Intro to Spearfishing

The Basics of Spearfishing Spearfishing Basics Spearfishing is a popular activity in many parts of the world, and is used for a variety of purposes. Some spearfish for sport, others for food. Spearfishing has been around for centuries, dating way back to early civilization, back then sharpened sticks were used to spear, whereas now there are elastic and high powered spearguns available. Spearfishing typically involves going under water for the catch, and certain short-term diving techniques such as scuba, snorkeling and free-diving. It is, however frowned upon to use scuba gear, and some places have made the use of scuba gear illegal. Some places have also outlawed modern spearfishing techniques that use mechanically high powered spearguns. The reason for this is because in the past, spearfishing was thought to be dangerous for the environment as certain species were being targeted, as they were not afraid, and therefore easy to catch. Newer studies have suggested that spearfishing may actually be safe for the environment, and hence it is still legal in most acceptable places. Types of Spearfishing Aside from hand fishing that is less frequently used, there are three basic types of spearfishing. Hand fishing involves catching fish with a hand spear, and has been around for thousands of years. This is typically done by wading in shallow salt water or fresh water, which makes gauging the water and the depth of the fish very difficult. The other three types of spearfishing use more sophisticated equipment to make the act of spearfishing easier.

Shore Diving: Shore diving is the most common type of spearfishing and it involves searching around the ocean’s structures such as the reefs, rocks, kelp and sand. This is usually done between 5 and 25 meters from the water’s surface, depending on the location of the diving site. Shore diving often produces mixed results with various types of reef fish, but with technique and experience, specific species can be targeted.

Boat Diving: For those who wish to explore further than the beach’s shoreline, boat diving can be an excellent choice of activity. Boat diving includes methods similar to shore diving, but involves fishing from a small boat. Boat diving is practiced worldwide, and the most frequently visited spots are those in the great barrier reef, New Zealand and the Gulf of Florida. Various groups of fish may be targeted in different areas, depending on the type of equipment used and the population in the spearfishing areas.

Blue Water Hunting: Blue water hunting is for the elitists, and involves extremely deep water and can be dangerous for the inexperienced spearos. Boats are used, and frequently divers will dive prior to the spearfishing site, making it easier for the diver to catch the fish. Many of the fish in these areas are generally larger, and often take more than one spear to take the life out of the prey completely. Spearos who use blue water hunting are at risk for the possibility of becoming disoriented in the water, and misjudging the distance of the fish they are trying to catch. Spearfishing Equipment Spearfishing, like any other sport or activity has the option for loading the diver with a huge variety of equipment, but divers who are starting out can begin with a few basic pieces of equipment that make the activity of spearfishing possible. The mask is important for spearfishing, as it gives the diver the ability to see under water. The mask should be fitted properly and not fog up when under water. The snorkel is also important in diving, as it is responsible for the diver being able to breathe. For most spearfishing, a simple J shaped snorkel is appropriate. The wetsuit is important for comfort, warmth and flexibility for the diver while under water. Wetsuits are also buoyant, giving the diver a level of comfort and safety. The fins allow the diver to effectively propel themselves through the water, and help to keep the diver’s feet from cramping up. A weight belt is used to help the diver drop in the water and resist the body’s natural tendency to float. Proper weight should always be used, as too much weight can lead to rapid descent and possibly drowning. A knife is arguably a necessary tool, though a diver can dive without it. A knife is used to cut divers out of difficult situations or the dispatching of the catch, and should not be depended upon as a weapon. Lastly, gloves and socks are used to keep hands and feet warm during the dive. Often times divers complain of blisters in their fins, and neoprene socks can be very effective for preventing them. Gloves can be used to increase sensitivity to hands and fingers, but can also be used for protection in various situations. The type of equipment needed depends upon the diver, the type of spearfishing and the location where the dive will be. There are a variety of brands, colors and styles available and are left up to the discretion of the individual diver.