Today’s interview is with Øystein Sundland from the Havkontoret Norwegian Spearfishing Podcast and we talk all things Norway spearfishing! If Norway wasn’t on your bucket list for spearfishing destinations, now it will be! Cold water, big fish, bigger sharks, night diving and some amazing scenery for when you surface, Norway is a semi-hidden gem in the spearfishing world! Hear some stories and get info from a local Norwegian spearo about the spearfishing in Norway, what gear you need and what fish you can expect to encounter. Øystein runs a Norwegian spearfishing podcast called Havkontoret, if you speak the language then here is an amazing resource for you! Have you been diving in Norway? Let us know your experience in the comments!
05:25 Welcome Øystein!
07:50 Tell us about the Havkontoret podcast and how you started spearfishing
11:45 What is the vision for your podcast?
13:30 Norwegian fish farms
17:15 What is the spearfishing scene in Norway like?
18:55 Dill and Scallop pasta
22:30 Halibut! What is it like hunting them?
27:40 Massive Monkfish on little Christmas eve: how to hunt and cook Monkfish
36:45 Your family has some freediving and fishing history
40:50 The spearo lifestyle
44:55 Hunting using the tidal currents
49:30 Keeping spearfishing spots secret
50:25 You have some awesome podcast guests – the Turbot King! And other fish species to hunt in Norway
Did you know that spearfishing almost became an Olympic sport? Spearfishing came close to being recognized as an Olympic sport in the 1960s, but unfortunately, it never actually happened.
Spears have been used for fishing since the stone age. Like anything else, freediving or spearfishing requires discipline and perseverance to get better at it.
Becoming a proficient spearo requires a great deal of training, practice, and experience. Another thing you need to master as a diver is your breathing. Proper breath hold is essential while remaining underwater.
This article offers tips on holding your breath longer when spearfishing and explains the benefits of proper breathing techniques for a spearo.
Proper breathing techniques are essential when free diving or spearfishing because they can affect your body’s physical performance if done incorrectly AND more importantly can kill you (hyperventilation directly causes shallow water blackout and is one the greatest risks to a spearo). Consistently practicing dry-training exercises can help you hold your breath longer while spearfishing.
If you want to know more about improving your breath-hold, check out freediving questions answered by Adam Stern. You can also read more below to learn tips on holding your breath longer.
Another primary concern for freedivers is dehydration. A freediver can be at risk of dehydration due to overactive sweat glands. These overactive sweat glands can make divers sweat profusely in a wetsuit. As a diver, it is crucial to stay hydrated before going underwater. We recommend Aqualyte, an Australian made product tailored for people who pursue high exertion/high dehydration activities like spearfishing. Noob Spearo are an affiliate for Aqualyte so the GOOD news is;
You get a discount! Use the code: NOOBSPEARO at checkout to save
Tips to Improve Your Breath-Hold
If you want to improve your breath-hold time, do it gradually. Be careful to avoid overdoing it, and proceed at a comfortable pace. Remember to relax and allow your breathing to return to normal (tidal breathing) if you feel dizzy.
Try these tips if you want to hold your breath longer than your usual.
1. Try practicing your breath-hold at home.
You can practice breath-hold dives in your own home by practicing dry training. This training allows you to practice freediving breath-hold from the comfort of your home.
You can practice the three parts of a breath-hold dive while lying in bed or on your sofa. Learn how to practice full breaths, breath-up (cadenced breathing), and recovery (hook) breathing.
2. Exercise regularly to improve your cardiovascular fitness.
Remember that the lungs are an air tank and can only hold so much air. Although your lung capacity is determined by genetics (and how flexible your rib cage is), you can increase it through cardiovascular training.
Cardiovascular exercises are the best way to improve your overall fitness. By practicing some exercises while holding your breath (think safety!), you will develop the ability to hold your breath longer and improve efficiency. Prolonged cardio exercise can help you build lung capacity.
3. You can hire a coach or a professional instructor.
If you are interested in freediving, look for a local training center and check out their courses. When you learn freediving, not only will you be able to enjoy the sport yourself, but you’ll also be part of a community of active freedivers.
Freediving is a lifestyle and an enjoyable sport. Investing in an excellent coach is key to becoming the best freediver you can be.
Importance of Proper Breathing Techniques When Diving
Our lungs have an incredible ability to adapt during exercise. When the need for oxygen rises, our lungs expand and take in more.
Breathing training can teach you to take in more and if you practice O2 exercises, you can extend your hypoxic threshold and make your body use oxygen more efficiently.
Blood oxygenation happens when oxygen enters your body during inhalation and is carried by the blood to every part of your vital system.
When oxygen gets into your bloodstream, it travels to cells all over your system to create energy and sustain your body. Proper breathing techniques are not only important for swimming or diving but also for everyday life.
Muscles need oxygen whenever physical activity is involved, so we tend to breathe heavily and rapidly when running or walking. This is caused by increased CO2. Your tolerance to CO2 can also be improved with training and you can learn to understand the urge to breathe in your own body through training.
Another benefit from proper breathing techniques is that it can help you release tension when exhaling while swimming. This release helps you swim more efficiently and conserve energy, making every stroke count. When you resurface after a dive and have finished recovery breathing, allow your body to return to normative breathing – we call this tidal breathing. Your breathing should be easy and relaxed, exhale away any tension and enjoy the benefits on your next dive.
As you can see, breath control and understanding is important and beneficial for spearfishing. It is one of the most basic things you can focus on to improve your proficiency for spearfishing.
However, always remember that mastering your breathing techniques requires time and dedication. Don’t be in a huge rush just to improve your breath-hold, learn to hunt with whatever your capability is now and enjoy the journey.
Be patient and work persistently. It may take you years to master proper breath control and relaxation, but what you learn during your training can make a big difference in your spearfishing journey.
Today’s interview is with Adam Sellars from The Pressure Project! Freediving instructor, spearo and all round legend Adam Sellars joins us to chat about the instructor side of freediving courses and how he teaches and trains new and already experienced divers to be safer and more effective. He had a natural talent and excelled at freediving deep, far deeper and earlier than he should have! These ‘mistakes’ taught him valuable lessons that he can now share and teach to his students. Hear about freediving in the Kilsby Sinkhole, how to convince your friends or partner to go spearfishing with you and some banter from the 2 legends, Shrek and Adam!
Today’s interview is with Francisco Loffredi from Rio De Janeiro! A life time in the water and a culture that celebrates spearfishing has shaped Francisco and the way he dives today, from his early days being a commercial spearfisherman to his development into competition and trophy spearfishing, we chat about the reasons that he’s changed his approach, how competition and sport fishing can actually help keep the sea healthy and some of the hilarious stories he’s had a long the way! An absolute legend with the consistent spearfishing performance to back it up, you are going to learn a lot from him! If you speak Portuguese then check out his podcast: Sangue No Convés! We chat everything from diving super deep to spearfishing super shallow, how to land big fish and the in’s and out’s of commercial spearfishing. Thanks for being on the show mate!
08:45 Welcome Francisco from Brazil!
10:15 Tell us about spearfishing in Rio de Janeiro
12:35 Trophy spearfishing and your approach to spearfishing
14:30 Shooting from the hip, being prepared when the opportunity arrives.
16:50 Headshots and penetration – how and when to perform a proper headshot
25:05 What are the prevailing currents?
27:00 Spearfishing deeper than 30m
32:40 Hunting extremely shallow
34:20 Cheating and nefarious behavior for competitions
29:55 Spearfishing and diving with your son
39:40 What is the Rio spearfishing culture?
41:30 Confronting the spearfishing ignorance in the public: facts vs narrative
46:55 Debating anti-fishing people, sport fishing could be the answer
52:15 Seaspiracy review
54:05 Cagarras marine park
57:55 Most fish are good to eat, tell the story of fishing
01:00:40 Hired by a top restaurant in Rio
01:06:30 Seafood is a huge passion for you, what are some memorable recipes?
01:13:45 Your favourite species to hunt and how to hunt Grouper
01:16:35 Do you have problems with sharks in Rio?
01:18:40 Tough or scary situation
01:24:00 What dive gear is in your bag? Tell us about your Cressi gear!
01:28:45 What other Brazilian dive gear do you use?
Today’s interview is with Keiren Limpus & Our Crew over on North Stradbroke Island for the inaugural 3 day spearfishing and freediving course! Shrek, Keiren & 8 other Noob Spearos spent the weekend right on the seaside to learn how to spearfish, get their PADI requirements and get fully immersed in the spearfishing lifestyle with likeminded people! Hear the guys thoughts and experiences from the weekend and how it has affected their spearfishing, taking theory and putting it into practice – right off the back garden! With fresh inspiration from 99 Spearo Recipes, we ate well! Thanks to everyone that joined us and made this possible!
Interview with Ben Dunford, Richard Gomes & Anthony Fraser
Today’s interview is with Ben Dunford, Richard Gomes & Anthony Fraser of the Spearo Hangout Podcast in the UK! If you’re a spearo in the UK, you need to listen to this podcast! The Spearo Hangout is a UK spearfishing podcast where you can find out everything you need to know about UK spearing and some of the awesome stories they have along the way! We chat about spearfishing competitions, targeting specific fish, staying warm and the dive conditions in the UK! Thanks Ben, Richard and Anthony – 3 legends making the most out of the UK spearfishing community!
08:15 Crikey! Welcome Ben, Richard and Anthony!
10:00 You have some absolute legends on your podcast
11:30 How did you guys start a spearfishing podcast?
15:45 Anthony: the punching bag of the podcast!
21:50 Ben, tell us about your spearfishing competitions!
23:40 Criticism for spearfishing competitions
26:40 Buying your first spearfishing gear
33:25 You guys had a good end to spearfishing in 2022
36:50 Competition ethics and fishery pressure
43:05 Why is commercial fishing so disliked in the UK?
51:50 Let’s talk cooking! Salt and vinegar chippies and crumbed fish nuggets
56:20 How do you cook Mullet?
01:00:10 Filleting small fish
01:06:20 What’s your proudest hunt/catch so far?
01:10:35 Wetsuits and staying warm
01:13:45 Memorable fish and cheeky dive buddies
01:23:40 Scary stuff: 3 biggest risks in UK Spearfishing
Today’s interview is with Ben Hohnke, founder of Hohnke Outdoors! A frothing spearo and land-based hunter with an entrepreneurial mind, listen in on his journey through spearfishing from being an absolute Noob Spearo to now. He has several recipes in our 99 Spearo Recipes book and has created some amazing spice rubs that you can order for seafood, white meat and red meat or game. We have a good chat about taking “trash” fish, better ways to harvest abalone and have a good discussion about the influential spearos that helped Ben improve to the spearo he is today, as well as the concept of “Gatekeepers” and the role they play in new divers getting into the sport. Go visit HohnkeOutdoors.com and see the awesome products they have and go subscribe to their Youtube channel as well!
01:30 Old Man Blue voice message
Welcome Ben Hohnke from Hohnke Outdoors! Who are you and where do you come from?
11:05 Where did you grow up and start spearfishing?
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Today’s interview is with Wally Galli! An ex-South African, owner of GT Diving and Marine living in Port Hedland, he tells us the stories about meeting future legends like Rob Allen, some memorable dive trips he done over the years like St. Lucia and a bit on his part of helping Robbie Peck when he got attacked by that Bull Shark. We also hear about some of the history of the NW Spearfishing Club, how he helps get new spearos started, spearfishing competitions and making diving and spearing his business. Wally is unable to hide the passion in his voice when he speaks about diving and spearing, if you’re ever in the area make sure you pay him and his shop a visit!
06:35 Welcome Wally Galli! Where did you grow up?
08:10 St. Lucia spearfishing
09:50 Do you miss South Africa? Meeting Rob Allen
11:10 Rammed by a Great White
14:25 Tell us about your shop: GT Diving!
15:35 Helping Robbie Peck after he got attacked by a shark
18:15 The shark attack seems to have made business quiet
20:35 The coldest Spring into Summer in Port Hedland
22:30 Port Hedland spearfishing and the NW Spearfishing Club + competitions
25:55 I am a complete noob and I walk into your shop: what do you do to get me started?
28:00 There’s always a spot on my boat, just bring your dive gear and we split the fuel between everyone
33:30 Taking on and teaching Noob Spearos
35:50 Everyone needs to know how to operate the boat
39:00 Carbon vs plastic fins
41:05 Support your local dive shop!
43:00 Where can people find GT Diving?
47:10 Thank you for taking time to be on the show!
Today’s interview is with Robbie Peck, survivor of a 3m Bull Shark attack off Port Hedland! On a day with a few unusual things lining up, Robbie was retrieving a fish off the bottom when he got smashed by a 3m Bull Shark! What followed was a harrowing story with some excellent dive buddies who undoubtedly saved Robbie’s arm and life! We chat in detail about the attack, the swim back up to the surface, the boat ride back to port and doing it all with his 4 year old son there with him! Robbie’s response and attitude after this is undoubtedly going to help save someone else’s life somewhere down the road. We also chat about diving around Port Hedland and even talk about some recipes!
Here’s a story that we can all take something out of! Where’s your first aid kit?
08:55 Welcome Robbie Peck, survivor of a 3m Bull Shark attack!
09:30 Tell us about Port Hedland
12:00 So you’re a Kiwi? When did you move?
13:20 What was the experience of being attacked like?
18:10 Unusually aggressive behaviour by the shark
21:00 What did you do in response? Immediate first aid.
23:05 Literally the one day that you took the tourniquet off the boat!
25:00 The trip back to land
26:45 Surviving for my family and being in this situation with my 4 year old son
30:15 What happened when you got back to the boat ramp?
37:55 Why do shark attacks get so much media attention?
40:40 4 things that were different on the day
44:00 Sharks learn fishing and spearo behaviour
45:05 What did the shark do after it bit you?
47:20 Bite Club and chatting with fellow survivor Rick Bettua
49:30 “I knew the risks going into their domain” – open this can of worms!
53:30 Artificial reefs and the benefits they bring
59:00 Will you go back to spearfishing?
