NSP:065 Travis Hogan Aimrite Spearfishing Australia

NSP:065 Travis Hogan Aimrite Spearfishing Australia

Interview with Travis Hogan


Manufacturing some of the toughest gear in spearfishing, Travis Hogan from Aimrite Australia gives us a good rundown on DIY speargun modification. He shares a phenomenal personal story about shooting a 250lb marlin from a trailer boat as well as a scary moment 60 miles out to sea. A fellow crew member was bitten (badly) by a reef shark and had to be taken by helicopter into Cairns Hospital. If you like listening and talking about all the facets of spearguns then this will be a great listen for you. We have a targeted discussion about trying and testing spearguns, personal preference/bias, budget considerations, shooting styles, common struggles and mistakes people make with spearguns. Listen in and let us know what you think in the comments below.


Travis Hogan Aimrite Spearfishing Australia

Travis Hogan with his first Dogtooth Tuna – smile says it all

Time Stamps for Travis Hogan

03:00 Travis introduction and background starting spearfishing

05:00 Early lessons learned and transferable skills from his military background

10:00 Memorable fish

16:00 Favorite spearfishing hunting technique. Pelagic planning for North Queensland

21:00 Targeting Dogtooth Tuna spearfishing tips

23:00 Toughest situation in the ocean. 6P rules

29:00 Veterans Vault – Speargun modification and maintenance

  • Speak to your gun manufacturer before you start speargun modifications (for several reasons)
  • Roller speargun modification do’s and dont’s
  • Discussion about experimenting with different spearguns and finding what suits you
  • Discussion about preference and budget
  • Aluminum vs Carbon barrels
  • Tips for changing speargun setup
  • Orthodox shooting style vs Intuitive shooting style
  • Using the right speargun for the right conditions
Travis Hogan Aimrite Spearfishing Australia

Travis Hogan Aimrite Australia

53:00 Funniest Moment

55:00 Spearfishing divebag

  • Aimrite Fins (made by  Penetrator)
  • Aimrite dive socks
  • Aimrite dive suits (made by Yazbeck)
  • Rubber weight belt
  • Mack dive knives
  • Aussie Speargun reels
  • 85/105/115 Aimrite roller speargun
  • Blue water speargun
  • Sportstube and proper travel insurance
  • Perspex flashers – Aimrite’s own style
Ribbons Reef Travis Hogan Aimrite Spearfishing Australia

Ribbons Reef, Travis Hogan Aimrite Spearfishing Australia

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65:00 Spearo Q&A

  • If you had to start all over again, what would you do differently?
  • Who has been the most influential people in your spearfishing?
  • Can you describe what the spearfishing experience means to you in one sentence?
  • Where can people come and find you?

Find Travis and Aimrite here;

  • Facebook here
  • Instagram here
  • Aimrite website here

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NSP:036 Travis Corken Neptonics Australia

NSP:036 Travis Corken Neptonics Australia

Travis Corken Bluewater Spearfishing Equipment

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Bluewater Spearfishing Equipment Episode

In this interview with Travis Corken Neptonics Australia owner/operator we do an in depth Q&A to learn more about equipment for bluewater spearfishing. Removing points of failure, keeping equipment simple and building trust with the fish were all themes that come through strong in the interview. If you like learning about innovative spearfishing equipment such as the floatline clutch and weight belt multi adapter for reels, then this is an ideal interview to tune in for. Travis also candidly shares a story about a personal blackout experience while diving in Fiji. After the blackout story we explore some practical takeaways from his experience and its well worth the listen all by itself. Turbo and I were happy to get Travis Corken on the show as we both think he’s one of the most genuine blokes in Australian spearfishing.

Travis Corken has also been an active contributor to many of the best spearfishing magazines over the years, as you will see in the IFSN covers below. Fairly recently Travis became the owner/operator of Neptonics Australia, which is conveniently located right next door to Peter Kesby, creator of Kes Spearguns. Travis started bluewater hunting in 2009 when he and some of his mates wanted to start exploring waters further afield from Australia. 2009 was the year that began a journey traveling the world in search of fish and meeting some of the worlds best divers in the world including guys like Justin Bates and Brandon Whalers & Simon Fairbourne.

