From surface diving to stalking under the water, you will have a lot of things to learn about spearfishing. It can be intimidating for newbies. Even if you are comfortable underwater, using a spear to catch fish is challenging.
If you want to learn the best spearfishing techniques, keep on reading and learn from the insights we’ll share in this article.
Spearfishing Techniques You Need to Know
Spearfishing isn’t as easy as getting under the water, pointing your spear, and catching a fish. It is easier said than done. You need to invest time and effort in spearfishing training. The right gear is also essential.
Let’s dive in and talk about the essential techniques and tips that will help you succeed.
1. Practice Static Apnea
A good starting point is to master the best freediving breathing techniques. Among others, you will need to learn how to hold your breath when you are under the water through static apnea. This is a static breath-holding exercise. Done with a partner, it involves lying down facing the water holding breath as long as possible. Your body will become tense and the level of carbon dioxide will increase. This training is crucial to ensure that you won’t be catching your breath when you are underwater and your body won’t suffer from unnecessary stress.
2. Go with a Complete Gear
Make sure that you have the right equipment you will need for spearfishing. Aside from a comfortable spearfishing wetsuit, you will also need the best spearfishing masks, which will provide you with a clear vision once you are underwater. This will make it easier to aim at your target. You also need to have the right weapon, which can either be a gun or a pole. With a pole, you need to be very close to the fish to make a killing shot. Dive gloves and boots are also must-haves, which will make you feel warmer.
3. Stalk above Shallow Water
As a newbie, you need to take baby steps until you become an expert in spearfishing. Start in shallow water. This will help you to be more comfortable and will be an opportunity to master spearfishing techniques before you dive deeper. Practice how to use a pole spear in the shallow part of the water. This way, you can also improve your stalking technique without being too overwhelmed. You do not have to go under the water. Instead, you can hunt for a fresh catch while on a rock. Once you get the hang of it, you can now start going underwater.
4. Clear Bubbles from Your Wetsuit
Once you are in the water, the priority is to move as quietly as possible. This way, you will go unnoticed, increasing the chances that you will get nearer your target without it noticing that you are nearby. To do this, one of the most important is to get rid of the bubbles in your spearfishing wetsuit. A good practice is to put holes in the wetsuit’s hood. When you start diving in the water, another thing that you can do is to open a portion of your wetsuit. In turn, this will let air escape, minimizing the chances that there will be bubbles.
5. Carry a Dive Knife
Dive knives will be useful when you are spearfishing. There are risks when you are underwater, so it is best to be prepared. When you have a handy knife with you, it is easy to get rid of the most common spearfishing dangers and risks. From sharks to fishing nets, your knife can be a lifesaver! You can also use it to make sure that you kill your shot after poking it with a pole or gun.
6. Practice Your Aim on Weighted Objects
Learning how to aim is one of the most important spearfishing techniques you need to learn. Practice in a swimming pool using weighted objects. Scatter these objects throughout the pool, go underwater, and practice aiming. You can also do this in the sea in preparation for spearfishing.
7. Fight Buoyancy with a Weight Belt
Diving weights will help in maintaining a neutral buoyancy when you are underwater. For a successful spearfishing experience, make sure that you go with a weight belt. When you hold your breath, you will float. To stay under the water, weight belts will be helpful. This will also help you to drive faster and have more control over your movements. Plus, it is also a great way to conserve energy.
8. Aim at the Head
Knowing where to aim when spearfishing is a crucial technique to learn. Always aim at the head of the fish. Aim along the side of the speargun, which will provide better control. Release the safety lock of your speargun, point to the target, remain stable and pull the trigger. Make sure that you do this in a swift motion to retain the momentum. Your goal is to not just harm the fish but to collect it. To prevent the fish from escaping, make sure that you are as close as possible to your target before releasing the trigger.
9. Do Not Put Your Spear in Dark Holes
As a safety precaution, do not put the spear or your hand in a dark hole or in any other place where you cannot have a clear sight of what is inside. There is a possibility that an eel or any other creature is hiding in the hole and can come as a shock to you. Eel bites can be poisonous, although, most will be not life-threatening.
10. Move as Smoothly as Possible
Making smooth movements is one of the most important spearfishing tips for beginners. When you are stalking your prey and carrying a pole spear or speargun, the goal is to be as unnoticeable as possible. Otherwise, when the prey knows that you are coming, it can quickly escape, and chasing can be difficult. The best hunters will know how to move while creating minimal disturbance.