01:03:40 Not having a tourniquet actually saved my arm
This recipe comes from David Kirkpatrick a man famous for saying (and I quote), “I’m just a guy frying up some squid”. David has spent considerable time chasing Squid in Melbourne and now Western Australia. One tip for hunting squid while spearfishing is to dive bomb them. The alternative style of approaching from on the same level can be difficult. They are also susceptible to coming in to inspect their speared colleagues, so leave your prey to dangle and your mate may take one for himself. Enjoy Davids Peri Peri squid recipe – it looks the goods!
Today’s interview is with Adam Stern and Ben, Max & Don from Spearo Kids NZ! Adam Stern is back again, spontaneously laughing and giving us some awesome new info coming out of the freediving world., Spearfishing’s effect on personality, physiology, your mental and emotional state and even your bloodwork can be profound! Next up we have a catch up with Ben, Max and Don: The SpearoKids NZ crew! We chat about some of there highlights since last speaking to them, new PB fish and the latest from their competition careers!
The last episode for 2022, it’s been a massive year! Here’s looking to an even bigger one next year! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year spearos!
Here is a mint recipe from my youngest brother Joash in New Zealand. Pāua is a special treat for most kiwis and so people usually have their own go-to recipe for making the most of them. If done wrong, Pāua can be tough as a gumboot so if you want to get it right and avoid this, follow a recipe (or method for tenderizing) that works for you. – Shrek
Serves: 3 people
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Above left: Pāua shell (image:stuff.co.nz). Below left: Pāua or Abalone attached to rock (image: New Zealand Geographic). Right ingredients for Curried Pāua Recipe
Today’s interview is with Bert and Joel as we round off our WA trip. More great fish but this time with a lot more sharks! We had such a good day out spearing, everyone landing great fish and Joel and Shrek checking off new and target species. They put some new Old Man Blue gear to the test, trying out their impressive new prototype weight vest! Some sad and scary stories of knots letting you down, getting taxed and hurting some innocent gear. What a great trip with Joel, Bert and Rory! Will they ever find the lube?? Have a listen to find out! Also, a massive thanks to @Deryck.Gyotaku for his amazing print of Shrek’s Baldchin Groper!
Today’s interview is with Bert, Joel and Rory! Crystal clear water and some A-grade diving is in order for today as Bert, Joel and Rory show Shrek around the picturesque WA water near Exmouth! Shooting fish and eating it an hour later, finding huge crays in familiar structure, dealing with sharks and good stories from day 2 of our WA trip!
Today’s interview is with Bert Keulder and Joel Roberts around the fire, having a few brews and chatting about spearfishing! These are the moments where life makes sense, out on the beach around a fire with good mates and great conversation. Listen in and hear about our day and Shrek’s first experiences in the WA ocean! Beach launching boats, Estuary Cods, crayfish diving and so much in between! This is just day 1!
04:50 Welcome to the campfire with Bert and Joel!
07:40 Big GT moment
11:05 Spearos are a type of person
13:15 Welcome Joel!
14:20 Day 1: WA conditions
16:30 Beach launches
23:30 Spearo boats
26:20 Bert loves putting people on fish
31:25 Spearfishing brings a sparkle to your eyes
37:00 Kite surfing when it’s windy
40:50 Crayfish diving!
45:45 Estuary Cod can be divisive!
49:55 We had a great day, tomorrow will hopefully be better!
Today’s interview is with Vin Rushworth! Captaining a research vessel for Fisheries in WA, records keeper for the AUF and an inanely talented spearo, here is a diver with a lot to learn from! He has years of experience in the water on the more scientific side of things, giving him a really good insight into the fish species around him. Shooting massive fish, submitting a record fish, tagging and taxidermy, this one is stocked full of actionable info! A few technical glitches but overall a great chat!
05:40 Welcome Vin! Tell us about AUF record keeping!
07:50 What is a species that has surprised you and how do you tell the age of fish?
09:10 Spearfishing records: how do I submit a record fish?
14:05 Identifying fish
16:50 What do you need to do when you shoot a record fish?
19:00 Rising sea temperatures bringing in different species
22:40 What gear do you use to hunt big fish? Floatlines and reels
24:55 Eating quality of a big Cobia?
26:55 How did you cook your Cobia?
30:10 Preparing for the Inter-Pacific Spearfishing Competition
32:50 Hunting and cooking Baldchin Groper
34:15 Boating fails, anchoring rules of thumb and boat lights
38:10 Tagging fish, crays, whales, sharks and etc!
42:40 Dealing with the risks of shark attack: warning signs
49:45 Scary stuff: cave diving for crays
59:10 Buddy diving system and new divers
01:02:10 Funny stories!
01:04:50 Dead battery! Fish taxidermy
01:10:50 What dive gear do you use?
How to taxidermy a fish skull (by Vin Rushworth):
1. Flesh removal
Over cooking the bones when getting the flesh off seems to lock the yellow of the oil in more. The more you manually clean up or macerate off in water the better the end result seems to be. I prefer a very light boil to baking. Pros use KOH. Take heaps of photos as you pull it apart for reference on reassembly.
When I originally read up on it everything said to use dawn dishwashing detergent as the degreaser. It is excellent at removing grease and oil but also gentle. It gets used on birds after oil spills etc. You can’t buy Dawn in Australia but apparently it is sold as the brand “Fairy” and is the exact same. I have used the lemon coloured one successfully. I put the cleaned up jaw/skull in a bucket of warm water with a heap of fairy and leave it to soak. I check it once a week and swap the liquid out if it is cloudy or smelly. I gave the last one over a month. Some pros use acetone, MEK or unleaded but these all have their complications for the hobby taxidermist.
Do not use bleach! I use peroxide to whiten the bones before assembly. You can get it in bulk from large pool stores or chemical suppliers for not too much. Don’t leave it in the concentrate to long as it is harsh on the fine bones. Monitor closely and transfer into water
I use a combination of superglue and hot glue gun and depending on the join occasionally some hidden wire. To make the posture and angle right place, you can use the hot glue, then after you’re finished easily remove the ugly excess. The photos you took at the start will make your life a lot easier here.
Today’s interview is with Barry Paxman! The legend himself, the creator of Aussie Reels, he’s been spearfishing for 60 years and has some epic stories to share from his time out in the water. From some scary shark stories to the thrill of hunting Wahoo and even the story behind his iconic mask, this will be a good listen! This interview is stuffed full of Noob Spearo community questions, get valuable knowledge and wisdom from a spearo that’s been at it for 6 decades and still going strong!
06:40 Welcome Barry! You’ve been spearing for 65 years!
08:00 Diving in dirty water and dealing with shark attacks, first aid and shark populations
17:40 Noob Spearo community questions: how do you deal with buck fever?
21:00 How do you get back in the water after a forced break?
23:30 Your iconic mask!
26:35 What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in spearing?
29:25 You have a particular love for hunting Wahoo
37:35 Tell us the story of your Aussie Reels
43:30 What gear did you start out with?
47:30 Weight belts
49:00 Tangled in shooting line
50:25 How do you subdue a big fish?
52:50 Trigger discipline and rubber band choice
56:40 Muzzle wrap
57:50 Belt reels
01:00:55 What do you do when you get to the end of your reel line?
01:02:40 Shooting a Marlin
01:04:30 What is your favourite piece of gear and what all is in your dive bag?
01:06:40 Do you use a cray bag like a SeaSac? Tell us about your crayfish species
01:09:00 How do you cook your crays?
01:12:15 Baldchin Groper and Parrot fish
01:14:25 How do you keep the stoke alive for 60 years? What does your dive crew look like?
01:16:00 Family spearfishing
01:18:45 Spearfishing role models
01:21:10 Building a boat
01:23:40 WA people like driving long distances, do you like boating long distance too?
Today’s interview is with 2022 Australian Spearfishing Champions Bryson Sheehy and Tim McDonald! Get an inside look into a national spearfishing competition from the winners of this year’s championship! The allure of competition spearfishing is captured well by their thoughts here, the appeal of planning and executing the perfect day and making some awesome memories! Listen to stories from the 3 day event and some of the memorable fish they encountered before and during the competition. They also give us some of their top tips for scouting, finding new ground and hunting efficiently for a competition – shooting fish on the way to and from spots! Some mega diving here, enjoy it! We hope this inspires you to enter a spearfishing competition!
02:50 Welcome Bryson and Tim: the 2022 Australian Spearfishing Champions!
03:50 When did you decide to enter?
05:40 Team mate mentality and competition rules
09:30 Hunting the Maori Sea Perch
10:20 Why we love spearfishing competitions
13:20 Day 1: Fitzroy Lagoon
16:20 What did you get on day 1?
20:10 Hunting massive Red Mouth Rock Cod in dark caves
22:50 Planning and strategy
27:05 Mental approach to diving
35:15 What makes your team click?
41:00 Understanding fish behaviour
44:15 Why do you love competition spearfishing?
45:35 Tips on exploring new ground
47:40 Time management: things to consider
55:50 Scouting: to shoot or not to shoot
58:50 Diet and warm up tips for competition days. Dealing with cramp.
01:01:05 If I can’t equalize – I am dehydrated.
01:07:10 Day 2: Lamont Reef – shooting fish while swimming to spots
01:08:40 Finning hard and diving strong: how?
01:13:10 How to dive quietly and hunting in the shallows: don’t break the surface
01:18:25 Day 3: when do you feel fatigue?
01:22:30 The fish of a lifetime that got away
01:26:10 You both love your Riffe spearguns
01:28:50 Massive dives getting awesome fish
01:30:25 Searching for the massive Maori Sea Perch
01:33:45 What was it like finding out you won?
01:385:35 You two like the pairs competition format
01:42:10 How do you feel about the next generation of spearos and divers?
01:45:40 Social competitions at clubs
01:48:50 Extra things we forgot!
01:51:45 It was a massive team effort!
01:54:50 Shooting 3 Striped Boarfish with Daniel Mann
Today’s interview is with Josh Halley aka @Souls_Untapped from the Shetland Islands! Describing your dive spots as “Sub-Arctic” doesn’t always spur the most enthusiasm, especially from those used to tropical waters! Josh makes it obvious that braving the cold IS worth it! An almost unheard of spearfishing destination, The Shetland Island’s form an archipelago well north of Scotland and make for some beautiful diving when conditions work out. Get an inside scoop on life and spearfishing from The Shetland Island’s with Josh, aka @Souls_Untapped!
Today’s LIVE interview is with Daniel Mann and we are cooking seafood at Adreno Brisbane! Join us for tips and tricks from Daniel as we process, cook and eat some amazing fish! From carpaccio, ceviche with a mystery species to reverse butterflying and BBQing fish! This is the audio of the night, the video does it far more justice. We will post that as soon as it’s ready! Sit back, relax and get hungry with us as we get a seafood cooking masterclass from a legendary spearo and chef!
Live Interview with Ben Eckert, Adriana Barnes & Trevor Ketchion at Adreno Brisbane
Today’s interview is live from Adreno Brisbane and is with Ben Eckert, Adriana Barnes & Trevor Ketchion and we talk all things freediving safety as it relates to spearfishing! Today we get a masterclass from 3 people with a wealth of knowledge and are horribly overqualified on this subject. Staying safe in the water, how to be a good boaty and keep your buddies safe. What should be inside your first aid kit? Should you contact your local coast guard or sea rescue when you go out? Tips on how to stop bleeding, keep your buddies safe and save your friend’s life. An essential set of skills, leave any questions you have in the comments!
04:50 Hello and welcome to the show!
05:40 Welcome Ben! You are quite an accomplished freediver!
Live Interview with Michael Heitzmann & Ben Eckert
Today’s live interview is with Michael Heitzmann & Ben Eckert of the Brisbane Bullsharks! We talk all things Brisbane spearfishing, gear and training! Both are extremely talented divers in their own right, tonight we host a live interview and Q&A at the Brisbane Bullsharks pool! Loads of info about Brisbane spearfishing, spearing Kingfish, choosing and using gear, dealing with sharks, finding spots and so much more! Which speargun should you get? What’s the best way to load it? How do you handle it underwater? Another in our series of live interviews, we hope you enjoy it and hope you learned something! If you have any more questions for Shrek, Michael or Ben, put them in the comments!
Today’s live interview is with James Sakker and we go through the top 20 spearfishing YouTube channels as voted by the Noob Spearo Community on Facebook! Spearos get to see the world through a very unique lense and sometimes they bring a camera along with them so we can join them on their adventures. Although hugely underrated and underexposed, these spearos have made some amazing videos, some that can compete with professional filmmakers! So here is us getting all these names together so you can watch them!
Today’s episode is a full video, so be sure to check it out on YouTube if you have only listened!
Today’s live interview is with Captain Aaron Young, aka @KeyWestWaterman and @DibsOnBottom_Adventures and Youtube and Instagram! You probably know him from his amazing Youtube videos from out in the Florida Keys, he joins us to talk all about his home, spearing, running charters and getting Noob Spearos into the water! Great info for targeting and eating Wahoo, how to brain and bleed fish, dealing with sharks and line management. If you find yourself in Florida, pay him a visit and get out spearing with him! www.dibsonbottomkeywest.com
03:45 Welcome Captain Aaron Young!
04:40 What are the Florida Keys?
06:40 Living in Mangroves
08:25 How did you get into the business?
09:50 Commercial spearfishing and fisheries management in Florida
12:15 Tell us about your charters! Where did Dibs On Bottom come from?
17:00 Mangrove and Cubera Snapper
18:00 ID fish, how to identify fish in a new place
23:35 Common advice for Noob Spearos
26:10 Teaching and instructing
29:05 How long does it take to become a competent water-person?
31:50 Spearo licence
35:00 Wahoo! Tell us about it!
38:00 Wahoo recipe
40:35 How do you target Wahoo?
45:50 How do you deal with sharks?
49:00 How to kill a fish: how do you brain a fish?
This is a quick (1 min) story from a member of the Noob Spearo Community. Certainly gives you some ideas about working as a Police Diver!– Shrek
Hi mate, I’ve been meaning to send these to you for ages. This will make me the undisputed poo story king!
I was a member of the AFP’s Police Dive Squad for about 7 years back in the late 90s to mid 2000s. These pics are of me looking for a sawn off shot gun that had been used in an armed hold up. The crooks drove past a sewerage treatment plant and the Detectives thought the gun might have been thrown in one of the settling ponds.
I was on overtime, so I had to take one for the team! That said, the air was a lot cleaner and smelt a lot better inside the suit than it did for the boys watching!
