This interview is jam packed with good info for any spearo wanting to do their first bluewater spearfishing trip. Adam Malski prepared a tonne of info just for this chat several months after getting back from his first Coral Sea Spearfishing trip (watch highlights here). Adam is a Sydney based, North Shore Underwater Club member with a down to earth nature and a lifelong learner mentality. Listen in!
06:00 Who is Adam Malski?
12:50 Adam Malski has competed at high levels in Triathalons, Running, Boxing, Mountain Biking and others. I ask him what skills have crossed over into spearfishing.
17:38 North Shore Underwater Club and Sydney Diving
19:00 What is one of the biggest lessons you have learned in your spearfishing journey so far?
Adam Malski with New Zealand Yellowtail Kingfish
24:00 Veterans Vault | First Timers Guide for Blue Water Spearfishing Charters
What went into the planning phase of the trip?
What equipment did you decide on?
How do the Dories operate?
How do you work effectively as a team and dive buddy on a bluewater charter?
How do you plan which grounds to fish?
What are common issues first timers experience blue water hunting?
Dogtooth Tuna tips for first timers
Dogtooth Tuna Coral Sea Spearfishing with Adam Malski
55:00 What is your favourite species to hunt, how do you find them and how do you hunt them effectively?
“Hey all, If you haven’t had a chance to jump in and help with the effort to expand spearfishing opportunity, now is your chance! And we really need your help with this one.
In a recent public hearing the proposal was met with opposition from the angling community who have cited two (2) main areas of concern:
Spearfisherman disproportionately catch & kill trophy sized fish (there are only ~ 50 active spearfisherman in the state so we are outnumbered 10,000 to 1 by anglers)
We are unable to judge the size of fish underwater before shooting.
My contact at the CPW has requested that spearo’s send him an email at [email protected] stating support for the proposed regulation. In order for him to more easily organize the emails, we are suggesting you use the following template and address the two bullet points above in the statement of support section if possible:”
First Responders Guide for Treating Major Haemorrhage
Hey Isaac I felt compelled to reach out and contact you after recent tragic events. I wrote this little guide on controlling limb haemorrhage originally intended just for my little spearo crew. It’s been shared on a few forums in the last few days. It’s attached below. Feel free to use it and share it however you want. I’m happy to help out in any way to share this message.
To provide some background, I’m a doctor from the Sunshine Coast and a specialist in both emergency medicine and pre-hospital and retrieval medicine. I split my time between the hospital and the local helicopter rescue service. I’m also a passionate spearo and waterman. We’ve lost a couple of local spearos in the last 12 months.. Matt Tratt who died on sat was also part of our local “pressure project freedive group” and my colleagues from the rescue helicopter tried in vane to save him. I didn’t know either of them personally but they were both friends of friends. Its always a reminder of the dangers we face when something happens close to home.
Without any criticism of anyone (who I’m certain did their best and bravely came to Matt’s aid on the weekend), a bite to the limb should be something we’re all prepared to deal with. Someone should hopefully never die of any isolated limb bite. I deal with life threatening emergencies and complicated medical procedures everyday in the field or in hospital. We train for and visualize how we will approach these crisis. I try to bring this same approach to our sport. We need to have thought about and visualize how we are going to solve any crisis well before it happens.
Another example – I once had a trout brick me under a ledge. After an unsuccessful extraction and at the end of my breath hold I headed for the surface only to become entangled with my float line around my belt. I panicked and instead of simply dropping my belt I went to cut my way out. We always buddy very tightly but of course this was that sneaky little dive you do while my buddy boated a fish. Two simple errors which could have cost me. I’ve since thought about my approach to entanglement and I’m prepared. Hope this info helps someone. Rob
This First Responders Guide for Treating Major Haemorrhage might save someone’s life.
It’s also another good reason to always dive with a buddy. We all dive around sharks all the time. Sometimes we get complacent. People with massive bleeding from the limbs are able to survive if we act quickly.
There’s 2 ways to stop a limb bleed
Direct Pressure. Use a small as possible pressure point right into the spot that’s bleeding. In physics pressure = force/ surface area. Ie A large pressure can be delivered if it’s applied over a small area.
