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Are there any golden rules or things to avoid when exploring for a mark to spear-fish? Presume that you don't want too fast a tide? Or maybe that's a good thing for a drift-dive?

I'm guessing reefs/structure/outflows are good starting points? What about shingle beaches?
 

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Entry and exit points. As the guys mention try not enter or head where anglers are. Spearfishing people have the advantage of getting into areas that simply aren't worth rod and line anglers attempting such as heavily giant boulder areas.

Clean water means fish see you easier meaning you will need to do longer shots with more power and accuracy, if the fish don't spook.

Dirty water means you get closer and typically shoot shorter distances with less power and need for greater accuracy. However, often when you do come face to face with a close fish it once again spooks and is gone in a flash.

I like fast currents especially when I simply plan entry and exit points to work with the flow. Being totally relaxed at the surface having used no leg muscles to kick with greatly improves your bottom time. Surface time should at least double bottom time before heading back down, example drop down to 5m for one minute, stay at the surface for two minutes. This surface interval increases with more depth. There were many locations I was able to drift dive on the IOW.

Dive with a buddy if possible, saying that I've dived alone for years or with people I really need to look after that wouldn't be much help if I had issues.

Dive over and over untill you become extremely confident and relaxed before contemplating taking a gun. Loading guns and correctly wrapping lines isn't something anyone should try untill they are very confident underwater. Trying to hunt by chassing after any fish with your body feeling tense will be an uphill battle. Feeling like you are floating on a cloud gently moving through the water relaxed is when to start taking a gun if you still feel like it. I often find when I get into that frame of mind underwater it's hard to kill anything, any shot taken tends to be mentally well thought through.

The lateral line around the pec fins is often a kill shot area but tricky to nail every time. Bigger fish that can swim your spearline around you and pull you under but are the most challenging and common for me, dolphin fish and yellowtail kingfish top of the list due to their eating quality.

Things such as bass, mullet and pollack are relatively easy fish to approach. Flatfish are easy to catch without spearing them once you become a good breath holder, sole and flounder will often only swim 5m if disturbed before hiding back in the sand. Once a flaty thinks it's hidden you can literally just grab them, I always let them go as they are just to easy to catch. Most reef fish can also be caught without a spear by simply following them but unwillingly guiding them towards rock holes and ledges where they will normally try to hide. Once inside a hole they are once again easy to grab but also once again released by me, it's simply a cat and mouse challenge.

Some of the danger factors are boat traffic, stingy jellyfish ( even in the UK), scorpion fish, nets and discarded fishing line 'braid' etc. Often the reward of found fishing gear greatly outweighs a speared fish.
 

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Call me pedantic, but this isn't fishing. Anglers fish with rod and line.

I've killed a lot of fish in my time, but would draw the line at sticking a metal rod through them for "sport".
 

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Call me pedantic, but this isn't fishing. Anglers fish with rod and line.

I've killed a lot of fish in my time, but would draw the line at sticking a metal rod through them for "sport".
Pedantic.

We recently had a long and thoughtful discussion about whether to start a spear fishing section. The mods agreed to create a subforum for spearfishing and other underwater activities on a trial basis. If you don't have anything constructive to say, please keep your comments to yourself.
 

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Spear fishing is like seeing a bill fish hanging from a dockside derrick, thankfully those days are over and we practise conservation, not butchery
 

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So when you catch a fish with a rod, kill and eat it that's ok because "conservation" but when you enter the water, kill a fish and eat it, clear up some trash and lost fishing tackle its "sport"

I dont like dog fighting so what i do is i dont watch dog fighting videos or go and read about it.
 

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Call me pedantic, but this isn't fishing. Anglers fish with rod and line.

I've killed a lot of fish in my time, but would draw the line at sticking a metal rod through them for "sport".
I do far more angling as you call it, trouble is I hate the environmental impact it has in comparison, especially as I've gotten older and wiser.

Don't want cover ground which has already been discussed over the last few days on here, so have a search to find the facts yourself.

I rod and line fish mostly to catch a quality fish to eat, Unfortunately doing so causing stress and often injury or death to species I don't want. To catch that fish to eat I often have to release many fish I don't want, which I agree is fun having to battle such fish. There are many on here who target fish with no intension of keeping them, simply angling for sport ( have a good think about that).

Even among the extreme green groups this side of the pond spearfishing has been accepted as a far more sustainable and selective way of catching fish. The skills a good freediver needs to obtain are nothing like angling, I can literally take just about anyone out with a rod and line and have them catching fish almost instantly. I've taught kids at school how to cast where every child soon grasped how to get the soft weight heading in the right direction after just a few casts.