I was wearing a chem suit which bloody filled up with air and from memory, I had to wear 40-50 pounds of lead to get me to the bottom. It was so viscous that fins were pointless. I just had to drag myself along the bottom doing arc searches.
The saying I was up to my neck in shit doesn’t do it justice. I was literally in deep shit! 6 meters deep!
Shrek “What a cool gig – besides the pooventures of course. Dead bodies decomposing would be rough too I guess?”
Body recoveries were the downside to the job and unfortunately, I was involved with a few. Almost all our diving was in zero visibility and the adrenaline pump you get when you find the body in that environment (by feel!) is something I never want to experience again.
Fortunately, we never had to recover one that had decomposed too much. Unless a body is weighed down well, the gasses that generate inside as decomposition starts, floats them to the surface within a matter of days. The warmer the water, the quicker the process. Divers aren’t usually required once they are on the surface. Water Police take care of that (or they did back in my day).
Today we celebrate a huge milestone: episode 200! We contacted a bunch of old guests to see where they were now and how their spearfishing has progressed, what they’ve learned since and what’s new in their lives since they were on the show. Who would have guessed a small spearfishing podcast would have reached this point – over a million downloads, thousands of followers and a huge vibrant community of like minded people who all love spearfishing! Here’s to keeping the stoke alive for the next 200 episodes and beyond!
Today’s live interview is with Gunther Pfrengle at Adreno Sydney! An absolute legend in the spearing community, spearfishing for almost 5 decades now, he has had more than his fair share of action out in and on the water. From spearing a 282kg tuna on camera to powerboat records going full steam in thick fog, dealing with sharks to competing in the deepest ever spearfishing competition in Greece, Gunther has had a few exciting experiences! Learn what drove him to get into the water and what kept him there for all these years. Pranger vs flopper, dual weight systems, competition spearing stories and tips and so much more. Have a listen and let us know what you think!
03:50 Welcome Gunther, your reputation proceeds you!
04:50 Growing up in Bundeena
05:25 Early start in the water
07:30 Starting competition spearfishing 1973 and being in a club
11:00 Reality of commercial abalone diving
15:00 Scary story and how spearfishing saved 2 lives
20:30 Sydney to Hobart powerboat record
22:20 Full throttle through thick fog!
24:50 Underwater vertigo and blackouts: what is it like going to the edge?
26:30 How do you draw the line? When is too deep?
28:50 Tragedy strikes and close calls in the early freediving competitions
33:20 Freediving vs spearfishing: Adrenaline changes the game
40:00 The value of competition diving
43:25 Shrek is your partner for his first ever spearfishing competition: what does he need to know?
45:13 Using 2 weight-belts: a harness and a weightbelt
47:10 Where do you attach a dive knife?
49:10 What is your strategy for competition scoring? What do you target first and where do you go first?
53:50 Code brown stories
55:15 Spearo community and friends: what makes a good dive buddy?
56:25 Floats and flags
58:35 What is in your gear bag? Pranger vs flopper
Today’s interview is with 6 of the Central Coast Sealions! Several ex-presidents, the current president and a bunch of super stoked spearos join Cam and Shrek as they chat all things Central Coast diving and how being involved in a club has made a huge difference. Get an window into the inner workings of a spearfishing club from the guys that do it, organising comps to getting noob spearos into the water to being a good boaty, today’s conversation is an interesting one! Tips for diving the headlands, predicting weather conditions, being a good boaty, how to disguise your photos to hide the location and some hilarious stories from the guys who’ve been diving out there. Lots of laughter and some really actionable info, let us know what you think in the comments!
Today’s interview is with Simon Horvath! If nothing else, this episode will convince you to join a spearfishing club! The wealth of knowledge, opportunities and lessons you get through being in a club is a sure way to get better at spearfishing and have a great time doing it. A club will help get you through that first year, teach you things you would have otherwise taken years to learn and ultimately make you a better diver. Another important benefit is being connected to the voice of spearfishing in your area. With so many stories about new protected areas essentially making spearfishing inaccessible and illegal, having a connection your local government to have your voice heard as a spearfisherman is extremely important. Simon has been playing this role for the Central Coast spearos and been a voice for fisho’s and spearos alike.
Go find out about your local clubs and join! If there are none, consider starting one yourself!
03:45 We are midway through our journey, today we make a visit to Simon Horvath!
04:25 Lovely rainy weather
05:10 Central Coast Sealions spearfishing club
07:15 Hawkesbury almost lost 90% of their fishing
10:05 Spearfishing makes you acutely aware of your environment
Today’s interview is James Sakker! It’s day 3 of Shrek and Cam’s East Australian Coast trip and they are chatting with James Sakker! Whales and sharks become a big talking point with loads of stories of encounters and tips for dealing with them yourself. Also some bonus tips for hunting Mackerel and drift diving! Lots of laughter and great stories!
06:55 No lobsters were harmed in the making of this podcast!
07:50 Day 3 on our mission
09:30 You picked an amazing time to come, not
10:55 Big whales and a baby whale
14:25 Tail slapped by a whale
15:40 Scariest whale story
17:40 Diving with Dodgy and a Bull shark!
22:10 Cam’s shark encounter
25:15 How should you handle sharks when you shoot a fish? Keep eye contact, roar or make a loud noise underwater. You’re big, be aggressive. Except Bull sharks.
30:40 Sharks have strict hierarchies, especially Great Whites. A smart shark is a cautious one.
32:10 Encounters with aggressive sharks
35:00 Poking sharks away and a mate getting bitten
41:10 Tagging Great Whites
42:40 Great Whites throughout the world
44:45 Is it blood or movement that attracts sharks?
46:20 Alternatives to poking
48:15 Thoughts on the swimmer taken in Sydney, very unusual behaviour
50:30 Tiger sharks and Dogtooth Tuna
54:20 What is your diving range at home?
56:25 Drift diving = accuracy matters more than time
*a quick caveat from Shrek: Freediving and Spearfishing can be highly complimentary however knowing how they are different is essential so that you can spearfish safely. Freediving is holding your breath in controlled environments with close supervision. Spearfishing is most often done in the wild where your only safety device is your buddy. Because of this, freediving one time to a specific depth in a controlled environment does not correlate to spearfishing. You should not spear anywhere near your physical capabilities so that you always have a margin of safety. Fatigue and sustained diving all day also need to be factored into safe diving as well. Having said all this, freediving courses offer very practical benefits for spearos such as; how to conduct a rescue, streamlining, equalization, understanding of physiology and more. Just don’t expect or try to emulate performance freediving while you are spearfishing. The journey to greater depths takes time, experience, wisdom and opportunity with attentive dive buddies. There is no rush!
Whilst Kilsby is a spectacular place to dive for its crystal clear fresh water, it does have a limited feasible diving depth – unless you want to tech dive with the right equipment into the caves. Not recommended for a Freediving novice.
However, at the end of our course a few of us went on a secret mission to really test our newly acquired skills.
During this particular descent I was committed to only two things and neither included a ‘depth’.
The first: Can I equalise? The second: Am I comfortable? If the answer to both was yes, then I’d keep going, but if anything felt wrong then it was time to abort and turn back.
Well, after a significant ‘breath up’ and the support of some extremely capable and experienced friends, off I went, trying to make everything as streamlined as possible, finning efficiently and not looking down.
The next part was the hardest, trying to stay relaxed, ‘without’ trying to stay relaxed, because the more you think about it, the more instinct kicks in and logic says why the hell are you doing this? Turn back! It’s highly counter-intuitive.
Before I knew it, with all the above in mind and the consolidation of a week’s worth of very deliberate practice under significant professional supervision (read: don’t try this at home), I was hitting the point of becoming negatively buoyant: where you no longer have to kick to force yourself down. You’re so deep that the weight on your belt is now pulling you towards the bottom and you’re not going to float. You’re sinking… sinking, equalising, trying to relax without trying to relax.
It’s getting colder, darker and the line that you’re attached to with a wrist band is starting to ‘wizz’ as you pick up speed.
Everything is going well but it’s colder, darker and the wizz is becoming louder, but so are your thoughts, much louder… should I be getting to the bottom soon? What if I’m going too quickly? Do I have enough oxygen to get back up?
Shit… Equalise… Relax… Ah! Look down!
Can I see the weight attached to the bottom of the line? This hole in the middle of a paddock in the middle of nowhere is deep and I’d like to be found even if I don’t come up. Illogical I know, as I’m attached to the line itself. It seems like forever that I’ve been on this descent, far longer time-wise than I’ve been before.
What do I see?
Nothing… just the line disappearing into the very dark, very black abyss. Maybe it’s time to throw on the brakes, but, before I do, can I equalise? Am I comfortable? Yes. Yes.
Ok, keep going, let gravity do the work. The whole time during this dive I’ve realistically done nothing, just the decision to do it and a few kicks, the work has 99% all been in my head.
But no wonder, right? Your brain is trying to tell you with every one of its alarm bells to turn the hell back, you’re going the wrong way, oxygen is in the opposite direction, stupid! But the other half is saying nope, adventure lies below.
Which is what I love about it. A challenge, going places physically and mentally that most people wouldn’t dare or, realistically and understandably, even consider. But hey, why are we here, right?
I decide to have one last look before calling it, just in case it’s only a few meters away, because man, despite my commitment to those two questions I know myself and I know I’d be pissed if I was only ‘just off’. And… there it was. A tennis ball attached to the end of the line followed by a 4kg kettle bell.
So much excitement but so little time to enjoy it. I’d made it to the bottom, I held onto the line and had a look around. Trying to forget about the pressure I can feel and the overwhelming need to breathe (go on, hold your breath now).
There’s really not much to see. Not a lot grows without light but it was great to see it, the bottom, all the same, instead of hearing about it from others that had seen it and you just have to imagine. No more imagining for me. Must be great being an astronaut.
Then reality kicks back in, you’re only half way there kiddo, you need to get back up! The ascent is much the same but you now have hope and familiarity instead of fear and the unknown. You’re on your way to safety and your friends at the top, plus oxygen too. Talk about a one sided relationship you totally take for granted.
You’re on your way finning upwards but you have to work for it. It’s getting lighter now too and much warmer than you thought it was at the beginning. Probably on account of how damn cold it is down there, but those uncomfortable temperatures fall down the priority list when others, like breathing, take over in the hierarchy.
I see my safety buddy at about the half way mark, arguably the most dangerous part of the dive as it’s the most prone to shallow water blackouts. Adam escorts me to the top as I pick up speed and I become positively buoyant again. I burst to the surface where I grab hold of the buoy and everyone made sure I was ok.
Everyone has a happy but relieved look on their faces as you’ve come to the top safely, then the look of anticipation and serious nods as they wait for you to give the ‘okay’ sign: an indication that you’re in control and not about to pass out. This is followed by ‘hook’ breathing actions that you employ to get oxygen back into the blood stream as quickly as possible. These are also called ‘recovery breaths’ and are useful and good practice for spearfishing as well.
Despite it being a joyous occasion, safety, friends, oxygen, the show isn’t over yet and the danger hasn’t left the building.
Eckart looks at my dive watch and looks away with a bit of disappointment mixed with concern and a wry smile. So does Adam, followed by Isaac. I pull my wrist to look at it as my excitement rises but Adam grabs it and holds my arm down, trying to hide his emotions whilst at the same time looking after my wellbeing and encouraging more recovery breaths. Now isn’t the time for any unnecessary strain on the body, just breathing and recovery!
It’s only a second later that I understand why, my heart is smashing my chest. It almost feels as though people might be able to see it through my wetsuit. He tells me not to smile and tries to calm the excitement on the surface between us all. Telling me to just relax with his arm around me like you might a child that’s just tripped over and needs some support before they take that massive breath and start howling. It’s weird but comforting. No one else seems to think it’s weird, it’s just part of it. You’ve literally just touched new limits and you’re pretty vulnerable physically, so no wonder.
A minute or so passes and I’m allowed to look. Everyone is focused on my reaction. I read the watch face and in massive, extra large text it says… 35.3m!
The biggest smile runs across my face, as it does for everyone else, there are more friends on the banks looking over that have already heard how deep it was, as the Chinese whispers worked as efficiently as they do behind the scenes when I was recovering. Everyone is yelling and splashing the water.
This is great! I can hardly breathe. I feel as though I’ve had a rock put through my chest and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
This was one of the best days of my life! – watch our video of the trip to South Australia below!
10 Ocean Camping Tips And How To Make It More Interesting
Camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life. But if you’re used to camping in an RV or in a tent near your car, trying something different can add excitement to your next camping trip.
Shrek and Mark filleting up fish while camping on North Stradbroke Island
Ocean camping was always one of the most popular ways to camp. It offers a great opportunity to get away from everything and enjoy the sounds and smells of nature.
Spending a night by the ocean can be a wonderful experience. And during the day, plenty of activities keep you busy: from swimming and fishing to simply exploring the coastline. Here are a few ideas on what to do while ocean camping:
1. Try spearfishing
Spearfishing is a great way to get up close and personal with the fish in the ocean. It can be a bit challenging at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a gratifying experience. Make sure to check the regulations in your area before you go spearfishing, as there may be certain areas that are off limits.
If you are new to spearfishing, plenty of instructional videos and articles online can teach you the basics. It may seem daunting initially, but with some practice, you’ll be an expert in no time!
2. Go on a nature hike
One of the best things about camping by the ocean is that there are often beautiful hiking trails nearby. Make sure to bring your camera to snap pictures of the stunning scenery. Keep your eyes peeled for interesting wildlife, too- you never know what you might see!
Daly/Luscombe family nature hiking
For an even better experience, bring your dog along with you! It’s a great way to build wonderful memories and connect with nature. Make sure to pack some high-protein treats for your pup to keep his energy levels up, and you are good to go!
3. Collect shells
One of the most classic beach activities is collecting shells. It’s a great way to relax and take in the beauty of your surroundings. Who knows, you might even find a rare shell! If you’re feeling creative, you could use the shells to make some artwork or jewelry.
Depending on the tide and the camping location, you might even be able to find some sand dollars. Be sure not to take too many, though- it’s important to leave some for other critters that rely on them for food.
4. Go surfing or paddleboarding
If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try your hand at surfing or paddle boarding? It’s a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the ocean waves. Just be sure to heed the lifeguards’ warnings and always stay within your skill level.