Tourniquet. This will stop all blood supply to the limb. It can stay on for hours if required. The key is it must be really tight. If it’s too loose then it will still allow arterial blood supply while blocking venous supply. This would be just like when you get a blood test. It can make you bleed more! Don’t do this.
Options for what to wrap the wound with
If in the water on a shore dive, then use a float line.
If on a boat dive, then use a bandage if one is handy.
You can buy arterial tourniquets really cheap. To get a tight tourniquet one needs a windlass. Some sort of stick that you wind up really tight (hopefully you’ll see the bleeding stop- if not go tighter). The tricky thing is finding what to use as a windlass. You could try a dive knife but there’s obvious issues with that. I’ve got a fish stringer on my float that would work. Once the windlass is wound up you need to stop it unwinding. Try tucking it under some other rope.
Hey Isaac. I did a bit of messing around today with tourniquets and took some dodgy photos with my phone. I’m no Boy Scout so I’ve improvised knots which is exactly what people are going to do if they’re making a tourniquet out of their float line.
Where do I apply the tourniquet? Some teaching suggests as far down the limb as possible so less tissue lacks blood supply. In saying that It can be harder to compress the vessels below the knee or the elbow because there’s 2 bones instead of one. It probably doesn’t matter. Just get it on there. If there’s a bleed really high up the leg and you can’t get a tourniquet high enough then add direct pressure to the wound plus try and compress the big femoral vessels in the groin. Feel where your own pulse is for a guide. Once again remember a smaller object pushed onto a vessel will apply more pressure. Something like a small ball shape pushed onto the vessel. Find something to wrap round the leg or pelvis to hold it really tight or hold it in place with all your weight.
This interview is about Matt Tratt, the man who was tragically bitten by a shark off Indian Head at Frazer Island. Rob Tratt was with him spearfishing when a shark (likely a Bullshark) attacked. Matt and Rob were in relatively shallow water when the shark bit him and opened an arterial wound in his leg. Matt Tratt was a much loved Father, Husband and Brother and Spearo. This episode is a tribute to him and the full story of what actually happened.
03:30 Rob Tratt Introduction and a bit about how we connected
16:00 How important was the spearfishing lifestyle to Matt?
21:40 How would Matt’s mates describe him?
40:40 Background behind the Frazer Island Trip
58:40 Sharks at Frazer Island? Spearfishing at Indian Head
68:20 The shark attack story | What happened to Matt Tratt
Matt’s first Queeny (Kingy lol).
28kg mackerel off Indian head 2015
Matt Tratt with Cod and Blackspot Tuskfish
Me and him spearing at the Marloo wreck (both on the surface)
Rob Tratt Morwong
Rob Tratt Barry (barracouta)
Beach launch for the Marloo wreck (check spelling) I’m driving, Matt walking around.
Rob Tratt with a pig shot 1hr 11 min from Brisbane, from like 4 weeks ago.
Massive thoughts about hunting Dogtooth and other Bluewater species, Southern California Diving, Dirty Water Diving and more….all with the host of the SpearFactor Podcast, Bret Whitman. We have a good old time in this episode. Listen in!
This post is an email that Don sent me with regards to taking his two boys (Max 10 and Ben 12) spearfishing. There is a heap of practical and actionable advice in here for anyone wanting to take their kids spearfishing. Don goes on to share a great poo story at the end (my fav). Enjoy!!
I hadn’t been in the water for 20yrs since instructing to which I was a master scuba diver trainer with PADI, a Nurse at work asked me if I wanted an old OMER caymen 75 she’d found in her garage. I’d been wanting to get the kids in the water for some time and so dragged out my old gear. When the kids started it was incredibly basic; an old torn 2mm steamer each, old rubber fins from the 70’s and a yellowed silicone mask each out of a moldy gear bag. I also took my old Tecnisub pneumatic gun with us and was surprised the old girl still worked. They were keen as to give it a go although somewhat nervous and we took a trip to Kaikoura. After gearing them up I jumped in and coaxed them in and we swam around in some shallow calm water, two wide eyed leaches stuck to each side of me, it turned out to be really fishy and hands started pointing everywhere and I had to stop every meter to decipher “Sorkillian” or answer questions or look at something someone was yelling about.