11. Make Yourself Smaller in Water
As mentioned, your goal is to be unnoticed when you are in the water. To do this, make yourself look small. While a fish does not have the clearest eyesight, it can see your silhouette. The bigger your silhouette appears in the water, the more scared the fish will be. It will go far, and in turn, it will be more difficult for you to catch. For instance, if you know that your target is lurking behind a rock, use only a small portion of the head to peek so that your silhouette will be smaller.
12. Approach Your Target Gradually
Do not be too excited to get close to your target. Once you have set your eyes on your prey, move slowly. You should not also swim at the fish. Instead, you should intercept the direction in which the fish is swimming. While getting closer to the target, avoid making eye contact with the fish.
13. Increase Surface Interval
Breathing is one of the most difficult when you are underwater. Aside from learning how to hold your breath, the increasing surface interval is among the most important spearfishing tips you need to learn. This refers to the time that you spend on the top recovering as you prepare for your next dive. This gives you the time to get back to normal. At a minimum, you should double your surface interval. A dive computer can help, letting you know exactly when it is time for a surface interval.
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14. Do Not Over-Breathe
While breathing is important when you are spearfishing, make sure that you do not overdo it. Over-breathing will flush the carbon dioxide from your body. Because of this, you might be unable to hold your breath for a long time. The more you breathe, the more bubbles will form, and in turn, you will be easily noticed by your prey. To add, over-breathing will also cause your body to not send the right breathing signals.
15. Stay Relaxed when You are Underwater
When you are tense, you will end up creating a lot of unnecessary movements, making it easier to be noticed by your fish. This makes it more difficult to get closer to your prey. Also, being tense will make you use extra energy, which could have been saved for other important things you need to do when you are spearfishing. This will limit the time you can hold your breath and stay under the water. Remove any tension that you have in your mind and stay focused.
16. Consider the Pole Spear as Your Arm’s Extension
If you are using a pole spear, consider it as an extension of your arm instead of a tool that is attached to your arm. With this perspective, your movements will be more natural. This will increase the accuracy of your kill shots. The pole will end up shooting directly on where you are pointing your arm.
17. Chum Fish in the Water
This is one of the advanced spearfishing tips that you might want to consider attracting your prey. Chumming is particularly effective in attracting a big fish. This requires the need to gut a baitfish when you are in the water. The flesh and blood of the fish will create a breeding zone. However, a lot of newbies may be uncomfortable with this technique as it can attract even sharks and other dangerous marine creatures.
18. Do Not Chase a Fish
A lot of beginners in spearfishing might think that chasing after a fish will increase the chances of taking home a catch. However, this might end up being an exercise in futility. This can also make you scare your target. Chasing after a fish will also make you lose your energy to the point that you will find it hard to hold your breath.
19. Steer Using Your Non-Shooting Arm
When it comes to spearfishing tips, one of the most important is your arm movement. This will help you to move smoothly into the water. With this, to steer your body, make sure to use your non-shooting arm. So, if you will shoot using your right arm, steer using your left arm. This means that you will always be ready to shoot your prey once you see it even as your other arm steers your body in the intended direction.
20. Mark Your Position with a Buoy
Before you get under the water, it is also a good practice to mark your spot with a buoy. This is an effective tool to help warn others that someone is underwater, especially incoming boats or jet skis. There could also be anglers who will be casting fishing nets in your direction. When there is a buoy, there is a lesser chance that you can get tangled.
Before we end this guide on spearfishing techniques, allow us to answer a few questions you might have.
Q: How do I get better at spearfishing?
To get better at spearfishing, practice is important. Before you get in the water, however, read online materials and watch videos to learn from the pros. In a swimming pool, practice the basics of freediving, especially breathing exercises.
Q: Is spearfishing difficult?
Yes, spearfishing is difficult, especially if you are a beginner. However, with practice and knowledge of the right techniques, it will be easy to learn. Having the right gears will also help to make things a lot easier. From breathing exercises to learning how to be quiet, learn various techniques to make spearfishing easier.
Q: How dangerous is spearfishing?
Spearfishing is dangerous, especially for those who are untrained. Sharks and other marine creatures can post serious risks. Shallow water blackout, strong currents, and drowning are other hazards that can make spearfishing a risky underwater activity.
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Spearfishing is an exciting underwater sport. Not to mention, it can also be frustrating, especially if you are a newbie. To help you increase the chances of taking home a catch, pay attention to the spearfishing tips mentioned above. From holding your breath to increasing surface interval, take note of our suggestions and you will soon be ready to explore the best spearfishing spots in the world.