If your beach has a lot of people, surfing or paddleboarding can also be a great way to meet new friends! Don’t be afraid to talk with someone while you’re waiting for the next wave.
5. Go fishing
Fishing is another great way to relax and enjoy the ocean views. It’s also a great activity for the whole family- even small children can enjoy the fun! Just be sure to check the local regulations on what kind of fish you’re allowed to catch, and always throw back any that are too small.
Troy and Shrek – first fish for him! Shovelnose caught and released
Fishing is also a great opportunity to try out different cooking methods. If you catch a big enough fish, you could cook it over an open fire for a truly unique camping experience.
6. Have a picnic on the beach
One of the best things about ocean camping is that you can enjoy all your meals with a view of the water. Pack a picnic lunch or dinner and enjoy it on the sand while listening to the sound of crashing waves. It’s the perfect way to unwind after a long day of exploring.
If you’re feeling extra romantic, you could pack a candlelit dinner for two. Just be sure to clean up after yourself when you’re finished- no one wants to find leftover food in the sand!
7. Explore tide pools
Tide pools are a great way to get up close and personal with the animals that live in the ocean. Be sure to check the tides before you go, as you don’t want to be trapped by the incoming waves.
Many tide pools are home to hermit crabs, sea stars, and other interesting creatures. It’s a great opportunity to teach kids about the different animals that live in the ocean. Just be sure not to touch or disturb anything- remember, these are their homes!
8. Go on a whale-watching tour
If you’re lucky enough to be camping near whales, why not go on a whale-watching tour? It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you won’t soon forget. Tour boats often leave from nearby towns or cities, so be sure to do some research in advance.
Just be sure to dress warmly, as it can often be cool out on the open water. Binoculars are also a good idea to better view the whales.
9. Try your hand at beachcombing
Beachcombing is a great way to find interesting treasures washed up on shore. You never know what you might find- shells, sea glass, or even a message in a bottle! It’s a great way to relax and take in the beauty of nature.
Just be sure not to take anything that isn’t yours. Many people enjoy collecting things from the beach, so leaving some for others to find is important.
10. Go for a swim
Of course, one of the best things to do while ocean camping is to go for a swim! Just be sure to check the local regulations on where and when you’re allowed to swim. Some beaches have specific areas designated for swimming, so it’s important to follow the rules.
If you’re not a strong swimmer, be sure to stay within your depth and always wear a life jacket. Swimming with a friend is also good, just in case you get into trouble.
Ocean camping is a great way to enjoy all that the beach has to offer. By following these tips, you’re sure to have a safe and enjoyable trip. Just be sure to leave the beach cleaner than you found it- we want to be able to enjoy it for many years to come!
Interview with Tom Sandstrom, Angus Knox and Cameron Wise
Today’s interview is a little different, join Shrek and his good mate Cam as they go on a spearfishing road trip down to Sydney! Today we are in the Moonee Tavern in Coffs Harbour after a day of spearing, having a few brews, a good meal and a great chat with mates! Shorediving, breaking in new wetsuits, cooking tips and what conditions you can expect when diving around Coffs Harbour. Join Shrek and his mates in the pub after a day of spearfishing!
06:05 Welcome everyone!
07:00 New wetsuits
10:25 Shorediving in Coffs Harbour
11:30 Abalone: size, how to find them and how to cook them
13:50 How is your seafood game?
16:20 Cooking fails
17:30 Mushy Kingfish Pastrami
21:45 Icing fish
24:45 Smoked Mullet
27:35 What conditions can we expect diving here?
31:50 Too cold for Kingfish?
33:30 Tips for shooting big Kingy’s
36:45 Hunting Parrot fish and Dhufish
40:20 Do you wear a GoPro?
43:25 What are the best months for diving here?
44:40 How can someone start diving in Coffs Harbour? Coffs Harbour Spearfishing Club!
Today’s interview is with Kevin Glen former owner/operator of Mantis Spearfishing, a friend of Forrest Galante and the only guy to shoot a Marlin in California! An engineer and innovator in the spearfishing world with countless awesome stories of him and his mates out in the water! From shooting and losing a Sailfish in Durban to tracking down Yellow Tail and Sea Bass in the Channel Islands, he is a great source of information and knowledge in California. Hear some of his stories in the water, the journey of learning to spearfish and the stoke of doing it with great friends. Be sure to check out Mantis Spearfishing and grab their last stock!
04:50 Welcome Kevin! Tell us about this Marlin!
10:10 You engineered a dive float?
13:50 You have an unusual spearfishing story with a bunch of famous friends!
15:55 Setting the record straight on the record Sea Bass with Forrest Galante!
18:55 What’s the spearfishing community like there?
20:10 Wind and swell conditions for the Channel Islands
21:35 Urchin barons
22:05 Sheephead eat urchins
26:05 Mantis Spearfishing – tell us about it! The Roller Muzzle
30:10 What does your spearfishing look like these days? Good dive buddies?
33:30 White Sea Bass
34:50 Vermillion Rock Cod
35:45 Do you think your fisheries are well managed? MPA’s, 30-30 and conservation
40:00 Big hearts, well intentioned but completely disconnected from the real world
42:55 What’s your favourite species to hunt? Halibut, yellow tail and sea bass
44:55 How are you tracking yellow tail down?
46:15 Using bait fish
48:05 Half Moon bait fish
51:45 Memorable fish
54:10 Fighting the fish – how much tension is right?
56:25 Tough/scary situations
01:00:25 Reels vs floatlines
01:02:15 Jewfish, Mulloway or Kabeljou sounds
01:03:45 Designing gear
01:08:20 We need more people like you!
01:12:00 What’s in your dive bag for the Channel Islands? 5mm wetsuit, weightbelt, knife, Scorpio Carbon Fibre fins in Pathos foot pockets, Mantis Spearguns
XTAR D26 Whale Review | LED Diving Torch for underwater foraging/hunting
“Overall, this has been one of the best dive torches I’ve used. It’s bright, durable and easy to secure.” – Cam
Cam lives and dives mainly around Sydney although him and I have dived in Victoria and South Australia using this torch. I asked Cam to put together a review based on the hectic use he has given it chasing mainly Eastern Rock Lobsters. Here is the rest of what he had to say. – Shrek
In particular, the brightness of the XTAR D26 Whale is great, and is probably the best dive torch I’ve used for both brightness and illumination. It has four brightness settings, getting up to a strong 1100lm, which can apparently reach up to 310m on land but also makes a solid effort under the water.
The torch has what it calls the “unique side switch (patented) and power indication”. The power indication light is a really handy warning tool. The light is green normally, but it turns to red when it is between 25% and 5% and then flashes below 5%. The locking mechanism of the side switch takes a little bit to get used to. You need to hold the switch down and then twist it to the left 90 degrees to lock it in place. While locking systems are good so you don’t bump it in tight spaces, this one can be a little hard if you need to use it with one hand or a thumb if your other hand is otherwise occupied (such as reaching for a cray).
At almost 300g it is a bit weightier than most, however, I actually don’t mind that and it doesn’t impact much as soon as you’re in the water.
The lanyard/wrist strap that’s included is actually really good. It might not sound important, but the length of it is long enough to be able to stow it and the toggle doesn’t slip when locked, so you can keep it tied to your wrist without worrying. This is important when it’s not in your hand, as you often can’t feel it through your wetsuit or glove.
The quality seems to be great and it has been relatively maintenance free. I’ve been using it for over a year now without any issues of corrosion or any water appearing to get into the working parts. However, there are two spare O-rings included in case you need them.
A fun addition is that it also has a standard tripod screw hole, which allows it to be fixed to items such as a dive photography system, a handle, or a wrist mount.
Four brightness settings up to 1100lm: 60/200/600/1100
Colour temperature: 6000K
Beam throw: 310m
IP rating: IPX8
Material: Anodized aircraft 6N01 aluminium alloy
Dimensions: 155mm x 46mm
Weight: 293g (including battery)
Battery: 18650/18700/26650 Li-ion batteries (26550 5000mAh rechargeable battery was included in the set with a charger)
Run time: up to 48h on low or 2h on “turbo” (1100lm)
Max diving depth: 100m
Spot light angle: 5 degrees
Here’s a vid of Cam and Shrek using the dive torch in South Australia
Today’s interview is with Rodney Pacitti, aka RoKKiT KiT on Youtube! Today is a gold mine for all things spearfishing and Youtube! Rodney has a successful Youtube channel with almost half a million subs that started off with kayak fishing adventures all the way to solo camping, catch cook videos. He tells us about his channel’s success, how he started it, the tips and tricks he uses, how he films and advice for beating the algorithm! Give his channel a follow and let us know what you think of the interview! Rodney makes a living making these videos, be sure to give them a watch and see what he’s getting up to. What Youtube advice did we miss? Let us know!
03:25 Welcome Rodney! You were requested!
04:30 Tell us about your Youtube channel!
08:25 Kayak fishing
10:40 Kayak diving
12:00 Where do you go kayaking?
14:00 The fishing lifestyle
15:40 How do you film your trips?
18:55 Acting vs real life
20:35 Youtube inspiration
23:55 Your job as an entertainer
25:25 The Youtube algorithm and how to beat it
32:20 What success have you seen from your channel? Are the millions of views paying off?
37:00 What other tricks and tips do you have for your channel?
39:40 Using analytics
42:00 How do you measure your success?
43:50 Best time to post: 7am Saturday morning Sydney time
46:35 What tools do you use to make these videos?
50:35 Dealing with internet trolls
53:40 Dealing with the fame
57:05 Sydney spearfishing – how, when and with who?
01:01:50 Boat diving?
01:03:00 Gold Coast Freedivers pool training
01:05:45 How often are you diving?
01:07:40 What big challenges do you face in spearfishing?
Today’s interview is with Paul Rodriguez of Hot Rod Spearguns! A well traveled spearo that has a passion for making great spearguns, he gives us his best advice on designing and building a speargun and he lets us in on a special project he’s busy with… a travel speargun! It breaks into 2 parts for easy travel and fits back together into a powerful and effective speargun to take with on holiday! All this and more! Is Cobia the best eating fish? Or is it African Pompano? Maybe it’s the Jobfish! Some robust conversation and interesting insights into the different types of spearfishing in different parts of the world. Also, some great advice for hunting Dogtooth Tuna! Enjoy the episode and let us know what you think!
04:30 Hello and welcome Paul!
05:25 You have invented a travel speargun that comes in two parts? How did this come about?
08:55 How do you build your spearguns?
10:40 R&D in spearfishing is long and expensive. How do you protect your IP?
12:55 How does the speargun join back together?
15:35 Mono or dyneema? What length and how strong?
18:30 Line management and avoiding muzzle wrap
22:00 Simplicity is your friend – form follows function
27:20 Tell us about your spearfishing story! Where and how did you start?
29:40 What is the best all-round speargun size?
32:20 Roller’s throw the shaft far but lack penetrating power. What do you think?
34:30 Old school vs new school mentality
37:10 Where are you spearing these days?
37:37 Tell us how you process Cobia?
40:30 Palm sugar for ceviche and smoking fish changes the game
43:10 Rubbers/Power bands – what do you see?
44:40 Most consistent setup uses 14mm bands
49:00 What is a species what you love to target? African Pompano
50:45 Besides the thermocline, what else do you use to target them?
52:40 What are you looking for in weather? Water temp and wind
56:05 As you’ve traveled over the world, what things have you learned about planning a trip to go spearfishing?
58:05 Spearfishing in the Philippines
59:10 What’s the most special fish you’ve ever lost?
01:00:25 Green Jobfish is the best reef eating fish
01:07:05 Tough or scary situations
01:11:30 Having good dive buddies is the most important dive gear
01:13:20 Good buddy diving is also great fun
01:14:10 Funny stories
01:18:22 What’s in your dive bag? JBL Mask, white snorkel, Waihana wetsuit, medium to soft blades, Garmin Mach 1, handbuilt dive knife, Travel Hybrid 120 speargun
01:23:44 Gyotaku is a great way to memorialize special fish
Today’s interview is with Captain Bly, owner and Captain of Lineage Charters and the craftsman of Captain Bly Spearguns! A well accomplished spearo who builds spearguns and runs what sounds like amazing fishing charters! Learn about the mighty Bluefin and Yellowfin Tuna and how to hunt them, how he assists spearos to be better hunters in his local waters and some great tips on aging and caring for your fish to make it taste better! All round tons of great info and good conversation about spearfishing charters, spearguns and getting the best eating out of your catch. Be sure to check out Captain Bly on instagram and his websites: lineagecharters.com and cptbly.com!
06:15 Welcome Captain Bly! How did you fall in love with the ocean?
07:50 Your passion for making spearguns
10:55 What changes have you made in your speargun designs?
12:15 Instinctive aiming
14:15 Ballasting, testing and salt water
18:10 Injury from a big recoil
20:15 You’re a veteran, how has that impacted your spearfishing?
21:30 Lineage Charters
24:15 Are people open to learning and taking your advice? Learning things the hard way
26:00 Bluefin story – don’t give up!
28:40 Common struggles and advice you see
30:55 Bluefin Tuna are an interesting species, tell us about them
32:20 What is the season for Bluefin?
34:49 What about Yellowfin?
36:40 PB Yellowfin: just under 300lb – tell us the story!
37:50 These fish are tough, they can survive a lot – catching a tuna on a line with a speargun still attached to the fish!
Captain Blys Refrigerator for fish and game. Dry ageing fish fridge
39:40 What do you think of the freediving side of spearfishing?
41:25 Weighting is different for different types of hunting
43:50 Hunting Halibut
44:20 The fear of dropping your weightbelt
47:45 Maui funny/scary story
49:30 Taking hydration out in the water with you
50:05 Night time lobster diving – surge pushing you into the rocks
51:00 What’s your advice for shallow, rocky lobster diving?
54:40 Dive flashlights – what’s your advice?
56:50 Are you using a cray loop? Only hand diving in California
58:00 What technique do you use to get a tough lobster out of its hole?
59:00 Your ocean is particularly beautiful and full of life
01:00:20 Tell us about Lineage Charters!
01:03:25 I’ve shot a 100lb tuna, what is your process of caring for the catch?
01:07:35 How do you process a tuna?