The skill level for underwater fishing is off the scale in comparison, firstly you need swimming skills. Then there's learning to breath through a tube with a mask on your face and not breath when that tube goes under water or simply gets water splashed in. Duck diving without any splash, then there's the complex pressure changes your body has to equalise for ( far more than scuba ). You need to learne far more about the human body and mind simply to reach those depths where the target species hold.

Once under the water you have to develop a skill level of understanding the environment and the species ( this greatly improves anyone's angling skills). The gear used has to be practiced with over and over with once you get to a level of thinking about shooting fish ( yes we've all seen idiots bobbing about on the surface with £50 guns shooting stupid fish ). Using home made targets under water, learning range and penetration power etc etc.

In the end there will be just a few who are able to get to a level where they don't just give up, very different from the amount of people dangling line in the water. As mentioned earlier, the amount of gear lost by anglers I recover if quite significant, leads, lures, line, braid and even several rods and reels ( don't get me started on bait bags and tackle packaging ) . So far in 40+ years of spearing I've yet to find anything left by spearfishing people, did find a knife which I would call a divers knife simply because it was huge and wanky.

Then there's the scientific contribution made by spearfishing, almost every spearo I know is working with some kind of scientific research group. I'm meeting up with some today who are doing a local conference on nudibranch and sea slugs ( which we've contributed to).
 

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It's extremely rare for us to be envolved with any scientific reasearch in regards to angling, however the projects we are envolved with from the spearfishing side are often more than we can keep up with.

Simply put, this side of the world we have developed a far greater respect from the scientific area and green groups than we ever had from rod and line fishing. This has taken years to develop a well respected bond where these groups have now been able to work together in a common goal. Unfortunately the recreational angling side does have a few outspoken armchair experts who often damage progress.

The worlds second largest super trawler which was set to fish our waters a couple of years ago had many groups in outrage. Unfortunately the rec anglers also apposed the other groups objecting the foreign vessel being here. It must of been quite comical for the ships owners to see in the news how everyone was in- fighting rather than working together.

Many lies about the target species and what fed upon them had been issued by the ships own marine science body. This is where simply my daughter and I knew we could bring evidence to the table if we could find the target species. First trip out not only did we find the fish species but we were quite unbelievably rewarded with the evidence of seals, doplins, gannets etc etc all feeding upon a mass of these fish.

Three days before the ship was to start fishing our footage went to tv news and just about every form of media out there, forcing government to back down and send the ship onits way.

The ship changed its name and headed to the Irish Sea to target mackerel, where it spent considerable time. This ship has caused the collapse of fish stocks off the African coast and other parts of the world.

Anyway we got many thanks from environmentle groups including Greenpeace etc but not a mention from a single angling organisation, and we are anglers.

We all have opinions, many have them on things they have no experience or knowledge in, which is fine, these are the people who can often be enlightened to something they know little about. Not asking to change anyone's views, simply broaden their knowledge of something they don't seem to understand.
 

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Don't get me wrong I'm a very keen angler.

But in the context of spearfishing it makes me laugh how fellow anglers can preach conservation. As they condemn yet another immature fish to death.
 

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Dont go around any crab pots,unfortunatly as with all things there are bad apples who spoil things for decent folk and get honest divers looked on suspiciously when pots are tampered with or lobsters/crab removed from keep pots.
 

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In relation to how many other boat anglers pull people pots I would have to say some people are dreaming if they think there's a group of ransacking divers out there stealing from pots. In the many years of diving both here and the UK I've never known anyone to take from pots, the dangers around doing such a thing would be extremely high. Dive watches, dive belts, knives would be easy to snag into pot mesh, the quarry itself can lock their feet into the mesh and pinch with their claws. Even if someone managed to remove them from the pot, they still have to handle it untill they get back to shore.

Where do these ideas come from, who has any proof of spearfishing people doing this. In some of my early posts on here I mentioned how I worked on a crabbing boat mid channel running over 600 crab pots, now it makes perfect sense why some of those pots had nothing in them, those pesky spearo's had swam 12 miles offshore to raid the pots.

I could quite easely set my own pot without ropes and floats and bait it each time I head out diving but truth is it would be far easier and safer to search cracks and holes without a pot they are far less likely to go in.

How does a tampered pot by a diver look, do divers leave a card saying they've tampered.

These comments are truly comical, it's a bit like stepping back to when people with red hair got the blame for all the bad things in the village. Image how tough it would of been for a red headed spear fisher.
 

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Andy 135 said..........

"Pedantic.