IFSN cover featuring Travis Corken Neptonics Spearfishing Australia

Here is a bit of background on Travis.

“My name obviously is Travis Corken, not Travis Hogan, haha so many people get this mixed up! I have been spearfishing now for 15 years. I was born in Melbourne but at 3 months old my parents moved to Port Macquarie and introduced me to the ocean. Ive written several articles for different publications, spearfishing magazine, SDM and IFSN and I was lucky enough to score the cover twice. (blue marlin & dogtooth IFSN). Being part of a TV series called adventure bound for a spearfishing segment for Freedive Fiji with Jaga Crossingham was also pretty special.”

Travis also designed the ROAM speargun which is featured on the Kes website here. The speargun is quite universal, with the ability to be powered up with 5-6 bands and  a two piece wing kit to target big fish over 50kg. The Roam speargun can also be broken down to a 2-3 band gun, and with the removal of the wing kit can then be used to shoot smaller reef species and pelagics. If you would like to learn more about the Roam speargun there is a link below.

Spearfishing Marlin by IFSN cover featuring Travis Corken Neptonics Spearfishing Australia

For an online Spearfishing shopping experience that offers you a comprehensive range of equipment, cheap shipping and competitive prices head over to  www.spearfishing.com.au


Use the code NOOBSPEARO to take advantage of an exclusive online deal. Get $20 off every purchase over $200 when you use the NOOBSPEARO discount code at checkout. Just for listeners of the Noob Spearo Podcast!

Support the Noob Spearo Podcast by shopping with our major Sponsor. Check out Australia’s largest spearfishing range at Adreno Spearfishing Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney or shop online.

Helpful Times for Travis’s Interview

We start of the episode with some long overdue shoutouts to the Noob Spearo community. Thank you for reaching out to us!

Turbo lists of  some of Travis’s Personal Best fish and spearfishing travel experiences before we get into the meat and potatoes of the interview.

5:00 Travis’s experiences getting started spearfishing. Meeting mentors and mates and learning his local species. He also talks about his early spearfishing gear that many of us will relate to. Mentioned were Andre Ruakura, Simon Latta and Toddy Degraph (excuse my spelling errors).

10:00 Early obstacles, overcoming breath hold issues and learning the ropes by watching the experienced guys.

12:00 First Memorable Fish – Wahoo with a mask half full of water.

15:00 Travis’s Favorite spearfishing hunting technique. Getting to the bottom and letting the fish come to you. He introduces a theme for the episode about ‘building trust with the fish’.

21:00 2 Scary Moments. Aggressive Tiger shark experience and a personal blackout tale. This is an in-depth and honest look at a significant spearfishing blackout event with several key takeaways.

Increase Bottom Time for SpearfishingFind out more about the online “10m Freediver Course” and “5 Minute Freediver (advanced 28 day program)” here

33:00 Spearfishing Bluewater Equipment deep dive. We start off chatting quickly about a 220kg (nearly 500lb) Marlin that Travis speared a while ago and the full mount he had made up. Mentioned was Glenn Stuart a renown marine taxidermist based on the East Coast of Australia.

We talk about hard running fish and some of the essential equipment changes to make when taking on larger fish.

Here are a few of the other items we discuss.

  • Float line/ Hard line setup along with the innovative floatline clutch. If you would like to learn more about the floatline clutch go here
  • Removing points of failure.
  • Roamgun – a winged spearfishing weapon that can be powered up using an 8-10mm shaft and 5-6 rubbers or bands. Check it out here
  • Stainless cable as shooting line, do the double crimp and buy coated because it holds its memory.
  • Bungee and its application in deeper water.
  • Double Roller Speargun under development
  • Stay onto your gear maintenance
  • Use D-Shackles instead of shark clips.

Jaga Crossingham from Freedive Fiji  was mentioned. We interviewed Jaga a while ago and some of the fish that they have taken over there are phenomenal. listen into some Fiji Spearfishing adventures here or checkout this facebook post with a recent 57kg Wahopo capture by Jaga.

