Are you interested in spearfishing? If you are the following guide will give you an introduction to what it takes to become a spearo (spearfisher).
Spearfishing is basically the method of using a spear-like contraption in order to hunt and catch fish. It is a type of activity that doesn’t make you wait while sitting down just like traditional fishing with a pole, hook, and bait. This ancient survival technique still provides that classic feeling of victory every time you score a fish, as it will make you feel like a real survivor in this world. Both hobbyists and expert fishermen employ this technique. Gladly, we are here to provide this article as a guide to spearfishing the right way.
An Important Reminder Before Starting
Note that this is a type of activity that will also require you a strong level of concentration, swiftness in striking the spear to get your fish, the right maneuvers and handling of equipment, the right type of equipment, and patience. This can be done on any type of water level and is considered very exciting to do as it will require your whole body to move around.
The Two Types Of Spears
First of all, you need to select the right type of spear. You can purchase these online or at a fishing shop that may offer the option to go spearfishing. There are two types of spears that you can purchase: a speargun and the ordinary pole spear.
The speargun is the type of gun that’s often used by advanced fishers and fishermen who work for a living by diving and hunting fish. Fishermen in remote areas use this as it’s more efficient in catching fishes for more catches. Spearguns consist of wooden guns, euro guns, and pneumatic guns. All of them vary in size and performance, but a smaller model for a speargun is much better if you’re starting. It costs less and has a considerable range that’s fit for the aim of a beginner. Spearguns often range from 60 to 150cm. The smaller measurements (60 – 80cm) are meant for close distance hunting, which is perfect for areas with limited vision such as kelp forests. The 90 – 100cm types are great for bigger fish and far distances ranging from 6 to 12 feet. Lastly, the larger measurements are for hunting large fish in clear waters as visibility is wide when the water is clear. The larger models may require you to use a float and a line as you may need to shot at a farther range.
The Pole Spear
If you’re not confident in shooting just yet, or if you just want to really practice spearfishing first, the pole spear is the perfect weapon of choice. These are way cheaper than using a speargun, is low-maintenance and even replaceable due to its low cost. It’s also known to be lighter in weight. But remember that the weight still depends on the length and model of the product. Longer spears provide more efficiency as it can also help you hold numerous fish at the same time. Aluminum pole spears are the best if you wish to be efficient in terms of the weight of your equipment to save more energy when fishing. When spearfishing, you always need to bring two spears at the same time. You can bring two spearguns or pole spears, but you can also bring one of each instead. It’s always best to bring an extra tool just in case things go wrong (such as getting your pole spear broken or if your speargun got lost in the deep). If you’re done choosing your preferred spear, it’s time to start hunting.
Hunting For Fish
Looking for a suitable location to hunt fish is the very first thing to do when spearfishing. Take note that spearfishing will require you to be more observant on the water, and may require you to shift from different areas quickly than traditional fishing. The first step as you row your kayak or boat is to search for areas that have clear water on it. Clearwater helps you track down schools of fish to hunt at a faster rate. If the water is foggy or blurry, you may get the risk of having a sick fish with you. So be sure to do your research on the sea or river that you’re going to visit for hunting, as not all waters are clear nowadays. You must also beware that the type of fish you’re looking for will reflect the type of water you should visit. Generally, a remote location is also the perfect choice for fishing as it’s an area with less disturbance for the fishes. These areas are less likely polluted, accurately giving you a clear water source where healthy, or even larger, fishes swim. Remote areas are also good for deep spearfishing as fewer people will mean less risk of people getting injured by your spear. When choosing a location, you should also set a limitation on your driving range. Going for shallow waters will never require you to set a driving range and you will only need to focus on searching for fish. Monitoring your driving range is best if you have a buddy who can commit to this activity as well. If not, you can look for partners on spearfishing communities online. Considering a partner is the best choice for the sake of safety as they can help you wish blind spots, assist you with hunting, and helps you detect predators easier for an easy escape. But if you feel like you can manage your own way of diving, then going solo is never forbidden in this activity.