A bit further on the monster was created; I smacked a huge Butterfish right in front of them. They went apeshit, I was forced back to shore to swap guns and hell or high water they were going to have a go. I gave them a quick how to and took them out one at a time holding onto their elbow and they swam over many fish but I just went with it. The older boy Ben managed to corner a big banded wrasse and let fly. He was stoked and still talks about that fish, he shot another before it was wee Max’s turn. With a mask half full of water and his fins coming adrift max shot a tiny blue moki. I didn’t have the heart to take his fish off him so we got a quick photo before I had the chat to them about under size and shooting fish they can’t use. So it wasn’t wasted we jammed it in a crack with juvenile crays. we just dived unarmed for the rest of the weekend and I was able to show them heaps of sea life, the end of every dive they were shivering, blue but still took some getting out of the water.
Max and Ben practicing Ike Jime. Don “boys decided that they wanted to take care of own fish, caught them killing pumpkin, bloody great idea as about same thickness as fish head 😂😂”
As they seemed keen I got some better gear, good 5mm suits, modern fins and a decent mask each. We did a trip to Dunedin and went for a dive in the harbour no fish shot this time and Max was mesmerized by a small octopus, I never let on to him but a bloody big stingray was mesmerized with Max. I didn’t turn him around for a look in case to put him off. At this stage I was still holding on to them and swimming them around mostly where they could stand up if needed, next day we happened to go to shag point on a simply epic day and both boys totally transformed. They started swimming beside me and in deeper water and shot 4 big butterfish each. Both boys were still surface dwellers at this stage with Max having a life vest over his suit.
A holy shit moment came when I was quietly following Ben when he dived down kicking like mad about 2m and I heard the gun go off, next minute he’s wrestling with a nice blue moki. That fish wasn’t going anywhere he was clinging onto it and I tried to help; it was like trying to get a piece of chicken of a cat. We did a few more trips around the area with Philip Van Zijl and learnt heaps, he’s awesome. We were still very much noobs, Ben was now weighted and reloading himself and both boys were starting to be comfortable with rougher and deeper water.
In December of that year I did the unthinkable and took them up to Auckland and Darren Shields took us out for the day, the kids had never been on a boat before let alone dive off one. This trip locked in the monster, they soaked up everything and they regarded themselves as real spearos. Ben had spent his pocket money on some wettie reef freedive fins and simply took off dropping down 3-4 spearing and securing fish. He would have shot a big kingfish that look an interest in him if I hadn’t headed back to the boat with the gun to unload a fish. Both boys got 3 parore each and got a photo with a big snapper that Darren shot. Next day we headed out to Goat Island reserve for a look and it was a nightmare getting them out with all the snapper around.
I ended up getting a wee Mac360 boat with a 15hp and they keep soaking up the knowledge. They entered the Kaikoura big 5 spearo comp as their own team I was just safety diver. We aren’t really comp folk but I wanted to get them to start working as buddy team, I limited them to a fish each to weigh in and they did really well, it was quite funny these two little guys rock up among all these experienced spearos. They got called up to get photos with the winners who handed them part of their prize winnings, a new gun and a catch bag. It was a very cool gesture. Ben wanted to get another species that weekend and did a perfect breath up and drop to 7m, I saw him aim at something and came up as cool as a cucumber with the blue moki in the pic I sent through.
Ben and Max spearo kids!
A FEW NOTES ON GEAR AND RULES FOR KIDS
Got to be warm, a warm comfortable kid won’t be put off easily, can be 7deg in south
2mm open cell vest plus open cell suit
Creases or folds mean water flood in
Cold days we dump warm water from a hot water bottle in before getting in
wettie do full range of kids suits
Correct size gloves to be able to feel / use trigger well
Get them into freedive fins as soon as you can, I though they may be too much to handle but they seem to do well with them, saw a big transformation. Ben immediately started dropping to 15-20ft comfortably
Problem is smallest is usually 6-8 uk not sure who does smaller to suit kids or women
Allows them to power 25m pool lane underwater, gives them a big achievement.