01:10:00 It’s about the journey
01:11:25 Aging fish works – Dry aging masterclass!
01:14:05 Hanging the fish
01:15:15 You had some shoulder surgery! How did you recover your dive fitness?
01:17:05 Do apnea while doing exercises to build up your anaerobic fitness
01:18:50 The Escapade!
01:21:05 The best float: Ocean Hunter 3 Atmosphere
Today’s interview is with Yianni Barthelmess, multiple recipe contributor and all round frothing spearo from Shellharbour NSW! Drawing from his dad’s love for the ocean, he has really turned his life into an ocean inspired one! A talented chef as well, he has submitted several recipes to 99 Spearo Recipes and has a bunch of catch cook videos on his YouTube and Instagram! Get some actionable gardening tips, practical chef skills and some awesome advice for dealing with sharks! We talk everything from food to gardening for seafood, sharks, shorediving and more! Listen in and let us know what you think!
05:30 Welcome Yianni Barthelmess!
07:15 Are you a professional chef?
08:40 Growing a lot of food
11:55 Rain and fish stocks
16:25 How did you start spearfishing at 7?
17:55 Traveling and spearfishing
19:25 What did you learn about spearfishing in a new place?
21:20 How do you find fish?
23:50 The need to be efficient
24:25 Lessons to spear by
26:40 Boat vs shore diving
28:55 Walk us through a dive day!
31:50 The physiology of spearfishing
35:55 Have you logged or cataloged your experiences?
38:15 Raw fish is very popular right now but they are hesitant
39:30 Raw fish safety precautions
40:45 Kingfish raw
42:55 Fermenting foods
44:35 Tell us about your garden! The Noob Gardener Podcast!
45:25 How do you start a garden for seafood?
46:15 Be a soil farmer
48:10 Fish cleaning bench
53:20 Tell us about your recipes!
57:20 99 Spearo Recipes
01:00:20 Overcooking fish
01:02:35 Smoking fish
01:04:00 What else draws you to spearfishing?
01:05:45 Encounter with 2 Orcas
01:07:20 Scary stories
01:09:10 Shore diving and sharks
01:10:30 Tips for dealing with sharks for new divers
01:21:05 Who are your favourite dive buddies?
01:25:10 What’s in your dive bag? 2mm in summer, 5mm in winter Cressi wetsuit, Rob Allen Sparid 110 and homemade timber spearguns, Rob Allen Cubera mask, Cressi plastic fins for shore diving and DiveR fiberglass fins for boats
Today’s interview is with Chris Adair from Bottom Dwellers Freediving in British Columbia and we talk everything cold water freediving and spearfishing! Depending on who you ask, “cold” water can mean different things, but when we talk about the cold water that Chris deals with, it’s not messing around! Learn some great tips for getting better at diving in sub 10 degree C water, staying warm and comfortable and about some of the awesome initiatives he runs where he partners with First Nations People communities in remote locations and introduces them to spearfishing and freediving! Learn some great tips and how he is giving back to those around him in such an awesome way!
Photo by Jeremy Koreski
03:45 @DeepWaterDreamin Patrick Ryan voice message
06:05 Welcome Chris Adair! How did you get into freediving and spearfishing?
07:40 You teach freediving professionally
08:25 Bottom Dwellers! We mostly hunt bottom dwelling fish.
11:20 Hunting on the bottom is it’s own technique to learn
12:45 Tell us about Bottom Dwellers Freediving!
Photo by Jeremy Koreski
15:00 Tide to Table / Freedive Harvesting courses
19:05 Foraging in cold water is magical
20:30 Diving seasons
21:20 You have some great photographers
24:30 You have some great community initiatives you run with the First Nations People, tell us about it!
29:25 What is day to day life like in these remote communities?
“This delicious crowd pleaser of a recipe is perfect for when you are having a few guests over and want to put on a good feed. We have used a coastal fingermark in this exact recipe here but you could try whichever whole fish you’d like. One whole fish around that 45cm mark will happily feed 2 people, top it off with some nice fresh greens as a side and your onto a winner. We hope you guys enjoy this dish just as much as we do, cheers!” – Jordan Hunter@the_hunter_downunder
For the fish
Medium whole fish, filleted and cut into chunks. Keep the frame for presentation
Rice bran oil – for shallow frying
3/4 cup of soy sauce
3/4 cup sushi seasoning
2 Tbs ginger, grated
Use the soy sauce, sushi seasoning and ginger to marinade the fish frame and chunks. Leave in fridge for 1-3 hours.
Heat oil in pan, coat marinated fish frame in tapioca flour. Shallow fry. Repeat with marinated fish chunks.
Place cooked fish chunks on the frame for presentation.
Chilli tamarind dipping sauce
1/2 cup coriander, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 long fresh red chillies, coarsely chopped 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
4cm piece fresh ginger, grated
2 Tbsp tamarind concentrate
1/3 cup shaved palm sugar
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1-2 tbsp water
Blend coriander, garlic, chilli and salt to a paste in the nutri bullet. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat and stir-fry the paste for 1 minute until aromatic. Add the shallot and ginger. Stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add tamarind, sugar and fish sauce. Simmer for 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves.
Lime and coriander drizzle
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp garlic
1 chilli, chopped finely
1/4 cup of coriander, chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
4 cubes of palm sugar, finely chopped
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
All ingredients in a pouring dish, mix well and let sit for 30 mins to infuse.
Today’s interview is with Eric O’dea of the Backcountry Hunters (BHA) and Anglers and Eric Keener of Fin and Forage! We chat everything 30/30, MPA’s, conservation, hunting and how they all connect. We also have a great chat about the upcoming Catch and Cook comp with Fin and Forage, the BHA and Messermeister. A spearfishing competition mixed in with masterchef with a beach cleanup and urchin culling event with prizes for each different category, this is a great idea and we can’t wait to see this comp happen! You can visit this link to find out more!
Follow Fin and Forage on Instagram and YouTube to get all the latest content they make and hear all the news about this comp!
03:25 Hello and welcome Devin and Eric!
05:30 The Backcountry Hunters and Anglers: what is it and why is it important?
08:00 Hunter and conservationist
12:10 Growing up with deer in your garden
14:25 Eric Keener from Fin and Forage, reintroduce yourself!
18:50 30/30: What is it all about?
21:50 What happened in NSW?
26:35 What is your advice to the everyday spearo?
30:35 Citizen science: iNaturalist and how to get involved
36:25 Food changes mindsets and perceptions
41:15 The Catch and Cook Comp! Tell us all about it!
43:25 Beach cleanup prizes
47:00 What are you doing with the urchins you’re collecting?
51:00 Who are the legends that made this possible? Fin and Forage team, Ryan Gentry, @CutProfessor
52:00 Lots of big sponsors and massive prizes!
53:10 The infamous Valentine Thomas story!
58:55 Was your trip succesful?
01:00:25 Devin, do you and Eric ever dive together?
01:01:25 The most fun you can have with your spearfishing friends
01:02:30 “I don’t regard nature as a spectator sport” Discuss!
01:05:20 Belonging in a place you don’t belong
01:06:25 Go to FinandForage.com and on Instagram to find out more about the competition!
Today’s interview is with Samuel Mumford, the frothing Cornish Muso spearo living down under! Growing up in Cornwall, he started spearfishing, frankly by punching them with a blunt speargun. Have a listen to the episode to hear his experience with the Mike Tyson Speargun! From almost getting drowned by a crab to the infamous Cornish Sea Turtle, he has some great tips for hunting fish like Dhufish and Mangrove Jack and has a lot of knowledge other spearos can learn from. With a great attitude and a clear and obvious love for the ocean, we think you will enjoy today’s episode with Samuel Mumford!
Today’s interview is with Jamie Ryves from Norfolk Island who now lives in Vanuatu! Originally a chef, circumstances meant that work was hard to come by which caused a shift in his lifestyle. He now lives on a smaller island around Vanuatu and goes spearfishing twice a week to support his family! He takes some unbelievable footage, if you have any interest in big game fish like Dogtooth Tuna, this will be your new favourite source of video! Stunning conditions, excellent tips for hunting big Dogtooth and personal stories of Samba’s and Shallow Water Blackouts and how he is a safer diver because of them. Check out one of the most underrated YouTube channels around!
02:50 Hello and welcome Jamie! You are from Norfolk Island?
03:55 You live the spearo life and take amazing footage
05:25 The currents are a mystery
06:05 Where did you grow up?
07:50 You are a chef? Are you still cooking?
10:05 You are a specialist Dogtooth Tuna hunter! (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fijsU8Goxig)
13:30 You have an underrated youtube channel
15:15 Have you thought about guiding?
16:45 What capacity do your charters have currently?
19:00 You get a wide range of species, which are your favourite?
23:10 Tell us about a good hunt
26:25 You were a bodyboarder too, but spearfishing came easier
28:55 You use a floatline but you have shot a few with a reelgun! Tell us about your gear for hunting them
31:30 What are common Dogtooth hunting problems?
38:30 I need to visit you!
40:10 PB’s and sharks
44:05 How have you studied the sea conditions?
46:05 So you have some extreme structure, tall sea mounts and volcanic rock drop off’s
47:25 How long do you need to stay there for a good trip?
52:20 Freediving in spearfishing: what is your position?
58:00 What about scary stories? Samba’s and SWB’s
01:09:10 How do you train your buddies to dive safer?
01:12:30 Wayne Judge
01:16:55 Funny stuff!
01:18:25 Funniest friends
01:19:55 What gear are you using? Ruku fins, Aimrite wetsuit. 1 spare shaft. 2 reel guns and a double roller from Aimrite. Riffe bungee. Ocean Hunter and Riffe 3 atmosphere floats. Slip-tip spear
Today’s interview is with Matthew Novakovich, the man behind Ocean State Spearguns! Born out of seeing a need that he could fulfill, Ocean State Spearguns are hand-crafted timber spearguns that can be customized to your liking! Want a big mid-handle 5 band blue water speargun? Or how about a short speargun for low viz diving and shooting in caves? Matthew has you covered! Starting as a small hobby, he gave Cameron Kirkconnell one of his spearguns to test and he’s been making more ever since! Doing most of his diving in the usually dirty and cold Atlantic, he has learned a thing or two about making robust spearguns that work well and look good while doing it. Check out OceanStateSpearguns.com to see what he’s doing!
He has some great insights into barotrauma and has a story about how it almost ended his diving career but more importantly – how he responded. If you have a barotrauma and are being told you’ll never dive again then give the Divers Alert Network (DAN) a call! Visit their website Dan.org and view all of their medical info here! Not all injuries are permanent!
02:30 Hello and welcome Matthew!
03:55 You have some nice fish over there like Tautog
Today’s interview is with Will Brunker of Aquagat! An innovator in the speargun world, Will has developed several unique and bespoke designs and components for spearguns! Colourful, tough and functional! He gave up his day job to go into making spearguns and components full time and has been making it work! We don’t talk much about his spearfishing journey but we sure do geek out about spearguns, from designing them to making custom and unique parts and everything in between. Today’s episode is a great one for anyone interested in making their own parts or gear. Be sure to check out Aquagat.com for all the great gear he makes!
03:30 How to write a guest recommendation! Welcome Will!
06:00 You have made a lot of innovation with different materials
07:30 How did you start building spearguns and how do you do it?
09:30 Aquagat is a great name!
12:05 How long have you been doing this?
16:15 How do you manage the balance between work, family and spearfishing?
18:55 What does your spearfishing look like at the moment?
22:25 Mentorship mentality
24:45 Early lessons and experiences in the water
26:45 Dry training
28:05 Speargun accuracy and pool testing
31:15 How do you aim?
32:55 How long should it take to get used to a new speargun?
36:50 Taking your ego out of it
39:40 Let’s talk about your spearguns and components
46:00 Keeping your intellectual property safe and R&D
51:51 Buying cheap gear – the poor man pays twice!
54:30 Tell us about your reels, how many designs did you go through until it worked?
59:35 Do you get many Noob Spearos or mostly experienced ones?
01:01:50 “Where form meets function”
01:05:45 Who do you get your speargun inspiration from?
Today’s interview is with Forrest Galante! Explorer, TV personality, adventurer and spearo, Forest has a rather large resume when it comes to the outdoors, holding multiple spearfishing world records on speargun and pole spear! Having been on the Joe Rogan Podcast and besides his own podcast The Wild Times podcast, he is most well known for his TV shows where he travels to remote parts of the world in search of extinct and extremely rare animals. We are proud to say that his journey was hugely influenced by spearfishing, join us as we have a great chat about his connection to spearfishing and how that relates to the other work he does.
03:08 Welcome Forrest Galante!
05:52 Wild Times Podcast
07:25 Handling large sharks
10:43 First Tiger shark interaction
13:15 We are still learning about sharks
15:10 You’re a HECS man and you’ve been on the Joe Rogan Podcast?
16:24 Extinct or Alive
18:25 Tell us about your adventures
22:15 The reality of working a job like yours
24:40 Your early work
27:30 Opportunity cost
29:30 You have 6 World Records, which stands out the most?
35:30 You seem to like hunting Wahoo, how do you hunt them?
40:00 Getting towed by a big fish
43:25 Bull sharks and Mako’s
48:10 California diving
50:50 Do you hunt with the meal in mind?
53:15 Spearfishing presents unique pressure on species
55:55 What is in your gear bag? 62 inch Diablo Speargun, HECS and Waihana wetsuits, Omer Stingray Carbon 25’s, Riffe mask and snorkel
01:01:45 What are the obstacles that you face and how do you overcome them?
Today’s interview is with ex-firefighter Tran Lawrence from Taranaki, New Zealand! Originally coming from a line of Vietnamese fishermen, Tran is a great example of someone who truly comes alive when he’s in the ocean. Apart from being a great spearo he is also a talented creator, check out his website, Ocean Protagonist, here! Have a listen as he tells us about growing up on the water, his connection with seafood and buying a yacht to go sailing all around New Zealand! He has some great stories from his years underwater. He is also passionate about the conservation side of being in the ocean, he has some great thoughts on that. Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
“…stories, photos, videos and anecdotes from someone that hears the ocean when she calls and listens when she sings…..a love for the ocean through the eyes of a photographer, videographer, adventurer, diver, fisherman, sailor, refugee, firefighter, and father…”
04:24 Welcome Tran! You’re an ex firefighter?