Spearfishing On Shallow Waters
Spearfishing will always require you to start doing it on shallow waters. This helps you become more familiar with the general mechanics behind spearfishing. Learning this also helps you get prepared in deep water fishing in the future. Spearfishing on shallow waters doesn’t require you to put your head under the water; you will stand throughout your fishing session. There are various types of spearfishing techniques in shallow water. You can stand onshore and spear the fish by thrusting your stick or pole spear down. You can also use the kayak as a platform as well. There is another famous technique where you can spear the fish that at the surface, right below the surface, near the rocks, or near the side of the shore or the river. All of the spots for catching fish vary upon the type of fish that you want to capture. So be sure to research or observe the fish’s behavior. It is optional to spear right below the surface by placing your head while wearing a snorkel. You can also spearfish above the line in order to avoid diving if you’re not yet confident in deep water fishing. But if you feel like you can go and hunt underwater, then we also have tips for dive spearfishing.
Catching With A Pole Spear
When going for a catch, extend your arm out but halfway only. You need to do this in order to give you more space to increase your reach once you’re ready to strike. If you feel that the fish is already at the range of the spear if fully released with your arm stretched, then accurately strike the fish. Release the spear as you extend your arm while keeping in mind that you’re aiming for the fish’s head.
Spearfishing Under The Water
Spearfishing under the water, or usually called as free dive spearfishing, will require you to bring a breathing apparatus this time. In order to dive at the best rate possible, be sure to breathe deeply then perform a dive by forming an arch using your back just like diving into a pool. Then go to the water with your head first. The use of flippers can also help you greatly as you maneuver under the water. The use of goggles is required to ensure better vision when hunting. A dive mask is way better – use this instead of goggles if you have one. If you’re going to dive under the water, be sure you’re gliding quietly in a way where you’re approaching your target fishes slowly. Only use your hand that’s not holding the spear. Do gentle kicks with your legs as you get close to the shooting range of your target. Slight movements are strictly needed. Be very observant as you explore under the water. Take a look around coral reefs and especially behind you. Make sure you’re only swimming at a range near your boat or kayak to ensure full safety. It’s also for you to easily escape if a predator happens to be nearby. It’s best to have a partner when doing this type of spearfishing.
Shoot The Spear Out
When aiming with the speargun, you don’t have to extend your arm as you will aim it like a crossbow or like a gun. You need to be very close to the shooting range of your spear and to the fish so then you can have higher success in catching the fish. Release the safety of the gun to start, aim carefully at your target’s head, and shoot it immediately. Remember to load the spear properly to the speargun before you start diving with the speargun, as there will be no time for loading the speargun under the water. Lastly, there is a lot of fish in the deep. So don’t settle for the smaller ones so then they can have more time to grow and possibly breed. This is a must to do especially when spearfishing for food.
Storing And Bundling Your Catch
The last step of spearfishing is to prepare your hook on the fish carrier so then you can place your catch safely while you keep on fishing for more. But be sure to place the carrier on a location that’s easy to reach and is safe from possible predators if you want to go for more. Always wear gloves when doing this final part in order to avoid spiky fins from injuring you. You need to avoid blood on you and on the fish as every catch is a huge risk. Take note that predators such as sharks and others who may want to eat your catch may approach you. So if you feel like something’s coming, then it’s best to pack up and go to a different location/go home.
It’s A Hobby And A Sport
This is truly a hobby for the adventurous as the experience of spearfishing will take you to different places that Mother Nature has given to us to explore. It will widen your horizons and will also give you a skill that’s very vital for survival as well. On the other hand, it can be played as a sport for the sake of competition, as there are rewards behind big catches if done in a competition or tournament. But no matter what your purpose may be, spearfishing is still a nice way to spend some time learning something new, while exercising your body and mind. It trains the body as you go swimming and thrusting with force, while it increases your focus, observation skills, and alertness as you go hunting. Every catch will surely give you a rewarding feeling that you will definitely be proud of.