish with a partner, but doing so can be dangerous. Mistakes happen, and with a loaded speargun that mistake could cost a person their life. So if you are going out with a few friends, try to leave at least 100 feet between each other to ensure that you do not get in each other’s way.
Learn to move in stillness
Fish can detect erratic movement. When you see a desirable fish, the tendency is to swim closer toward it in hopes of getting closer and having a better shot. But moving too quickly will scare the fish off. If you do not seem like a threat, it’ll just go about it’s business. So it is much more productive to swim slowly than quickly. Even if the fish swims ahead, there is a chance that it will turn around, and you will be ready for when it does. While that won’t happen every time, it will happen more often than you succeeding by abruptly swimming up to the fish.
Aim for the head
It can be tempting to aim for the midsection of the fish since it is larger, but doing so will make for a tougher time bringing the fish into shore. If you hit it in the head, you have a better chance of killing it on the spot, which will make your life much easier. Especially if the fish is larger, a body shot will mean you’ll have to deal with a fish that is fighting for it’s life to get away with you. While it’s something that everyone will have to deal with sooner or later, it’s better to get everything over with right away if you can.
While this should be a given, there are many people who I go fishing with that don’t practice out of the water. It is of course your choice for what to do with your time, but like anything else, regular practice means less error and more direct hits when dealing with the fish.
Hopefully these tips can help out all the beginning spear fishers out there. It’s a fantastic activity, and for many, a way of life. So get out there and catch some fish the old-fashioned way!