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Dummies Guide to Spearfishing - Introduction  Rate Topic 
 
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 Posted: Fri Aug 1st, 2008 09:06 am
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1st Post
miles
Sealine Expert - Offshore


Joined: Wed May 30th, 2007
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 2097
Equipment: not enough
Best Catch: still trying
Favorite Fishing Spot: the sea!!!
Boat: 33' butt-cat, 18' butt-cat, 5m Gemini
Club: False Bay Yacht Club, Oceana Power Boat Club
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Mana: 
Let me start this off with a short story of my first encounter with a spearfisherman, or SPEARO, as they're know.

I was fishing at Strandfontein Pool on the left, on some rocks. Wind was Nw'erly and the sea was flat and calm. PERFECT for galgoen! After spending the better part of the morning there, with NOTHING to show for my efforts, a spearo arrived. He greeted me and proceeded to get kitted up and jumped in. He spent the next 2 hours or so, in the kelp beds, pretty close to shore. When he exited the water, he had a couple of nice galgoen and a few belman, one being over 5kg's!! My first thoughts were, :"thats cheating!! He gets into the water and simply shoots the fish!! Not fair!!....."

Anycase, fast forward a good number of years and i had my own commercial line fishing boat. After spending 4-5 days catching well over 1000kg's of geelbek or cob per night, between 4 fisherman on handline, the lure of recreational angling started to diminish. I was spoilt! I didn't want to spend a night on the beach fishing for one or two kob, if i had just caught a few hundred kilo's of kob the night or two before.

So, i started out diving crayfish with a buddy at Platbank, Rooikrantz area. Being DEATHLY afraid of sharks, as most people are, after seeing JAWS, i sticked to the kelp beds, very close to shore. As time progressed, i became more and more comfortable and started venturing a bit deeper, but still with-in the safety of the kelp beds. Pretty soon i started seeing bigger fish! GALJOEN to be precise!! Needless to say, off i went to buy my first gun!!

Probably 2 months worth of trying to spear a Galjoen, i was still 'mom-bak'. Spearguns have very limited range and you need to get quite close to the fish to spear it. Everytime i dived, every fish with-in 10m of me would scatter!! Man, this was DIFFICULT!! I ended up shooting hottentot and butterfish, nothing over 500grams!!

With no teacher/mentor or much reading material available, i turned to the spearfishing forums in Australia and the US for info. Pretty soon i was absorbing as much as i could take in. Things started to get better. I met up with some local spearo's, who taught me the ropes and pretty soon i was spearing galgoen!

Everything sort of just cascaded from there!! Moving on to hunting pelajic's in the open waters, to hunting large pelajics in the deep!!

Bottom line: spearfishing was A-HELLUVA-LOT more difficult than i thought!!

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 Posted: Fri Aug 1st, 2008 09:35 am
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2nd Post
miles
Sealine Expert - Offshore


Joined: Wed May 30th, 2007
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 2097
Equipment: not enough
Best Catch: still trying
Favorite Fishing Spot: the sea!!!
Boat: 33' butt-cat, 18' butt-cat, 5m Gemini
Club: False Bay Yacht Club, Oceana Power Boat Club
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
ETHICS & SUSTAINABILITY

Spearfishing is one of the most ethical forms of marine harvesting. The is no by-catch, the spearfisher enters the aquatic realm, completely unsuited for the environment and has to out-wit his prey, whilst knowing that he is NOT the APEX predator in the realm that he is hunting in.

Spearo's have many limiting factors. The level of their skill is the first one. Very few spearo's can operate at depths deeper than -30m, with most being able to hunt in the -5 to -20m depths. This protects the deeper water fish stocks. Spearo's are also very dependant on the weather, as they can only fish on days when the water is clean.

The vast majority of spearo's tend to target pelajic species. These gamefish tend to grow fast, have a healthy population and can therefor sustain limited harvesting. Looking at the Cape waters, very, very few spearo's target demersal species (reef fish) Reef fish are slow growing and resident, which makes for an easy target. The majority of spearo's won't bother to shoot them, as they pose no challenge. (This could be likened to a hunter who won't shoot a cow in a field!!)

Spearo's have also been actively trying to conserve our fish stocks. Look at the Potato bass as an example. It was the spearfishing fraternity that pushed for the banning of Potato and Brindle bass.

 

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 Posted: Fri Aug 1st, 2008 09:44 am
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3rd Post
miles
Sealine Expert - Offshore


Joined: Wed May 30th, 2007
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Posts: 2097
Equipment: not enough
Best Catch: still trying
Favorite Fishing Spot: the sea!!!
Boat: 33' butt-cat, 18' butt-cat, 5m Gemini
Club: False Bay Yacht Club, Oceana Power Boat Club
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 
WHY SPEARFISH?

How many of us anglers have stood on the shore, rod in the hand, wandering WHERE the fish are? How many of us stand there, using our immaginations, see the large fish swimming close to your bait, ready to grab it!!

Imagine now being ABLE to SEE whats happening under the water. Seeing schools of galgoen, come cruising past or a school of big musselcrackers darting in and out of the white water like ghosts!!

No more wondering WHERE the fish are! You'll be amazed to see how two area's which look almost identical, a mere couple of meters apart, yet one will be teeming with fish, whilst the other is barren. Relate this back to your rock and surf fishing. How often does it happen that the angler next to you is catching fish after fish, whilst you are fishless, even though you're both using the same bait?

Similarly, you know that when the water gets cold suddenly, fishing will be bad. BUT, to SEE it happening when you dive is another revelation!! Galgoen, hiding away in caves or crevices, Roman not moving a centimetre from its cave!! A area you've previously dived and had lots of fish is suddenly barren, because of the cold water. Spend some time looking at the rocks and holes and caves and crevices and you'll find all those fish!!

Seeing a octopus hunt down a crayfish! Seeing yellowtail encircle you, in a mass of blue's, yellow's and silver, shining like gold!! Seeing yellowtail smash the baitfish right in front of you. Watching 'crackers feeding in and out of the white water. Watching a raggie swim lazily under you! These are the experiences that await you!!

Last edited on Fri Aug 1st, 2008 09:45 am by miles

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