07:00 The Taranaki lifestyle
08:20 Growing up and career
09:05 A big health scare
10:35 You represent a few brands, Catch Fishing, Splash Dive, Atlantis Dive, Ocean Hunter and Rob Allen New Zealand
12:00 You have some amazing content, how did you get into photography?
13:40 Sailing around New Zealand
15:55 How did you start spearfishing?
17:40 When did you realize that spearfishing was for you?
22:00 Diving in Taranaki is a special experience
23:10 Guide to catching Kingfish
24:15 Scarcity mindset and taking as much as you can
28:00 Have you introduced people to spearfishing
29:35 Swimming pool or trial by fire?
31:20 When you take Noob divers out, how do you guide and teach them? Instill the passion and respect for the ocean
33:00 Your favourite species to hunt
35:00 How has your conservation mindset evolved over your spearfishing journey?
37:15 Wine barrel smoker and smoking fish
42:25 You love to cook, walk us through a recipe
45:00 Using more of the fish
47:20 Sharks as a food source
49:10 Do you enjoy more involved hunts? The hunter mindset
52:35 Creativity and your journey into underwater photopgraphy
01:01:25 How can someone start in underwater photography?
Interview about Travel Spearfishing with Jerry Guerra
Today’s interview is with Jerry Guerra and it’s all about travel spearfishing. Ever watch a Daniel Mann video and think to yourself: “I want to travel to other countries and spearfish”? Maybe you’ve seen films like David Ochoa makes about his trips around the world filming the fish up close and personal. Or maybe you just listened to the previous episode about Palapas Ventana, traveling and spearfishing were made to go together! Doing your first big trip can be a logistical and planning exercise in patience, you don’t want to get to your dream destination and not have your fins or speargun! Jerry gives some great Noob tips on doing spearfishing trips, advice for international travel, navigating airports with spearguns, packing, charters and so much more!
Today’s interview is with Deryck Tan from WA. An Equine Dental and Veterinary Surgeon by day, mad spearo/gyotaku/cooking seafood chef type dude by… I suppose day too! He is an extremely talented artist specializing in the art of Gyotaku – making fish prints! What started as an interest quickly became an obsession, from experimenting with his first fish to now taking commissions. Have a listen to some of Deryck’s funny stories and lessons he has learned along the way and get some tips to get into doing your own gyotaku! Deryck is also great in the kitchen and is passionate about seafood, in particular the underrated species. Learn about tempra vs tempura, alternative fish species and get some insight into abalone and urchin cooking.
Have you also been inspired to make your own gyotaku? Tag Noob Spearo in your posts, we’d love to see!
04:45 Welcome Deryck!
05:40 Tell us about yourself!
06:35 Cooking inspiration
07:05 Where did your passion for gyotaku come from?
19:53 What skills did you get out of your spearfishing course?
21:42 Tell us about your gyotaku! Tell us about the stamps
25:25 Who buys your artwork?
27:55 What materials are you using?
30:35 How to gyotaku: Thaw and clean fish, pat dry, use scrap rice paper to remove all the moisture especially around the eyes, dilute ink, paint fish with ink but NOT the eyes, get rid of excess ink (use cotton or material), Circle piece of paper to keep the eye protected. Put paper over fish and push it in. Pull it off, add details to the eye, add your stamp.
35:45 Difficult to gyotaku: crustaceans. How long do they take?
Today’s interview is with Tim Hatler & Brock Kennedy of Palapas Ventana in Baja, Mexico! Surrounded by amazing sea’s almost year round and with options for when the weather is bad, they have some of the world’s best spearfishing out there. They run spearfishing trips where spearos Noob and experienced alike can get in the water and have an opportunity to shoot potentially world record fish! Listen to the stories they tell from their many years running spearfishing trips, advice on booking and preparing for a trip and some of the fun you can expect! From riding Great White sharks to cruising in luxury, if you are wanting a memorable spearfishing experience, go look at Palapas Ventana!
04:00 Welcome Brock and Tim!
05:35 Where in the world are you?
07:05 You have an ocean full of life
08:40 Introduce yourselves and Palapas Ventana
10:15 Tell us about your accommodation you have an offer
12:10 How does it work for international travelers coming to visit? Logistical issues
14:25 How long do you need to have a decent trip? 5 days of diving
15:30 February has the worst conditions, least fish
17:05 Trade winds
19:15 How remote do you travel on these trips?
20:50 Brock, how did you start spearfishing?
22:10 Scuba spearfishing
24:20 Coming from cold water to now having warm tropical water, how has that changed your spearfishing?
This post was made with the permission of Christopher Marsic, a new member on the Noob Spearo Community on Facebook who introduced himself with this story. I liked it so much, I asked him if I could share it on the Noob Spearo Vault blog. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! – Shrek
I live in Victoria (soon to be Mackay QLD) and I guess my biggest struggle was overcoming the conditions down this way to chase those rare southern gems.
In my early days of spearfishing 10 years ago I spent a lot of time diving Port Phillip Bay, which when I first started I thought was the best thing ever! I would jump in after work in horrible visibility 2-4m (on a good day where I lived) and would swim around for hours I started off like all spearos shooting the feared dusky morwong, but before long I worked my way up to bream and snapper and became pretty decent at getting onto the pinkies.
Most places in the bay I dived had an maximum depth of around 3m however I was super interested in the breath hold part of spearfishing so I started doing some research and that’s when I found the spearing down under magazines. I’ll never forget the first time I put one of those DVDs on and my jaw hit the floor … Watching these guys descend deep into the blue then shoot these monster fish really got me excited to get better at the sport.
After doing tons of research and learning about blackouts etc I decided it would be best to find a dive buddy so I headed to the forums back then you had to jump on a website forum there wasn’t fb groups those days that’s when I met one of my best friends to this date Jai KP and he basically introduced me to ocean diving and man that first dive in the ocean changed everything! I never wanted to dive the bay again! Little did I know this was a double edge sword.
Although there is good fish to be had here in Victoria it is very based on season and in that season you only get handful of days you can actually get in the water especially from shore. You gotta align our constant big swell, low wind and the right time of the year.
Don’t get me wrong;
– this didn’t stop me getting in the water all the time but it was hard going and not super rewarding for the beginner, so I turned my attention north, over the next few years I would dive locations like Bermagui, Eden and Townsville which made the motivation to get back into the water in Victoria super low.
I basically repeated this trend of going north and diving then coming back to Vic and basically only diving those perfect days until about 2 years ago when I took the plunge and bought a jetski and boy did that change everything.
I started becoming obsessed with getting a blue fin tuna the jet-ski I got was super capable and I soon found that as long was the wind was good it didn’t really matter what the swell was doing (within reason) I could get out to my favourite parts of Vic the South West. I proceeded to spend the next month chasing tuna seeing them time and time again but either the viz was really bad and I’d just catch a glimpse of them or they would just hang out of shooting range and pass me by.
But then it happened …
…it was towards the end of the day and I had basically called it on the tuna and headed in to an island for a bit of a look for crays and to get some footage of seals, but on my way in to the island the sounder lit up in 60m of water and I knew exactly what they were, I had the gun in the gunnel ready to go attached to my two Riffe floats which was then attached to the ski, I rolled off the side of the ski into the blue breathed up and swam down to around the 10m mark, as I was swimming down I was just surrounded by massive tuna it was absolutely awesome and super hard to keep calm I lined up one of the smaller ones that came in close as I had no idea how hard the fight would be and pulled the trigger.
Ever since that day I’ve been a lot better at finding the blues and it has reignited my love for spearing, I never imagined 10 years ago when I shot my first dusky that I would be shooting Bluefin tuna.
Absolutely love spearfishing and its journey that it brings and I cannot wait to start my new journey when I move to Mackay, Queensland later this year .
We are kicking off 2022 with Mike Kane, co-owner of Spear West, one of the best spearfishing stores in Perth and WA! We chat about all things WA spearfishing, joining a club and starting to spear at a late age, dive buddies, boats and driving for hours! Having always owned a boat, he had no shortage of opportunities to dive but starting later in life has given him a different perspective on spearing. If you are ever in WA near Perth you should stop by and give them a visit, you’ll have learned something new by the time you walk out!
Hello Shrek, my name’s Guilherme and I’m a Portuguese spearo. I was listening to your podcast with Josh Bollen and you guys were talking about cooking octopus. In Portugal we have lots and lots of octopus recipes and some tricks to cook them. Unfortunately I didn’t finish my submission for the cook book 99 Spearo Recipes but I still gave my support on Kickstarter. Anyway here are some tricks to cook octopus:
1. ALWAYS freeze them.
What makes the octopus so tough are it’s his muscles and when you freeze them you’re helping to loosen and break some of them down.
2. ALWAYS boil the octopus even before grilling them.
Here is how you boil them. Put water to boil in a pot with nothing more than a glove of garlic and a whole onion. Both without being cut up. When the water is boiling, get the octopus and start submerging it for a few seconds and take it out. Wait a few seconds and do it again like 3 times or so. Then you let it boil on a low heat for about 30-45 mins depending on the size of the octopus.
For some yummy Portuguese octopus dishes, search;
“polvo à lagareiro“
“arroz de polvo“
“pataniscas de polvo“
“alcatra de polvo“.
The last is also a traditional dish that we eat on Christmas. Let me know if there’s still a chance to submit a recipe! Thanks for all the great content keep it up!
Today’s episode is with the Sydney Spearo Chef Jai Gibbons! Talented and passionate about food, he has been cooking all his life and been in and out of many different kitchens around the country, picking up a treasure trove of knowledge and tips about preparing and cooking seafood! Jai has submitted an awesome guide to 99 Spearo Recipes that’s all about caring for your catch to get the best possible eating experience from it, we go in depth about that and the other tips and tricks he’s learnt in his career so far. What to do after you have speared and secured the fish, how to store, fillet and process the meat, how to choose the best knife for whatever job you’re doing and a big section on dry-aging are some of the big talking points in this interview. If you’re excited for 99 Spearo Recipes and are interested in cooking better seafood, this episode is for you! How to dry-age fish, fillet and process fish better and make better, more creative seafood dishes without the intimidation, enjoy it!
Today’s episode is with James Sakker, aka Sakker J – The best telemarketer you didn’t know of! Absolutely mad about spearfishing, we chat about hunting Snapper, Dhufish, big Abalone, some interesting tips for using crayfish to call fish, hunting in cold dirty water and dealing with sharks! James is well travelled and has speared in many places all over the world, he recounts his time in the USA and in Mexico going from cold dirty Great White infested waters to warm, clear water with huge fish around. James has also submitted a bunch of recipes to 99 Spearo Recipes so keep an eye out for his recipes when it comes out! There is also a great discussion on dealing with sharks and his experiences with different species in different parts of the world. He also wears a tourniquet and has a great Youtube channel!
Today’s episode is with Josh Bollen from Sydney! He has submitted several recipes to 99 Spearo Recipes and is passionate about cooking and eating food he’s foraged or caught and foraged. He has a love for making food look good and when you see his recipes you will understand why! We chat about smoking fish, dry aging meat and the magic of vacuum packing and how to get the best and most out of your catch. Have a listen to this interview and stay tuned for 99 Spearo Recipes for his recipes and a ton more! We also chat about anxiety in diving, how to deal with it and ways to improve your experience of life. Enjoy listening and let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Today’s episode is part 2 of the Adreno Capricorn Trip, a week long spearfishing charter aboard the Eastern Voyager to the Great Barrier Reef where Noob and experienced Spearos alike got to dive in one of the best environments around. This part on the interview starts on the trip back to port at the end of the trip. We get insights from some of the Adreno crew and reflections from Noob Spearos who are new to the water and some who have never shot a fish before this trip! This is by far one of the best spearfishing charter’s around – great food, hot showers and world class spearing.
Has this interview made you want to go on a spearfishing charter?
05:10 Welcome back to the Eastern Voyager
08:18 High and low points of the trip for Wayne
09:20 Best catches of the trip?
10:51 Would you recommend this trip?
12:16 Last thoughts and tips
13:18 Trip board
14:45 Jack, tell us about your trip
16:50 Minimum experience for coming out here
19:20 Best catches
20:45 Jordy, tell us about your trip
24:45 High point of the trip?
25:46 How did you stay in the right headspace while being tired?
29:00 Ryan, you had some ear troubles, tell us about your trip
32:45 Did your line fishing background help at all?
34:28 How did your first dive of the trip go?
37:14 Tim’s thoughts
40:46 Ryan, how has the spearfishing gone?
43:40 Advice for people doing this trip
47:17 Describe your trip
49:55 Amy, how was your trip?
52:40 How has the fishing been?
01:00:55 How was the photography part of the trip?
01:03:47 Describe this trip
01:05:11 Dave is here too, how was your trip?
01:07:06 Your struggles
01:10:08 Describe the trip
01:11:15 Clear Eyes on your ears: advice from our chef
01:14:24 Joel and Taylor, tell us about the sleeping on the ship and how was your trip?
01:17:00 Highlights of the trip
01:18:15 Tell us about your Spanish Mackeral
01:22:25 What have you learned from shooting this big fish?
01:30:26 Perks of working for Adreno and more highlights
01:32:53 I shot some Tuskfish and you were just as stoked
01:35:15 Does this trip give you a reset on your energy?
Today’s episode is with Daniel Mann! If you do spearfishing and watch any YouTube and you don’t know who he is you are missing out! He runs one of the best spearfishing channels around, stocked full of great content and tips. He’s recently been really upping his chef game, as you’ve probably seen in his recent videos. A talented chef that is also an extremely talented spearo, we chat about reel guns – when to use them, why you would and wouldn’t want to use them, alternatives and tips and tricks with using them. We also chat about some of the amazing recipes he’s been cooking and his thoughts on the 99 Spearo Recipes cook book!
Do you use a float line or a reel on your speargun?
Daniel Mann scanning the bottom spearfishing
07:05 Welcome back Daniel!
08:27 Who are you, where do you stay and what are you doing with your time?
10:55 We got a message from a spearo that can’t use a float as it is too dangerous
12:20 Why I use a reel gun
14:25 Be prepared to lose your gun
18:43 Type of structure you dive on
20:10 90% of Noob Spearos need a float line
21:20 Diving alone and dive watches
23:35 Old school approach to safety when using reels
27:45 What do you need to look out for when diving with a reel?
