Interview with Brian Fern

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!

Important times:

  • 00:13 Intro
  • 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
  • 01:11:14 Rollerguns
  • 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!
  • 01:24:44 Outro

Podchaser - Noob Spearo Podcast | Spearfishing Tips, Stories and Interviews
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