55:00 Funniest moment. Cobia story

59:00 Whats in your Divebag?

  • Kez gun with a reel and belt reel (Aussie Reels).
  • Special Fins.
  • Travis jumper back on with us recently to talk about his personal experience with the new HECS wetsuits, unfortunately due to some audio complications we weren’t able to include it but if you would like to know more about them then give him a call (his details are below).

Bluewater Themed Fast 5 Tips with Travis Corken Neptonics Australia

  1. Travel as much as you can > You learn more
  2. Teamwork is crucial. 3 divers for bluewater spearfishing is perfect
  3. Have good Floatline awareness. You need to know exactly where it is
  4. Removing points of failure.
  5. Dont chase Fish > Relax and build trust with the fish.

“Dont chase Fish > Relax and build trust with the fish.” – Travis Corken

“Travel as much as you can > You learn more” – Travis Corken

67:00 Get in touch with Travis here. Call him up and chat about the latest in bluewater spearfishing equipment, his personal experience with the new HECS wetsuit technology and take advantage of a limited time discount hes offering to Noob Spearo Podcast listeners. Travis said;

“I wanna be able to have somewhere where people can come and view our spearfishing gear before they purchase. In the warehouse we will have on display a 220kg blue marlin plus Jaga Crossingham’s 94kg Fiji record dogtooth tuna. The warehouse can be open at anytime as I live next door so after hours appointments are fine.

I can offer a %10 off discount to the first 20 NSP listeners across our range. They can enter code #neptonicsaus at checkout to receive this discount.
I appreciate all the support from taking over the business in the last 12 months and hope to offer my advice as a spear fisherman and build relationships with fellow spearos around Australia.”

You can get hold of Travis on 0422 309 405, he is based in Frederickton, NSW 2440 which is the gateway to south west rocks, hat head and crescent head.

Visit Neptonics Australia Online here


Travis Corken Neptonics AustraliaIf you enjoyed this interview please leave us a review on iTunes here! Thanks for listening.

NSP:021 Chris Coates, Spearfishing Guide, Writer, Photographer & More

NSP:021 Chris Coates, Spearfishing Guide, Writer, Photographer & More

Coatesman interview!

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Chris Coates is a born and bred South African currently traveling all over the place with spearfishing and formerly commercial diving. When he’s at home in South Africa he lives on the Dolphin Coast of KwaZulu Natal. You can find out more about Chris at Coatemans Spearfishing Safaris, where he takes people on guided trips to take down some of the best fish in the world. He’s also collaborating with some of the planets best spearo’s to develop a small groups spearfishing course.

In this interview….

We chat in depth about effective burley use. From tools and tricks to the crucial part – technique. With over 30 years experience and time in the water with some of the worlds best, Chris shares about everything from DIY flashers (watch a video about them here) to using noise to attract your preys interest and curiosity. Its not a secret that Turbo and I have been wanting to interview Chris since we started the show. Not only is he an authority in the spearfishing world but he’s also just a top bloke who you can share a laugh with no matter where you are at in your spearfishing journey.

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Noob Spearo is stoked to bring this interview to you in partnership with Adreno

Adreno Spearfishing

www.spearfishing.com.au for Rob Allen equipment and much moreFor all your Spearfishing equipment needs go to www.spearfishing.com.au or visit their stores in Brisbane and Sydney.

Use the code NOOBSPEARO to take advantage of this exclusive special. You get $20 off every purchase over $200, this is a discount code just for listeners of the Noob Spearo Podcast!

Check out Australia’s largest spearfishing range at Adreno Spearfishing Brisbane and Adreno Spearfishing Sydney or shop online


Coatesman Spearfishing and Underwater Photography

As mentioned in the interview here is the link to one of the best spearfishing blogs around.

Coatesman’s Spearfishing Safaris look phenomenal. Check out his Ascension Island Spearfishing Trips write-up and information package here. After listening into this interview and hearing Chris share some of his stories and tips you can see why he is one of the worlds most sought after spearfishing guides.