Big safety rule: you don’t go into sea without fins, fins are control. Fins go on before weight belt and must stay on until weight belt is off on any boat
MASK AND SNORKEL
Must fit well, leaks will make them uncomfortable and anxious, you want them concentrating on what they are doing rather than what gear is doing.
We have drifted away from purge valve snorkels especially on shore dives, it seems to only take 1 or 2 grains of sand to cause a large leak and have a choking kid.
No snorkel in mouth during dive
Touchy subject for a spear fishing parent and a serious one to weigh up, kid to kid
They must be taught every possible thing about guns, and most of all what they are capable of doing.
Like a firearm they must be pointed in a safe direction at all time when not aimed at fish
We don’t use a pole at moment, hard to control length in even small surge, keep getting pushed into rock, kelp.
No pneumatics, you are tensioning using the spear than pulling band on to licked in one, also too easy to turn in on yourself eg foot or buddy beside you. Length is good.
Max uses 3x 10mm bands very easy to load for a kid.
Learn to re set spear and line out of water. They fire a shot at a fish then they need to be able to re load, Darren shields recons they won’t miss as much because it’s not easy.
Big ?????? On this one, we don’t use safeties. Max has an angry story about one of the biggest butterfish I’ve seen. Finger on trigger only when shooting. Some say safer in turbid conditions, basically if there kid in a dangerous situation where there could be an accidental discharge you probably shouldn’t be banded up anyway.
RULES FOR KIDS
Point in safe direction
Be selective as what you shoot, our limit is two fish each. It also allows for more outings as you run out of fish sooner.
Practice aiming at home using straight locked arm using anything long, stick, vacuum cleaner pipe ect
Practice taking care of fish, iki them, gutting. Pumpkin perfect tool for iki practice.
GENERAL SAFETY AND STUFF
Kids are smaller so get cold quicker
Although smaller size does allow them to get closer to fish it does put in the back of your mind that bitey creatures may have a go at them before the big target. With this in mind I always swim on the open water side of them, so kids are on reef or shore side if possible.
One child at a time in the water in case there is a problem.
If possible teach them basic blackout and rescue stuff, how to drive boat. CPR is also a great idea and most kids even at ages 7-8 can perform effective CPR. They should never have to do this but you never know, they may be able to guide an untrained adult.
Heaps of pool work makes a big difference. Put a $2 coin on the bottom of the dive pool and show them how to equalise, they soon get it.
Hopefully some of this info may be useful.
Now what you’ve really been waiting for!!! Poo story.
When I was instructing bubbles, myself and a mate got invited onto a luxury launch. This boat was pristine, the owners basically handed us white soled shoes as we boarded and followed us around making sure nothing was touched, even re-arranging magazines we had read to the original position and layout. We were terrified to go to the toilet on this boat, but after 3 days things were backing up. On the third day I said to hell with this, I need a crap, 3 days worth was satisfying to get rid of. When I came out my mate pushed past me saying look out this is going to be huge. Little did we realize that my effort had blocked the system! He came out very white faced saying “it won’t flush, it won’t flush “panicked we came up with a plan and proceeded to covertly undo the back of the system to clear around the shredding fan that cuts up everything and sends it out the bottom of the boat. This was done with a piece of wire we found. All was going well until all of a sudden the blockage cleared and shit and paper started pouring onto the floor. My crap was fine but when my mates came through I started to dry reach and leant on the wall hitting the switch that activated the still exposed flush /fan. Within a split second there wasn’t a square inch of that pristine bathroom that wasn’t covered in shit, except of course for two human outlines on one wall. It was everywhere and we were covered from head to toe. We both calmly walked through the boat and past the magazine woman in the galley who promptly threw up in the sink. We carried on to the back of the boat and jumped into the sea to wash and let thing cool down a bit. While we were in the water listening to the yelling on board my mate said “gee that woman’s got a soft gut hasn’t she?” We did help clean up and that was the end of our trip.