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How To Spearfish

Learn how to spearfish with these steps.

Looking to put some fish on your dining room table, but tired of the same old rod and reel methods you’ve been using for years? Why not try out spearfishing?

Before you conjure an image of some Hollywood castaway film where the main character tries to catch fish by throwing a sharpened stick haphazardly into the water, that’s not exactly what we mean. In fact, spearfishing is a popular sport of its own in the aquatic world, and there is specialized gear on the market – including spear or harpoon guns – that spearfishing experts use to catch and kill fish.

Make no mistake, spearfishing is not the same leisurely activity that most anglers find traditional rod and reel fishing to be. If your favorite thing about fishing is heading out on the boat with some buddies and sharing a few beers while changing out your tackle and hanging your fishing rod over the edge of the boat, then spearfishing isn’t for you.

However, if you are looking for a more active, dangerous, and exploratory form of fishing, or if you want to bring your hunting and fishing worlds a bit closer together, then you may just fall in love with spearfishing.

Perhaps the most fundamental difference between regular fishing and spearfishing is that, where traditional rod and reel fishermen use bait solutions to get fish to come to them, spearfishing participants more of a “search and destroy” approach. To become a great spear fisherman, you will need to venture into aquatic environments and actively hunt fish in their own habitat.

However, before you start spearfishing on your own – and even before you ask a friend for some underwater lessons in the sport – there is one other skill that you absolutely need to have in your arsenal: diving.

If you’re an accomplished scuba diving fanatic already, then you are probably just about good to go. If not, however, then you need to take some diving lessons to get a handle on the basics of the sport. Snorkels can work to an extent, but also require their own mastery to be comfortable using them.

When you are spearfishing, you can’t just focus on shooting your gun and stringing up fish; you also need to remember your air consumption, your depth, how much more time you have in the water, and where you are in relation to your friends or your boat. Diving teaches these skills, and until they are second nature – or at very least close to it – you will have a difficult time finding success and safety in the spearfishing sport.

Get these diving requirements under your belt, and spearfishing can be further explored.

In order to do this, you will need to gain knowledge and comfort with a spear gun. Spearfishing experts know where on the body to hit a fish in order to make the catch easier, and they know how to aim and operate their spear gun to ensure that their harpoon finds its mark. They’ll know that breakaway and slip tips on the end of spears will be more effective, and that there’s no sense in having a gun that shoots out of your range of sight.

These are skills that you cannot hope to master without seeing them in action underwater. In other words, if you are hoping to gain mastery in the sport of spearfishing, you should try to seek out some other spearfishing enthusiasts who can take you on a “ride along” of sorts so that you can see how everything works.

Once you get back above the surface, you can ask questions, which there will likely be plenty. With a bit of training, you should be able to become more comfortable with the concepts of spearfishing so that, soon, you can take up your own spear gun and get hunting.

Spearfishing is in many ways “underwater hunting,” and opens the door to harvesting all sorts of seafood, including crustaceans and the coveted cobia.

In a way, it brings the aim and steadiness of shooting, mixes it with the stalking and tracking involved in hunting, and is done underwater going after fish and other sea creatures. It truly is the ultimate outdoor sport combination, one that you’ll likely find is both fun and challenging.

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How To Spearfish