Chris takes underwater photography seriously and likes to share his spearfishing adventures with his mates and clients. Check out his Instagram and say hello to him here

Coatesmans Yellowfin Tuna Ascension Island trip here (well worth a watch!)

Chris is also a partner with Richard Leonard a former guest on the show and one of the most genuine fellas you will ever meet. They are partners in a well known spearfishing film and media company called In The Zone productions. Their work includes One Fish Legends, Mozam Magic (which we mention in the show), One Fish Going East and more, you can check them out here

Chris Coates Weightbelt Setup for Spearfishing

On the left; note the belt reel – you can use this when you are in danger of running out of line on your main speargun reel. The black strap (im pretty sure) is used to stop the weight belt from raising up your stomach when duckdiving – you slip it under your bum and clip it in. On the right Chris mentioned his carabena setup and central and within easy reach is his dive knife.

For fast navigation through Chris Coates interview, here are some major moments…

3:00 The interview kicks off with us asking Chris about his latest adventures in winter-time Qatar chasing Amberjack

4:00 Early beginnings, chasing crays & stinkies

6:00 Early obstacles, getting stuck at a certain depth due to limited opportunities shore diving

11:00 Mozam Magic, Chris shares about the Marlin he took during the filming of Mozam Magic

15:00 Favourite Spearfishing Hunting Technique – Noise!

19:00 Scary Moment in Sodwana, diving deep, boats, Whale Shark, fulva? (golden trevally), and a short floatline

30:00 Veterans Vault, Burley – a definitive guide on effective use. 43:00 DIY flasher some guidelines and ideas. Also mentioned Rob Allen Catch Bag for use with burley

46:00 Whats in Chris Coates Divebag?

53:00 Fast Five Facts For Noobs

A few more pictures of Chris and some of his memorable captures!

Chris Coates Narrow Barred Spanish Mackerel Spearfishing

Ascension Island Spearfishing Coatesmans Spearfishing Safaris

If you enjoyed this interview with Chris Coates check out some of these interviews!

NSP:019 Jaga Crossingham, Freedive Fiji Guide

NSP:019 Jaga Crossingham, Freedive Fiji Guide

Dogtooth Tuna & Wahoo chasing with Jaga Crossingham from Freedive Fiji

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Jaga Crossingham joins us over Skype from Fiji and shares his insights with us about planning and preparing for spearfishing charter trips. We also cover how to hunt Dogtooth Tuna and Wahoo and he has a tonne of great information.  Jaga is a spearfishing guide and charter operator with Freedive Fiji who has been guiding successful spearfishing trips in Fiji for over 6 years. You can follow Freedive Fiji on Facebook here and see some of the fantastic fish that their customers have caught.


Jaga Crossingham from Freedive Fiji


A bit about Freedive Fiji, Heather and Jaga Crossingham


Fiji  can boast that they have some of the best spearfishing locations in the world. With the expertise of Jaga Crossingham, his team and extended networks all over the islands around Fiji, spearos and game fisherman that book trips with Freedive fiji are positioning themselves to catch that fish of a lifetime.

On our first interview (we had some tech dramas) Jaga talked with us about how Freedive Fiji deliberately move around a large area in order to ensure there is no overfishing. With a lifetime spent in and around the water with 6+ years there in Fiji, Jaga has a huge respect and understanding for sustainable fishing practice. Freedive Fiji have undergone numerous trips to build relationships with local villages and secure access to some their nearby fishing grounds. Nearly all of the fish taken go to each of these villages which has helped to build strong relationships.

Noob Spearo is stoked to bring this interview to you in partnership with Adreno

Adreno Spearfishing

www.spearfishing.com.au for Rob Allen equipment and much more

For all your Spearfishing equipment needs go to www.spearfishing.com.au or visit their stores in Brisbane and Sydney.

Use the code NOOBSPEARO to take advantage of this exclusive special.

You get $20 off every purchase over $200, this is a discount code just for listeners of the Noob Spearo Podcast!