29:30 A good boaty
32:10 Getting caught in the reef
40:05 Shrek, what do you use?
43:21 So you moved to the spearfishing capital of the world, London – the London International Spearfishing Club
48:25 The core appeal of spearfishing is the same wherever you go
54:25 Traveling and spearfishing – lessons learned
Today’s episode is with Spencer Allen from California. He is an all in spearo that has fully embraced the lifestyle and has been a big contributor to the 99 Spearo Recipes book. His cooking is even better than his spearfishing! After losing all his gear in a house fire, he stopped hunting and never really got back into it until he started kayak fishing. After being smashed attempting a big surf launch he almost gave it up again, but decided not to quit. He found some buddies to take him out again and ended up catching a 41 inch Halibut. He has been hooked ever since! Join us as we chat about spearfishing and cooking, the Channel Islands, finding buddies and ways to be a better spearo. Let us know what you think about this episode!
00:13 Intro and 99 Spearo Recipes messages
05:25 Welcome Spencer! Tell us about yourself!
09:07 What is a yard sale and how do you launch in the surf?
Today’s episode is a special one! It features interviews done while out on the Adreno Capricorn Bunker Trip, a 1 week spearfishing charter on the Great Barrier Reef aboard the Eastern Voyager! Join some of the legends from Adreno like Wayne Judge and Taylor Slattery along with the familiar voice of Trevor Ketchion and some actual Noob Spearos as they discuss plans, expectations and goals for the trip. This is a great opportunity and one of the easiest spearfishing charters you can get – hot showers, great food and priceless advice and guidance from legendary spearos, we highly recommend doing this trip! Book your own trip here! As always, a massive thanks to Adreno for making this trip so memorable!
Photo Credit: Amy Stevens @beyond_amy
Photo Credit: Amy Stevens @beyond_amy
Photo Credit: Amy Stevens @beyond_amy
02:56 PADI Level 1 Course
09:45 Welcome to the Eastern Voyager! Introducing Adreno legend Wayne Judge and Noob Spearos Ryan, Jack and Jordy
13:31 Wayne, what is the plan for this trip?
14:00 We are going spearfishing, not freediving
17:03 How is everyone feeling about the trip?
18:22 Great advice from Wayne
Photo Credit: Amy Stevens @beyond_amy
21:28 Hunting: find the fish’s weakness
23:20 We have some great conditions here
24:08 What goals do you have for this trip?
26:10 Frenzel or Valsalva?
32:55 Questions for Wayne: How do I prepare for that first dive?
34:17 How much weight should I use?
35:50 Sharks: When do we get out of the water?
40:58 How do you stop the urge to breathe?
44:24 How long should I be recovering for?
48:21 Diving with more experienced spearos
50:40 Part 2
51:53 Day 3: Taylor, How has it been so far?
52:54 Trevor is hitting his prime!
53:26 Fish of the trip?
56:44 Ryan shooting his first fish ever!
59:00 My first Blackspot Tuskfish and Spangled Emperors
01:01:52 How has the boat been? Good meals and hot showers are excellent
01:03:04 The Queen of Content: Amy!
01:07:57 Trevor Ketchion vs Daniel Mann: Most underrated fish
01:11:08 What struggles have you had?
01:13:00 What are your goals for the rest of the trip? Shoot a trout! How are you going to do it?
01:16:51 Being a good boaty
01:21:14 Trevor’s advice
01:23:20 Safe buddy diving
01:26:16 Taylor’s boaty advice
01:31:14 What goals do you all want to achieve on the last few days?
If you consider how many different video game titles there are, which cater towards people who are fans of, or partake in various hobbies and interests, it could be considered strange that spearfishing is rarely something covered in this genre of popular culture. Video games can often spark an extra interest in whatever activity they’re based upon, so it would be good if they could be used to attract a new audience to spearfishing, too.
These titles are often also used as a different way for people to enjoy their passion during some downtime, or sometimes develop their craft further, by mimicking and practicing the actions they use on the racetrack or on the field, for example. But amongst the plethora of titles available, there’s only a few that reference our favorite pastime.
One of the most notable games amongst that handful is Freediving Hunter: Spearfishing The World, which was released on the Xbox One and on the PC. It was received quite well, with people enjoying how unique it was. Now, as people are gaming on their phones, tablets, console and PCs, it would be good to consider what options there could be to encourage more people to sample the underwater experience.
There has been a huge rise in the number of people picking up Virtual Reality capable devices over the past few years. In our article on ‘Training for Spearfishing’, it’s clear the best training available is spearfishing. Whilst this maybe true, it may not be possible for people to get out into the water as regular as they like. So, a realistic, VR based experience would be the next best thing. The immersion offered in VR is second to none, after all we’ve already noted, people in other disciplines utilize gaming to better their physical and mental skills. Bringing the underwater experience into homes via VR could be the ideal way of showing off everything that our activity has to offer.
Away from the ultra-realistic world of VR, there could be a place for a simpler, more accessible title. After all, Ridiculous Fishing, which was released on mobile was a huge hit with gamers, not just fishermen and women. Some of the biggest hits found in the app stores are the simpler titles, which soon gather a massive following due to their easy to pick up and play elements. With over 6 billion people now owning smartphones, is there any better way of raising awareness of the thrills of being a spearo, than introducing it to the commuter friendly platform?
Another growth area in gaming is online slots with more people taking to that pastime during the last 18 months. One reason is that there’s an almost endless choice of titles available. Amidst that limitless variety of slots now online, Foxy Bingo’s games currently feature a few titles that actually relate to fishing. “Fishin’ For Wins” and “Slingone Fishin’” for instance take slot players to the seas. With their bright graphics, and cool mini-games, they’ve proved popular. There are now fishing, and scuba diving slots already so it would be fantastic to see spearfishing represented, too.
Mini game in a huge title
Now we’ve thought about games in their own right, which spearfishing does deserve. But over the past ten or so years there’s been an explosion in mini-games within bigger titles. Some of which have then gained that much interest that they’ve sparked their own following. In Grand Theft Auto for example, there are so many people that head into the game just to compete in the mini-games available. Spearfishing could be a real addition to the next GTA game, it would certainly fit in with the title. Boats are available in the game for players to ‘buy’, so the natural progression would be to introduce the option of becoming a spearo too, right? The exposure gained from spearfishing being introduced to this franchise alone would be stratospheric, putting the activity firmly in the mind of the gamer.
We hope you enjoyed our look at the some of the options to bring spearfishing to a wider audience, raising more awareness and hopefully growing the numbers of people who are getting involved.
Today’s interview is with Brian Fern, aka @Unkolearnuhow from Hawaii! He has a genuine wealth of knowledge on gear and diving from his almost 40 years of spearfishing with a particular mindset towards sustainability and safety. In Hawaii, spearfishing is seen as more of a lifestyle than a sport – that shows in the way he speaks about spearfishing and guides others into it. He is a big advocate for buddy diving and gives us some actionable tips on how to dive safely and more effectively, how to handle Noob Spearos that don’t know much about safety and how to confront experienced spearos that have unsafe dive practices. He even has some advice on avoiding and treating ciguatera poisoning! Have a listen and let us know what you think! We need to get Brian back for a 2nd episode, we didn’t have time to get through everything we wanted to speak about!
01:50 Spencer Allen on 99 Spearo Recipes
04:53 Hello and welcome Brian!
06:24 Spearfishing in Hawaii is more of a lifestyle than a sport
08:08 Hawaiians seem very connected to their environment, is this true or just the tourists view?
10:40 Invasive species
12:25 Ciguatera poisoning
13:34 What was your experience of that and how did you treat it?
16:11 Alcohol and coffee making the symptoms worse
17:11 When did you start spearfishing?
19:12 Pole spears
21:42 There’s no such thing as a shit fish, only a shit cook – do you agree?
22:17 Staple fish species
23:40 You have super clear water which presents it’s own challenges
25:40 How did you develop your freediving to be able to hunt those fish and be safe?
28:50 “I want to dive like Ryan Myers – how long will that take me to learn?”
33:10 Learning to be patient
36:15 Diving with better divers
38:37 What about diving with someone that doesn’t listen to good advice?
40:32 Learning through time and observation – how to not suck at spearfishing
41:30 Diving with bad buddies – have a game plan on the shore
42:54 How do you dive with people who can’t dive as deep as you can?
44:10 How do you confront experienced divers that have bad dive practices? The dangers of experience and ego
47:40 Wrapping up buddy diving – have a partner that’s at or just above your skill level
49:18 Struggling to do one up and one down? Dive with 1 gun!
51:51 Understanding variable conditions – what do spearos need to understand about reading conditions?
54:03 How do people find spearing mentors in Hawaii?
55:59 Spearfishing clubs
57:27 How do you confront people that have decided that they know enough?
58:16 Conditions: you need to learn from local divers – talk to life guards
01:00:03 Online weather resources
01:00:56 How do you know when you are too deep?
01:03:22 The right equipment for the right job
01:05:19 Financial barrier to entry – if you have the wrong gear, you are risking your life
01:08:21 Mannysub – what do you like about his gear? Premium gear that’s been well designed with great customer service
01:14:57 Before hunting with a new gun – DO SOME TARGET PRACTICE – properly powering your gun
01:18:16 Pipe guns vs wood guns
01:20:00 Price is a big influence – rigging and using your speargun is a big thing to learn. Mannysub gives you instruction manuals with their spearguns
01:21:32 Mannysub roller conversion kit – Brian is the US and Hawaii rep
01:23:04 How do people reach out and find you and your gear? Rollerspearguns.com and unkolearnuhow.com
01:23:56 We are out of time – thanks for being on the show!
Dive watches are becoming increasingly popular within the spearfishing world, and I believe they pack massive benefits when used correctly. However, like most of my ideas regarding spearfishing topics, my opinion on dive watches may come across as controversial. I don’t believe you need a dive watch, and I would go so far as to say that using a dive watch has the potential to do more harm than good. Whilst I have used a dive watch sporadically throughout my time, I have never personally owned one. As such, my experience comes from using friend’s watches, or using the devices provided on freediving courses.
I was prompted to write this article after more than a few people at the start of their spearfishing journey messaged me to ask what dive watch they needed for spearfishing.
I’ve been spearfishing for about 15 years now. I had started after watching a friend who was involved in the sport, and instantly I was hooked. In fact here’s a pic of me back in the day 👇👇
Prior to spearfishing, I already had a massive connection with the ocean, which I had gained from snorkeling at a young age, and jumping off big cliffs around Torquay into the ocean. This involved avoiding rocks both above and below the water, which was dangerous stuff.
I had already been spearfishing for a couple of years before completing a PADI scuba course for my birthday. This was when I began to learn more about the technical side of diving, and whilst most of this wasn’t too relevant to spearfishing or freediving, it did put a dive computer on my wrist and teach me to keep an eye on my depth. From then on, I wasn’t too enthused by scuba diving. Lugging all the gear around seemed incredibly restricting and unnatural after years of spearfishing. Nonetheless, it was a fantastic experience.
The next time I used a dive watch was on a spearfishing trip in Fiji, where I trialed one for a week and a half of diving, and subsequently on freediving courses I completed in Malta and the UK. I enjoyed the novelty of having a dive watch and the ability to precisely calculate depth instead of just going “yeahhh that’s about 12m”. I have also since borrowed friend’s watches whilst diving in the UK, Australia, Thailand and the Philippines.
I can understand how dive watches can be beneficial to spearos, and I have witnessed this through my primary dive buddy Andy. He purchased a dive watch, and this pushed him to accentuate his diving through deeper dives and extended bottom times. It’s an excellent device for sure and used correctly.
Here’s what I don’t like about dive watches
I have unfortunately witnessed individuals become fixated on the digits that dive watches produce, which I believe is dangerous because it can mislead and distract a diver from the dangers of depth and breath-hold.
I’d go one step further by stating that dive watches can, and have, killed people. I dive each day according to the day. I do not time each dive, nor do I record the depths to which I’m diving. I play each day as it comes. Some days, I feel more comfortable and will go deeper. Other days I don’t. Now whilst I have a rubbish conception of time in the water (sorry to anyone who has done a 6 hour + dive with me waiting for me to come back to shore), I do have my GoPro recording some dives, so I know roughly what my bottom times are.
Some clips show me on the bottom for 20 seconds. Other dives have shown me on the bottom for close to 2 minutes when distracted by marine life, deep in thought or waiting for a fish to come in to be shot.
I instinctively listen to my body. Without the dive watch, I am less focused on comparing myself to previous performances and more focused on just listening to what my body is saying. Each day is uniquely different and your body’s condition, its fuel (food and drink), mental state, water temperature, visibility, fish life, the weather, location with also differ day to day all of these things play a factor in your breath-hold.
I generally believe no two dives are the same. Whilst they may be incredibly similar, all it takes is one extra fish on the bottom that manages to grab your attention to be enough to impact your breath-hold.
This is because distractions or tasks can allow you to ignore the body’s natural alarm system. Some of the longest dives I have on camera are me watching a strange interaction or waiting for that fish just hanging on the edge to come in that little closer.
Having a dive watch on your wrist allows you to concentrate on exactly how long you’ve been holding your breath and at what depth you are at. This is why I find them so dangerous, as divers can become so fixated on the numbers and achieving certain goals instead of listening to their body’s innate response to the dive time and depth. Hence, unless you are explicitly capable of seeing the numbers as only a useful set of data and not a standard level of achievement, dive watches can be a dangerous tool.
Let’s say you can dive all day to 20m with a minute on the bottom each dive. If you are diving in 14m and you begin to feel slightly uncomfortable, you may check your watch and discover that you’ve only been holding your breath for 20 seconds. You will see the depth and time displayed and decide to hold for at least another 40 seconds as expected from a typical dive. This is where watches can be bloody dangerous.
Another situation where I find dive watches to be dangerous is when dives are combined with a competitive and self-determined personality. This is a personality trait that I sometimes apply to really random things but thankfully, not spearfishing anymore. By constantly seeking to beat previously recorded times, it can land you in a world of trouble. Some dive watches will calculate surface rest times and provide the user with a beep to let them know when it’s safe to dive again. They may also lock until sufficient time has passed to prevent you from diving before a reasonable surface rest interval. This is an excellent feature, but again you shouldn’t disregard what your body tells you just because your watch says it’s okay to dive.
