There are plenty of different aspects that can affect your catch on a spearfishing expedition. While having the right spearfishing gear can be very helpful, it won’t really get you so far if you don’t take the time to prepare and to understand what really works and what doesn’t. That being said, today we’ll be pointing out a number of tips that all spearos can use to attract more fish and significantly improve their catch.
Divers find new ways to lure their targets every day. The following methods are some of the most commonly used ones by a lot of professional spear fishermen. We recommend you experiment with all of them to find out which ones work for you best.
Fish’s primary need is to eat, so what better way to catch fish than to let them know that you have food for them. A burley trail is a combination of minced bait that you can set up anywhere (most likely from a boat) to entice the fish and start a feeding chain.
There are different types of burley that you can, but they’re all essentially mixes of minced up bits of different types of fish and shellfish such as mussels, kina, and pilchards. You can easily get a burley trail from your nearest tackle store or you can just simply make it.
You’ll find packets of burley pellets and pre-mixed powders. Some stores even sell small bottles of liquid scents and additives that you can use to attract swarms of fish. You can also use some scraps of leftover fish from yesterday’s meal or some old fish bait then mix them with a bunch of scents and spices to create burley.
The base ingredient that you should use to bind all the ingredients together is bread crumb. You can buy it from your local supermarket and keep it handy in your tackle bag. Additionally, if bread crumb isn’t available, you can just use dirt or sand instead.
You should know that the trail of wafting burley doesn’t necessarily attract larger fish, but it helps attract small hungry fish. However, once the swarms of smaller fish start approaching and feeding, this automatically will grab the attention of bigger predatory fish, which are exactly what we’re after.
Flashers are simply objects that are made of metallic or shiny materials such as polished metal or reflective tape. A lot of fishermen dangle some fake squid off their flashers to attract blue water fish. Many prefer this method over burley or chum as it’s less likely to invite sharks.
You can submerge the flashing lure at different depth levels. Each level attracts different types of fish that linger at that specific depths. Further, it’s better to create movement in the flasher lures to attract more fish, which you can do on a boat right before diving into the water.
Another more practical thing you can do is apply reflective tape on your speargun. This way you’ll be able to lure fish directly to your speargun. Moreover, the more frequently you move underwater with the speargun, the more fish you’ll be able to attract. However, once you have your eyes on your target, you should cease all movement to avoid spooking the fish away.
Like flashers, Dodgers are used to lure and catch fish, especially salmon. However, many spearos and fishermen don’t really know the difference between a dodger and a flasher. While both tools are used to lure fish with vibrations, the flasher spins because of its narrower diagonal front end but the dodger doesn’t as it’s rounded in the same fashion on both of its ends.
This is a very common and simple trick employed by a lot of Hawaiian divers. All you have to do is simply drop a spoon through the water column and just let it sink. The irregular shape of the spoon makes it fall slowly in a very incalculable manner that allows it to give off reflection rays in a similar fashion to a flasher or a dodger.
A cool technique that divers implement to lure more fish towards the spoon is they’ll swim towards it like they’re in competition for bait, which helps trigger the insatiable desire of fish such as pelagic fish to charge really quickly in the direction of what they think is food. The good thing about spoons is that they’re cheap and available everywhere. They’re also really shiny.
This is a pretty unorthodox method to attain the attention of fish. It’s also used by many Hawaiian spearos. Typically, the diver would regularly clench the non-shooting hand like a fist to create a movement that can lure curious fish. It’s still unsettled whether they do this to attract fish or to keep the attention of fish focused on a smaller body that they won’t interpret as a danger rather than their larger bodies.
This is pretty self-explanatory. Instead of applying reflective tape on the speargun, some divers choose to put blades, spoons, or any other reflective object on the muzzle of their spearguns. Ideally, you want to use an object made of polished stainless steel as they give off the most reflection. Similar to the wave method, this method could either work as a distraction or can be used to attract fish. Either way, you’ll still be able to get some leverage over your target.
While strumming the spear gun, the rubber bands can replicate the sound of a struggling bait fist. Further, experienced divers are able to use their throat to create a bunch of different noises that sound like the feeding or breeding process of a lot of blue water game fish.
Another thing that plays a major role in luring more fish is the diver’s approachability. Some of spearos’ aggressive postures might be perceived by fish as a threat. Ideally, you would want to dive straight down onto your slow-moving target, but this is a highly unlikely scenario. A more reasonable approach is to dive parallel to the fish or at a distance from it so that you spark some curiosity and comfort in the fish.
Sometimes the lack of background can cause a lot of spear fishermen to misjudge the distance between them and their target, which leads to poorly led or overly long shots. Professionals tend to use the tip of the spear as a reference point to distance by looking back and forth between the spear tip and the target.
You need to be patient and make sure that you have a clear shot aimed towards a vital area. Avoid desperate shots at all cost as they might end up wounding the fish and cause it a lot of unnecessary suffering or a complete miss can lead the fish to flee instantly, thinning your chances of getting a lucrative catch. You also want to make sure that you’re not tensed up before taking the shot and that your muscles are relaxed completely.
The level of tension you apply on the line is extremely important. You don’t want to drag too much once you’ve speared a fish as it might cut it loose. You just need enough drag to slow it down. It’s fine to let the fish swim when necessary, but your main objective here is to slow it down as much as possible.
Once this WrestleMania has ended, grab a kill knife as you drag the fish to the surface, firmly grab its tail, slide your hand under its gills, and grip the neck area. You then want to use the knife to render the fish insensible. Make sure that you dispatch the fish properly so that you avoid vigorous thrashing. Also, you want to take the fish out of the water as soon as you can to reduce the possibility of its smell attracting sharks.
Tips for Quieter Spearfishing
Air bubbles can spook the fish instantaneously so right when you dive into the water, you want to clear out the air bubbles from your wetsuit. Some divers prefer to put holes in the hoods of their wetsuits or open a part of the suit to let the bubbles out. Also, you might want to consider removing your snorkel as it might create some bubbles.
Logically, you want to avoid sudden movements at all costs and try to move as gracefully and smoothly as you can. You should know that if your movement is in harmony with the water and your muscles are clear of excess tension, you’ll find that fish will find it okay to swim around you without being spooked away.
Additionally, having excess tension will cause your body to exert a lot more effort and energy. Try to stay relaxed and tension-free, this will allow your diving trips to be longer. It might sound a bit cliche but think of it as being one with the water. Just go with the flow pretty much and don’t try to fight it so hard.