Check out Australia’s largest spearfishing range at Adreno Spearfishing Brisbane and Adreno Spearfishing Sydney or shop online

For fast navigation through Jaga Crossinghams interview;

1:00 Starting out on the Southern Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Early Mentor Simon Latter and chasing blackfish, bream, flathead and in the wash-holes – the much sought after Jewfish

4:00 First Memorable Fish, Jewfish and the mistake that came good in the end

5:00 Jagas Spearfishing Hunting Technique; Learning, understanding and applying the correct technique for a target species. He shares a fair bit about Wahoo spearfishing technique including the exhale dive

8:00 Scary Moment, getting a little too up close and personal with a 70kg sailfish. Facebook Photos available Here

10:00 Veterans Vault; Planning, preparing and making the most of a spearfishing charter trip. We talk equipment, communication, dogtooth tuna systems, liveaboard charters for 5+days and the kinds of fish you encounter while spearfishing in Fiji. Jaga encourages good preparation and asking questions early, he recommends booking 2+months in advance for the longer trips to work optimally with moon phases and weather. This is a good deep dive into planning a charter spearfishing trip.

20:00 Funny Story; the Sydney boys with the sex doll dogtooth tuna float

21:00 Fast Five Facts for Noobs

24:00 Crucial Kit for Noobs; Masks + How to De-Fog DIY video link here! Jaga also at our request takes us through his current personal spearfishing arsenal in warm water. Hatch Amero spearguns were mentioned as Jaga uses a 140 model with reel for lots of his spearfishing.

27:00 We ask Jaga for his list of Personal Bests and wow has he shot some epic fish!!

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Download Noob Spearo Podcast interviews on nearly all of these apps

If you are just starting your spearfishing journey and want to get some good guidance and experience in pristine conditions, Freedive Fiji can help you out as they are one of only a few charter operators that cater to the inexperienced. Just give Jaga a message on facebook here.

Here is some further information from their website “Freedive Fiji is more than just a regular charter operator. In addition to providing our guests with the very highest standards of service, we aim to make our dive trips educational, informative and fun. Our mission to focus on social and ethical responsibilities in our community is maintained by building lasting relationships with our customers, employees, and partners in the travel industry. Our guides have over 15 years experience so you can relax knowing that all your needs will be exceeded, your charter will run smoothly, and that the instruction from the training arm of Freedive Fiji is second to none.”

If you enjoyed this interview with Jaga then you will enjoy our interviews with Chris Coates and Dwayne Herbert, both prolific spearfishing hunters

Thank you for listening! Please consider leaving us a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to the Noob Spearo Podcast

How to Hunt Spanish Mackerel | A Spearfishing Guide

How to Hunt Spanish Mackerel | A Spearfishing Guide

How to Hunt Spanish Mackerel – A Spearfishing Guide

Spanish Mackerel or Scomboromorus Commerson is a highly targeted blue water species. They get big, they run hard and they taste good. What more could a spear fisherman ask for? Add to this  Spanish Mackerel can be accessed from the shore and nothing feels better than emerging from the ocean with a large pelagic fish draped over your shoulder as you make your way back to your car in front of stunned onlookers who will never judge your choice of camouflaged wetsuit again. But the best thing for the novice is Spanish Mackerel are not that difficult to shoot once you get a few basics under control and you don’t need a thousand dollar blue water cannon either.  So as part of our month of Mackerel I will explain my must do’s for finding and hunting  Spanish Mackerel. I’m sure there are a bunch more tactics and advice out there but these are the things I’ve picked up along the way, but as always please add your comments below.

Andrew Paige 36kg

Andrew Paige with a 36kg spaniard taken from the spot mentioned below with a 1.2m gun.


Spanish Mackerel are apex predators and love a bit of current or disturbance where they can find schools of baitfish to prey upon. This might be in the form of a bommie, a reef edge, sand channel or the point of a headland where the current is running. Let me explain how I came to realise this as a novice.