We recently had a long and thoughtful discussion about whether to start a spear fishing section. The mods agreed to create a subforum for spearfishing and other underwater activities on a trial basis. If you don't have anything constructive to say, please keep your comments to yourself. "

Immoderate for a "moderator"!

Constructive?? Feel free, to have a look through my hundreds of posts for even a single one which is not intended to help other anglers.

Perhaps you didn't understand my point - my point is that this is an ANGLING website.

Whilst spearfishing is distasteful to most anglers, it is not illegal. By all means, start a spearfishing website.

Spearfishing is undoubtedly cruel, and does nothing to help us fend off "anti" sentiments. How many fish can a spearfisher return to the water?

Anyway, I'm now more concerned about the behaviour of the "moderator".

No, I won't "keep my comments to myself". This is an ANGLING website, and I will comment on matters which relate to, or threaten ANGLING.

Who do you think you are, to speak to me like that?

If you wish to avoid another group of anglers leaving this site, I suggest you train your "moderators" to avoid insulting language.

An apology would not go amiss.
 

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Andy 135 said..........

"Pedantic.

We recently had a long and thoughtful discussion about whether to start a spear fishing section. The mods agreed to create a subforum for spearfishing and other underwater activities on a trial basis. If you don't have anything constructive to say, please keep your comments to yourself. "

Immoderate for a "moderator"!

Constructive?? Feel free, to have a look through my hundreds of posts for even a single one which is not intended to help other anglers.

Perhaps you didn't understand my point - my point is that this is an ANGLING website.

Whilst spearfishing is distasteful to most anglers, it is not illegal. By all means, start a spearfishing website.

Spearfishing is undoubtedly cruel, and does nothing to help us fend off "anti" sentiments. How many fish can a spearfisher return to the water?

Anyway, I'm now more concerned about the behaviour of the "moderator".

No, I won't "keep my comments to myself". This is an ANGLING website, and I will comment on matters which relate to, or threaten ANGLING.

Who do you think you are, to speak to me like that?

If you wish to avoid another group of anglers leaving this site, I suggest you train your "moderators" to avoid insulting language.

An apology would not go amiss.
I'm not sure Andy is a moderator..

How can you call spearfishing cruel when you stick hooks in fish, tow them about and suffocate them before putting them back?

Pot and kettle spring to mind.

Spearfishing is selective after a bit of experience guaging the size of a fish and deciding it is a fair to take. These fish are then eaten. What's wrong with that?

I would like to add I'm not too bothered about there being a spearfishing/underwater section. But I do find the thought processes on spearfishing by some anglers perplexing.
 
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And, Seymour, you are entirely entitled to your opinion; expressed as it is in a calm, thoughtful and respectful manner.

Whilst accepting that being hooked in the mouth is no fun for the fish, I know from experience that the same fish can be caught more than once, within a few minutes. It think it follows that the pain experienced is slight compared to, for example, being transfixed by a metal bolt.

I simply believe that angling is supposed to be sporting, and that spearfishing is too cruel to appeal to me at all. What could be worse than being shot with a spear gun? I wouldn't do that to a dogfish. As I say, each to his own - but it is a separate sport to ours.
 

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Andy 135 said..........

"Pedantic.

We recently had a long and thoughtful discussion about whether to start a spear fishing section. The mods agreed to create a subforum for spearfishing and other underwater activities on a trial basis. If you don't have anything constructive to say, please keep your comments to yourself. "

Immoderate for a "moderator"!

Constructive?? Feel free, to have a look through my hundreds of posts for even a single one which is not intended to help other anglers.

Perhaps you didn't understand my point - my point is that this is an ANGLING website.

Whilst spearfishing is distasteful to most anglers, it is not illegal. By all means, start a spearfishing website.

Spearfishing is undoubtedly cruel, and does nothing to help us fend off "anti" sentiments. How many fish can a spearfisher return to the water?

Anyway, I'm now more concerned about the behaviour of the "moderator".

No, I won't "keep my comments to myself". This is an ANGLING website, and I will comment on matters which relate to, or threaten ANGLING.

Who do you think you are, to speak to me like that?

If you wish to avoid another group of anglers leaving this site, I suggest you train your "moderators" to avoid insulting language.

An apology would not go amiss.
Distasteful to most anglers?
You know this how?
 

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Touche! Wondered if a fellow pedant would pick that up!

Ok, haven't done a survey. I simply would argue that killing / maiming fish in this way is so antipathetic to the principles of sportsmanship underlying angling that no-one I call an angler would be likely to approve.

Most anglers no longer use gaffs, though many used to. Why? Because we no longer think it right to stick a metal bar through a fish's body.

Again; spearfishers are entitled to do as they wish. I just say that such a forum does not belong on an angling site.
 
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