There are plenty of ways to improve your spearfishing. Here are five spearfishing mistakes to avoid next time you go diving. This list was sent to us by Eckart Benkenstein, spearo and freediving instructor
This is a classic mistake that we’ve all made and is generally caused by diving out of our depth or not being confident enough to reach the bottom. Improving your diving ability will improve your depth. Having a good buddy that is drilled in good buddy technique will also allow you to relax a little more and push a little deeper knowing your buddy is there for you.
This mistake also limits your ability to shoot reef fish as you are out in the open for everything to see. Being on the bottom will conceal you and allow fish to unwittingly move into range of your gun.
Big predators of the grey variety are often seen swimming mid water. Not something we want to emulate if we want to get closer to the fish.
Another classic Noob mistake. Fast movements underwater have a couple of implications. Firstly fast movements tell fish that you’re a predator. Sharks move quickly when they’re agitated and feeding. Pelagic fish will move quickly when in a feeding frenzy as well. It sends the message that you’re a threat that should be avoided.
Secondly, fast movements increase your heart rate underwater and that means increased oxygen consumption, loss of relaxation and ultimately shorter dives.
You need the right tools for the job. It’s a simple task to get the right gear. Anyone local that’s been diving in your local area will tell you what you need. Knowing what to buy straight up will save you money and you’ll get comfortable using the right gear from the start. I’m not talking about brands here, though there are some to avoid. I’m talking about the practicalities of your gear like the length of your gun, thickness of your wetsuit and the stiffness of your fins to name a few.
Don’t be afraid to ask a retailer, local diver or someone from a club, it will save you time and money.
Just swimming around
Eckart says a common problem he sees is guys just swimming around hoping to bump into a fish. Eckart says you should target a fish and and learn the conditions that will help you to find that target fish in your area. Wind, tides, water temperature and any seasonal migrations are a great place to start. Get on the Google and do some research or get into a club and learn off the locals. You only get so many hours in the water, make the most of them.
If you manage to overcome the midwater warrior phase and get yourself on the bottom you may be making bunny ears with your fins. You might have your body pressed low against the bottom ready to strike but it will mean little if your fins are waiving around above your head. Get long and low to keep your fins connected to the bottom. High fins let the fish know exactly where you are like waving a flag above your head.
Find out about Eckarts Spearfishing Courses at SaltSessions.com.au
If you found any of these tips helpful check out our book 99 Tips to Get Better at Spearfishing