A few years ago as a noob I stumbled across a secret little spot  not more than 60m off the shore five minutes down the road from where I lived. This inconspicuous part of the coast unbeknownst to me had everything going for it to hold bulk Mackerel. It was a little rubbly rocky point that dropped into eight metres of water  sharply with two small bays either side that held coral and schools of yellow tail pike. To the front of the point was sand for about 50m with a bommie that protruded out of the sand sharply. At any time of the day an unremarkable piece of reef. However this place really turned it on when the tide turned. When the tide turned and started to run out there was a current that would sweep Northward along the coastline. The tide would channel in between the point and the Bommie causing the bait to get tired and move from the bays to the pressure wave of the bommie where the Mackerel would show up on masse and on some days que up behind the bommie picking off the bait fish. Over time it became all too predictable for my mate Paigey and I to determine when and where we could get a spaniard but as the simple individual it took me a while to realise what was making this spot work.


A 22kg fish taken from the same spot as Andrew’s 36kg monster two months later with a 1.2m rail gun.

2. Tides and the time of day

This brings me to the tide and time. In  my experience from shore diving for these fish it’s a case of the early bird gets the worm. I have had much more luck in the early hours of the morning or late afternoon however they can and will show up at any time. As mentioned earlier I have also found  that on shallow inshore reefs that the very top of the run out tide produced more fish for me. I will generally get in the water two hours before high tide and if the high tide falls around sun up you are in with a good chance of seeing Mackerel.

3. Burley and Flashers

These days we do a lot more boat diving and have found flashers and burley to be potent. Flashers worked midwater between a couple of divers works great and according to Rob Allen, flashers with small reflectors work better. In fact Rob says that during tests with large flashers they have noticed mackerel turning away early. Drifting with a flasher with a one up, one down method works great and you’ve got your buddy there for the second shot if needs be. Don’t dive right on the flasher but give the fish some room. Some divers say if the fish is cagey swim at the flasher he might just want to compete for it with you bringing him in range. Feigning a disinterest in fish can also spark their inquisitive nature and turning away from them might just be what the fish needs to come closer. Richard Pillans A.K.A  the mackerel whisperer recommends limiting the number of divers around the flasher as it can cause fish to spook.

We have noticed that burley from an oily fish works great at attracting mackerel to the scene and we often work it in with our flashers. An oily fish like mackerel itself can be cubed up with your dive knife and allowed to drift through the water column but be warned it can also attract sharks to the area.

4. Keep it slow and smooth

When diving keep it smooth, steady and controlled. That means everything from finning to tracking the gun. Fast jerking movements tend to spook fish and also burns oxygen limiting dive time.  Andrew Paige pictured above is a shore diving Mackerel specialist and is one of the slowest divers I have seen. He rarely uses flashers and burley but holds very still bottom time around bommies  and areas where he suspects are attractive to Mackerel allowing the fish to swim right up on him and the results speak for themselves.

5. Limit eye contact

Staring these fish down will make them nervous. How nervous? Well in the words of Australian Rugby player Nick Cummins “As nervous as a gypsy with a mortgage” That’s as bad as it gets and as they can move at close to the speed of light it’s best to keep them calm so you can get a decent shot off. Mackerel will also circle you so if you can’t get a shot away stay calm he might just come around again. Try keeping your head down and looking up through your mask to conceal your eyes. Predicting the path of the fish and extending the gun to where you think the fish will be is another tactic to reduce spooking the fish.

6. Get the shot right

One of the hardest things you can do when you see your first big Spaniard is to stay calm and wait for the fish to come into range so you can get a good holding shot on the fish. But it’s important for a couple of reasons. Obviously if the fish is shot poorly it can tear off and will die. Secondly a total miss will spook the fish. If the fish is out of range it’s best not to take a long shot as there is a good chance the fish will return if it isn’t spooked.

7. Learn the migrations

Portions of Spanish Mackerel populations take lengthy migrations along the coastline while others are  part of resident populations. For example the Spanish Mackerel found in South East Qld are believed to be migrating fish from populations further North so they can be seasonal.  So it’s important to  learn their migration habits, preferred sea temps so you know when to expect them. There is heaps of information out there on these fish from government bodies, fishing forums and of course spearfishing pages.