Other funky features of dive watches, such as water temperature, may indicate to you when it’s likely to encounter certain species of fish, which is of course a general timekeeping piece. To summarise, I think dive watches are an excellent tool for spearfishing if the individual uses them as a guide and not as a target. I do think they can absolutely improve the safety of a spearo.
However, you should always listen to your body first and foremost. It’s trying to keep you alive, so pay attention! Don’t hold yourself to the performance of your past dives and understand that your performance in the water will fluctuate from day to day, which is totally normal and perfectly okay.
You should only attempt deep dives and personal bests in the company of experienced/trained friends with ideal conditions.
If you are just getting into spearfishing, I’d advise you to not bother with a dive watch to begin with, focus on developing basic snorkel and hunting techniques, as you progress then maybe consider a freediving course and have a play with one there. You can also borrow one off a mate or rent one before committing to purchasing one, as you progress further in your spearfishing journey.
As I said, I’ve been spearfishing for 15 years, and I have never owned a freediving/spearfishing watch, and yet I rarely go hungry (unless there’s a greedy no-good thieving seal about).
My gear laid out prior to a Hike and Spear mission!
Wet Mammal’s Top Tip: Remove your watch before you try removing your wetsuit jacket! Sounds obvious, but if you know someone with a dive watch, I bet they’ve got themselves into a pickle.
Why don’t I have a dive watch? In part, because I’m a tight arse, and I genuinely don’t have a need for it for the ground of NSW that I frequently dive. It’s enough to get a delicious feed from, and that’s all I’m after. If I lived in areas that required deeper and longer dives, I would be more likely to purchase and use one. On the other hand, I don’t know if I could trust myself diving solo and become distracted by the digits. I also enjoy going for long dives and having the excuse of not knowing what the time was if I missed important dates. With a timepiece on my wrist, the claim wouldn’t stand as well. Perhaps I wrote this whole article to convince close friends and family they are dangerous so I can keep arriving late to meetings while still wet.
Ultimately, a lot of spearfishing comes down to knowing your limitations and discovering your limits gently in good conditions and with qualified or capable people.
Today’s interview is with Lisa Ferrier Rafkin, a badass and frothing speara that holds 15 women’s world records! Join us as we chat about her journey in spearfishing, her struggles, memorable fish and some great tips for hunting pelagic fish species and staying safe! She is part of the Sea of Love Foundation where she teaches children to spearfish! She is clearly exceptionally talented at spearfishing and although she hasn’t been doing it for very long, she has a lot that you can learn from when it comes to technique, overcoming challenges and caring for your catch. The species on her list are things like Bluefin Tuna, Roosterfish and big yellow tail to name a few, if you are interested in hunting bigger game fish this is a great episode to listen to!
05:12 Hello and welcome! Tell us about the Sea Of Love Foundation
06:19 You are softhearted in the day and a badass spearfisher at night! You have 15x women’s world records!
08:12 What draws you to the ocean?
08:57 Your work takes a toll on you, is spearfishing a type of therapy for you?
10:28 What’s your earliest spearfishing memory?
12:24 You started a new sport at a late age, how did you find the process of starting new?
14:21 Starting with very competent people can be intimidating
15:56 I got my first blue water gun in 2016 after a lot of diving
17:41 What is a “paddy”? If there’s a bird on it, it’s a good sign!
18:46 What size are we talking?
20:10 How do you approach a paddy?
21:23 Explain the hunting around a paddy
22:23 Undersized yellowtail “rats”
23:17 What does ethical spearfishing mean to you?
24:30 Your awareness of the ethics become nuanced as you develop in your spearfishing
28:05 What was it like learning to freedive at 52?
29:32 Duck dive technique is a huge thing
30:23 What’s the first hunt that stands out in your memory?
32:17 Have you had a problem with shot placement with bigger yellowtail?
33:45 Loading a speargun
35:31 Sometimes you need to struggle
37:44 Dealing with excitement when you find a great fish
39:42 The missed opportunities keep you coming back
40:27 Pulling fish in on your shooting line, it takes practice
42:14 Dorado/mahi mahi really test you and your team
43:14 As a novice hunting Bluefin Tuna, what advice do you have?
46:31 Watch where your line is!
47:08 Are you using a clutch setup? Yes!
48:53 Do Bluefin dive deep when they get scared?
52:42 What tough/scary situations have you had? Getting wrapped in line
59:05 Black Sea Bass
59:57 People wonder how we can love animals so much and still hunt and eat them
01:03:06 Equipment: Riffe speargun and wetsuit
01:04:23 I don’t use a low volume mask, my scuba mask just fits perfectly and I have problems with all the low volume makes I’ve used
01:07:00 Do you do any pool training?
01:08:10 Getting a little extra depth opens up bigger fish and the problem with comparison in spearfishing
01:10:06 Dive within your limits and shallow water blackouts
0:11:24 When I take people to hunt bigger fish I make sure they keep there surface to diving ratio good
01:14:37 Funny stuff!
01:16:53 Lessons learned for drift diving
01:17:41 Shooting a 56lb Roosterfish and almost losing all my gear
01:19:08 What do they taste like?
01:19:53 Bluefin tuna: caring and processing is different than for other fish
01:22:02 Dry aging fish
01:24:49 Treating fish well is an important thing
01:26:37 Spearo Q&A
Single best tip: using pink bands, seriously! It attracts fish!
Who’s been the most influential person in your spearfishing?
If you had to start spearfishing all over again, what would you do differently?
Describe what the spearfishing experience means to you.
01:30:30 Where can people find you on social media?
Today’s interview is with Daniel Semrad of the Oregon Freediving Company! He is a world record holding spearfishing and freediving instructor that is also be an award winning teacher! He now runs the Oregon Freediving Company with his wife Talya who also holds spearfishing world records and is a competitive freediver representing South Africa! They train in some great conditions, we’re talking about dirty and 6-10 degree water! Listen in as we chat about spearfishing in Oregon, running a freediving shop and teaching students, hunting techniques, exercises and dry training to benefit your diving and a whole lot more. Dan is an awesome guy and a great diver, let us know what you think of this episode!
04:03 Hello and welcome Daniel Semrad! Tell us about the freediving/spearfishing community in Oregon
06:08 You’re a freedive instructor, how did you get there?
07:47 You won the Excite Award from MIT for being an exciting teacher
10:30 Water conditions in Oregon
11:38 What suit do you wear in your 6-10 degree water?
13:23 You probably spend a lot of time in the pool with conditions like that. How do you run your courses?
15:14 Buddy protocols in dirty water, what are you teaching your students?
17:56 What role do static exercises play in spearfishing?
19:25 When you feel you need to speed up, slow down. How did this become a reality to you?
22:22 My Octopus Teacher – has that impacted the amount of your customers?
24:09 Talya Davidoff is your wife, she is an accomplished spearo (3x world records) and competitive freediver too
25:10 Tell us about your records
28:38 What does your spearfishing consist of these days?
30:08 Walk us through a great day spearfishing for you
32:22 Purple urchins, are they bad over there?
33:48 Are they good eating?
34:50 Fisheries management
37:16 Hunting in Oregon: what species and how do you hunt them?
39:42 What are the telltale signs of the species you look for? Type of rock, seaweed, coral or animals.
42:17 You are covering a lot of ground looking for fish
43:03 I don’t like statics or aspetto spearfishing: hunting in Hawaii and Alaska
45:58 Gear: what do you use? You mentioned using a pole spear
47:19 Do you guys like smoking fish up there?
49:20 Scary stuff: have you had any close calls?
52:08 Spearfishing off a kayak: lessons learned from bad situations
55:22 What obstacles did you find in your spearfishing?
56:46 The delicate balance of doing freediving/spearfishing as a job, how do you balance it?
01:01:04 Understanding weather conditions and making predictions: how to predict visibility
01:03:45 Have you kept a dive log for spearfishing?
01:04:53 You have some back health issues? What do you do in the gym?
01:06:44 What cross training has been relevant for spearfishing and freediving?
01:08:30 Dry training can be hard to maintain, have you found the same?
01:09:22 Training resources for dry training
01:10:35 What yoga do you do?
01:11:34 Hate for spearfishing: what criticisms have you got for spearfishing and how do you respond?
01:13:39 Spearfishing on scuba vs freediving
01:14:44 Funny stuff
01:16:38 What’s in your dive bag? Wetsuit, gloves, fins, dive computer, weights, speargun and pole spear, shooting line, buoys/floats and lines, etc.
01:24:08 Do you teach spearo etiquette?
01:25:19 Spearo Q&A
Single best spearfishing tip: slow down!
What does the spearfishing experience mean to you? Hit the reset button
Who’s been the most influential people in your community? My local community
Where in the world would you like to go spearfishing? South Africa and Australia
01:27:30 Where can people find you and where is your shop?
01:29:23 Are you running courses again?
01:30:15 Outro and last notes that Daniel didn’t mention
Today’s interview is with Lyndsay Lyon from Ocean Guardian, originally and probably better known as Shark Shield! They make a range of products that are designed to make ocean activities safer and to decrease the amount of shark attacks on humans. It works by creating an electrical field that surrounds the diver or surfer that causes a distinct and noticeable reaction in certain types of sharks (namely the ones we humans have trouble with, Great White, Bull Shark, Tiger Shark) and causes them to turn away. Now, making a product that aims to stop shark attacks is a big claim and needs to be backed up by solid evidence and rigorous testing. We had a ton of questions from our community asking the questions that everyone wants to know: Will this stop a Great White from biting me? How close do the sharks need to get for these products to work? Can I trust my life to this?
If you are wondering at all about any of these questions, have a listen to this episode and it will answer all these and more! In the links below are several videos of these products being tested and you can see for yourself just how effective they are.
05:00 Hello Lyndsay! Where did the name change come from?
06:42 How did you get involved with Terra Australis and Andre Rerekura?
07:50 Terra Australis did a test with the surf board product
09:00 Tell us about how sharks sense the world and how Ocean Guardian affects sharks
10:47 Do they see in colour?
12:12 What scientific studies have been done? Many marine animals use electrical fields
15:14 What is the effective range?
17:44 What is the shark’s physiological reaction to the electrical field?
18:35 Has anyone been bitten while wearing one? What guarantee is there?
21:15 National Geographic has a good video on this with Chris Hemsworth
23:15 Use this as a risk mitigation strategy
24:07 What species are they most effective on? Only 3 main sharks that are a real concern to humans, Great Whites, Bull and Tiger sharks
25:41 Oceanic White Tips and Reef sharks and Mako’s, are they effective against them?
27:04 Installing the device into your fins
28:33 Have you thought about partnering with fin companies? Why a fin isn’t the best option
31:00 Handheld device for spearos
32:14 Problems with the first handheld Sharkshield
33:53 We are in a very small industry
37:06 Version 2.0 of the eSPEAR
38:15 Surfers are the highest risk
38:45 Bubbles also scare sharks
39:24 Shark barrier to replace shark nets
39:56 Does this interfere with other animals?
41:01 Government perspective on drum lines and shark nets
43:00 WA government actually gives you money to buy shark deterrents
43:58 Shark Eyes
46:20 Is there a maximum size shark it will work on?
Image by @sharkyaerials – The Ampullae of Lorenzini
48:00 Does 1 diver wearing this device put the others at a higher risk?
50:26 Hanging the device on your float or stringer
51:32 What are the long term effects on humans at depth?
53:21 Sharks seem to be more aggressive on the surface
54:52 I see more sharks with my shield on than without
56:40 The inverse square law and how far the field can be detected
57:39 Sharks can only sense electrical fields about 50cm away
01:00: Does the device emit a vibration?
01:00:55 Can these devices aggravate the sharks more?
01:02:46 Practicalities of using this in kelp or on coral reefs
01:04:44 Floating the device
01:06:45 How has Covid affected your business?
01:08:33 Adding an interchangeable battery
01:09:47 Shock protection?
01:11:23 Helping shark attack survivors get back into the water: The Bite Club on Facebook
01:15:13 How do you store the device?
01:16:00 How do you check the charge?
01:17:23 Auto-inflating vest for black out protection
01:18:30 What reduces the effectiveness?
01:20:09 How does it attach to you?
01:20:58 When will you have stock again and where can I buy them + servicing
01:25:08 What is the future for Ocean Guardian?
01:26:26 What’s your ultimate vision for Ocean Guardian?
How to upgrade your speargun and miss less fish! Today’s episode is with the Coatesman, Chris Coates! He and Shrek talk about accurizing, it is a word, the process of making your speargun accurate. They go through common speargun problems, shooting line, choice of brand, aiming techniques and much more. We rely heavily on our gear when spearfishing, this episode is all about making sure your hardware is working as best as it can. Roller guns vs traditional spearguns, barbs, bent shafts, mono vs dyneema and everything you need to know to upgrade your speargun, aim better and miss less fish!
Interested in roller guns? He has been the authority on roller’s for a while now and has released a great video series on Youtube and his website called Unrolling The Roller, it’s everything you need to know about roller guns!
What accuracy issues have you experienced? How did you solve them? Let us know in the comments!
00:14 Welcome to the show
05:15 Welcome back Chris Coatesman!
06:09 Spearfishing equipment cannot come back through the door
08:28 Every spearo has accuracy issues
09:53 The difference between weekend warriors and competitive spearos
11:02 First place to look, is your shaft straight?
12:15 I dive with at least 2 guns
14:20 Using the correct shaft
16:39 Why I use Rob Allen gear
19:08 Bro science vs engineering, practicality trumps the science
24:15 When buying a gun, make sure the shaft is aligned
25:11 I don’t make shafts and I don’t have handles
27:10 The downsides of homemade gear, don’t just make things cheaper, make them better
30:57 Next thing to look at is tuning your barb
33:20 There is a reason you work through troubleshooting in a specific order
35:30 Wishbones and shooting line, dyneema vs mono
44:42 Keep your guns the same
46:39 You can’t compare speargun prices to other sports. A speargun will last you 10 years if you do it right
48:27 Remove all doubt, have gear you can rely on. Carry spare parts
53:20 Fail fast and move on. Know where the issue is