Essential spearfishing beginner tips – Six things you can’t pack
When starting spearfishing as a beginner often the first thing you focus on is gear and it’s true spearfishing is difficult without a speargun and some basic equipment. Below is my list of things that are often overlooked. They maybe aren’t as cool but I think they are essential to the developing spearfishing noob.
1. Freediving course
To shoot a fish it helps to be able to freedive properly and freediving is a bit more than just holding your breath. There are many reputable freediving schools and some that even teach spearfishing skills as well. This is a sure fire way to ensure you get the most out of your diving and make you a safe diver. A good freediving course will teach you not just how to dive safely but how to rescue someone in trouble. Another way to learn more about to hold your breath is listen into 101 Freediving For Spearfishing.
2. A dive buddy (you can trust)
Love him or hate him you’re going to need this guy and he might just save your life one day. Your dive buddy is the guy that you meet on the rocks on those cold winter mornings after he’s already called five times making sure you’re out of bed. He takes photos of you holding up your catch and generally keeps the stoke. More importantly he’s the guy on the surface that watches you on every dive making sure you don’t blackout and drown. A good buddy should be a certified freediver that knows the signs of blackout and be drilled in rescue techniques. For more information about adopting a good spearfishing buddy practice check out this post.
3. A mentor, network, or club
These three things equal experience. Experience you can learn from if you’re smart. Guy’s won’t necessarily divulge all of their secrets and spearfishing beginner tips to you because you showed up to the meet in a nice camo wetsuit, but over time if you’re persistent and do your apprenticeship, you will be rewarded with the tricks and tips these guys have been using for years. Facebook groups are another great way to meet like minded spearo’s that are willing to meet up for dives or offer advice.
4. Local Rules and regulations
Spearo’s are increasingly coming under fire from line fisherman and greenies for apparently doing the wrong thing. This is partly due to a small minority of idiots doing the wrong thing. In this day in age it has never been more important to be seen to be doing the right thing. Your local fisheries authority should be able to help with this. Here is a short list of rules to be mindful of in your local area, to ensure we can all keep enjoying the sport into the future.
- Size limits
- Bag limits
- No take species
- No go zones (green zones)
- Closed seasons
5. First aid and advanced resuscitation
It goes without saying that spearfishing can be dangerous. Stings, bites, blackouts, boat strikes the list goes on. It’s important to know what to do to save your mates when the shit hits the fan. There are plenty of good first aid trainers around and some that are dive orientated. Get googling or check in with your local club for more information. Here is a link to some local Brisbane training Shrek and I did last year.
6. Fish Identification skills
Unlike fishing, spearfishing isn’t suited to catch and release. Once you pull that trigger and put seven and a half millimetres of spring steel through a fish you can’t really set him free to live out his days. It’s final and that’s why your fish identification skills are so important. Knowing what species are in your local area and what they look like are the first steps in targeting your prey. A knowledge of fish species ensures you won’t spear anything undesirable or worse, poisonous. It will also help you to gain a knowledge of the species you want to be targeting.
I hope this opens your mind up to the other important aspects of spearfishing often overlooked when standing in front of a rack of shiny new spearguns.
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