8. The gear (keep it simple)

I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this but I will say that you don’t need to spend a million dollars on gear to hunt mackerel. In fact if you look at the past five world records most were shot with simple 1.2m rail guns, another reason why this fish is a great first step into the world of pelagics for the novice. The common set up that most people start with is a 1.2m rail gun, 20m float line and an 11L float and it will do the job just fine.

9. The Blind Spot

If trailing a Mackerel there is a common Jedi mind trick that can be played on mackerel provided the force is strong in you. If you angle across the fish directly behind it into its blind spot the fish will change course slightly to the other way to get a good view of you. Do it again and the fish should turn harder presenting a broadside shot. Easy as that. To be honest I’ve never done it but I’ve heard everyone talk it up so I threw it in the mix.

10. A few added extras; Commotion, Surface action and Boats

All too often Spaniards are attracted to the sound of a gun being fired. Even if a fish hasn’t been shot Mackerel seem to show up. On more than one occasion I have capitalised on one of Shrek’s off shots and nailed a curious Mackerel. Also if Mackerel are in a school and one has been shot this can fire up the rest of the school and it may be possible for another diver to capitalise. Don’t believe me listen to our  Rob Allen interview where he talks about a 70kg fish that gets away.

Line fisherman particularly those that use surface poppers often target these fish by sight. A dead giveaway to potential mackerel are flocks of birds hovering and dive-bombing the surface of the water. Beneath the surface could be any number of pelagic species balling up schools of bait where they will attack the school on or near the surface. A giveaway that the school is Mackerel is a long slicing splash arc. Tuna and other species seem to have a shorter splash. Either way there are fish about. It is better to drift into range of the fish rather than steam into the school.

Jaime Mack

The fastest Man in the water Jamie Lough with a nice SE Queensland Spaniard. Note the 1.2m rail gun, float and line.


I read in an article about trolling for Spanish Mackerel a few years ago that the boat itself is a fish attracting device or FAD. This is why a set of trolled lures has the “short corner and transom position”. That is the lure trolled in close to the boat, in or near the wash of the prop. What does this mean for spearing Mackerel. Well sometimes, first in best dressed. On many occasions our mate Jaime Lough who can get in the water quicker than anyone I know gets the fish straight up in a minute or so. This doesn’t happen all the time but it does happen on occasion and has led the crew to sabotaging his equipment.

Wow I could just keep going but blogging doesn’t pay so I’m going to bed, How to fight and land a spanish Mackerel is coming up next.

For some more advice and stories about taking down Spanish Mackerel, have a listen to Rob Allen’s ‘Veterans Vault’ section in our interview with him. We talk tactics, flasher magic and the one that got away.
Rob Allen Interview

For More Spanish Mackerel hunting Tips check out Part 2 How to Fight and Land Spanish Mackerel

For an in depth look at spearfishing hunting techniques for blue water species check out Terry Maas’s book ‘Blue Water Hunting and Freediving’ here

Bluewater Spearfishing Hunting Techniques. Hunting Spanish Mackerel

NSP:015 Rob Allen, spearfishing equipment pioneer

NSP:015 Rob Allen, spearfishing equipment pioneer

Rob Allen Spearfishing Equipment Pioneer

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Joining us direct from the Dive Factory in Durban, South Africa – we interview a spearfishing equipment innovator who continues to bring some of the best gear onto the market. Rob Allen joins us to share about his 35 year + journey as a spearo and some of his hard won wisdom. With everything in this interview from gear development to hunting techniques for pelagic species, this is not a Noob Spearo episode you want to miss!

#Rob talks a little about whats under development there at the dive factory. One project Rob Allen and the team are spending considerable time, energy and resource on is an all new roller muzzle (not an open-muzzle as mentioned). They are still heavily in the development stage and will not release the roller muzzle until they are 100% satisfied with its performance and accuracy. 

We are stoked to bring this spearfishing interview to you in partnership with our major sponsors

Adreno Spearfishing

www.spearfishing.com.au for Rob Allen equipment and much more

Use the code NOOBSPEARO at checkout to save $20 on all purchases over $200!


Nautilus Spearfishing


Noob Spearo Podcast Sponsor Nautilus

Based in Miami, Florida USA,  Nautilus Spearfishing stock a comprehensive range of equipment including Rob Allen.

In this Interview with Rob Allen

In one of our best interviews yet, Rob Allen delivers information and facts that will help everyone from the budding Noob to the seasoned veteran spearo. Turbo and I were stoked to speak to the man behind some of the equipment that we use and love ourselves. This interview kicks off Noob Spearo’s ‘Month of Mackerel’ and Robs Veterans Vault is all about hunting one of his favored target species, the Narrow Barred Spanish Mackerel. This interview is relevant to all spearos wanting to take on these large, sleek and speedy predators that inhabit large parts of the worlds sub-tropical and tropical areas.

Rob Allen Spearfishing Equipment Pioneer

Rob Allen, Spearfishing Equipment Pioneer. Top, using his renown railgun, bottom left in the dive factory with his business partner Jeremy Williams, bottom right local competition sponsorship


Rob Allen Spearfishing King Mackerel

Rob Allen in his element. Using and testing some of the equipment that they design and manufacture right there in Durban, South Africa

For fast navigation through Rob Allen’s interview, here are some major moments

4:00 Rob’s early days getting started spearfishing

5:00 The Rob Allen Rail Gun origins + the trial and error mindset he took right from the start

10:00 Takeaways from ‘the one that got away’. Learning from failure – an essential spearo mindet

11:00 21 Mackerel over 20kg (45lb) in one month

12:00 Scariest moment + takeaways, losing divers and shallow water blackout (SWB)

14:00 Reel Gun Smart Systems for Safer Diving

16:00 Dive watches, reducing SWB, a bit about surface intervals and divers bodies

20:00 Veterans Vault – Pelagic Hunting (Mackerel), tips and tricks from a legend

  • Weather conditions and Moon Phase ideal for spearfishing
  • Hunting Techniques and Tips
  • Flashers + a neat trick for window shopping pelagics
  • Robs Personal Best Mackerel

28:00 Fast Five Facts for Noobs – five short pieces of advice for people getting starting spearfishing

32:00 Crucial Kit for Noobs – How scuba gear in freedive spearfishing fails to make the grade

33:00 Rob Allen spearfishing equipment developments; The process, testing, feedback, and an inside chat about the workings of the Dive Factory in Durban.

He talks about bringing a new machine to life and attempting to revolutionize the manufacture of carbon fibre speargun barrels.

Rob and his team have put together some excellent YouTube videos. Here is his channel link

Some of the most Popular Video guides include;

  • How To, comprehensive reelgun setup
  • How To, speargun bands DIY
  • Inside the factory, videos about CNC and 3D printing machines

You can find these videos and more in our Boatshed Spearfishing Section here

Check out the RA Spearfishing website here

Rob Allen Spearfishing hunting tips

Rob Allen offers up some awesome spearfishing hunting tips, tricks and information in the interview on Noob Spearo Podcast

For regular listeners of the Noob Spearo Podcast try downloading our interviews on your smartphone! (Guide here) There are smartphone podcast apps for IOS and Android – Subscribe and leave us a review!


Nautilus Spearfishing is based out of Miami, Florida. They stock their own brand of equipment including Wetsuits (womens spearfishing wetsuits too), Fins, Reels and everything else you would expect to find in a store as well regarded as Andrew Quincoses operation. Check Nautilus out here

If you are in the local area check out the brand new shop for a comprehensive range of high quality equipment including Rob Allen Spearfishing gear.

Nautilus Spearfishing Shop





Adreno Spearfishing supplies are expanding. Joining their well established Brisbane store is an all new Alexandria store in Sydney. Opening on the 12th of September (2015) this store will be a great addition to the Sydney Spearfishing community. Go in and meet Sam Cox and his helpful team for your spearfishing needs.

Check out Australia’s largest spearfishing range at Adreno Spearfishing Brisbane and Adreno Spearfishing Sydney or shop online. Use the code NOOBSPEARO to save $20 on all purchases over $200

Adreno Alexandria Store Sydney








If you enjoyed this interview you might like to check out our chat with Chris Coates here, another well regarded South African Spearfishing legend