Understanding the basics of spearfishing has allowed us to live off what we catch as often as we like. But it was this encounter with Dan @Adventureman_Dan where we quickly became friends and learned all about the basics of spearfishing. In this video (Spearfishing 101), we hope you enjoy learning about different species of fish, what depths to start out spearfishing in, and where to look for fish. AND how to handle an aggressive shark!
In this Basics of Spearfishing Video:
00:00 Clarence Town Harbor
01:11 Quick Exhaust Repair
01:51 Spearing a Bar Jack
02:25 About Bar Jacks
03:12 Where to Find Fish
03:42 Spearfishing Mindset
04:11 Queen Triggerfish
04:30 Lemon Shark
04:50 Tiger Grouper and Reef Shark
06:05 Hunt Summary
06:30 How to Handle Aggressive Sharks
06:57 Dinner Aboard Cadence
The Shark Attack
I suppose if you play in the ocean long enough, you’ll encounter sharks. Most sharks are chill. They don’t mind us spearfishing. They slowly cruise around looking for scraps to pick up. This shark was different.
This reef shark was about 5ft in length and had one thing on it’s mind – blood. After Dan speared the Tiger Grouper, the shark quickly honed in on the fish location. After we harvested the grouper, bled him, and put him in the boat, the shark had something else. It had a nose full of blood. And with proteins in its nose, it only saw red.
The shark followed the blood straight to our location, and came aggressively.
It wasn’t poking around and acting curious. It was ready to strike.
Upon seeing this, the only way to respond was to swim toward it and send a clear message – we are not food! With the sharp spear tip removed, Dan loaded up the spear and shot the shark on the nose. This popped it hard enough that the shark swam down to the bottom (about 25 feet). However, it didn’t slow it’s roll. Instead, it circled back quickly with its intention still on blood.
So Dan followed it down and struck at its tail. This was enough, and the shark got the message. It swam away and went back into slow cruiser mode. The safe behavior that put us at ease.
Spearfishing Gear – Polespear
My biggest lesson of the day was about spearfishing gear. I have a $60 Amazon polespear, and it just doesn’t work for any of these bigger fish. To make it happen, I need a longer (8ft or 9ft) spear with a long injector rod.
Dan has the Nomad Headhunter (see below), and it’s awesome! It’s 9ft long and has a roller bearing for the sling. This makes it super simple to power up the spear and get a fast release. That makes it harder for fish to escape.
Headhunter Predator Polespear
This is a great polespear that I hope to upgrade to. It’s a powerful spear with a long injector rod and a slip tip.
Headhunter Nomad Polespear
The Nomad has increased range, more power and speed on long shots. The wristband is comfortable on the hand and is easier to power up than a traditional sling.
A few items that I already have on hand are a wetsuit and one millimeter top and bottoms, a good pair of gloves, and a knife just in case. Spearfishing gear that would be great to have include:
- Underwater light to see under rocks. This is necessary in most cases, especially for lobster.
- Reel. This attaches to the spear. After spearing a fish, you might need to come up for air and then go back down to retrieve the fish. The reel allows you to do this without losing your spear.
- Nori and Wasabi Powder. Plenty of Nori and Wasabi on hand is essential for all that sushi you’re about to eat!
- Snorkel Mask with GoPro Mount. I’ve tried head mounts and chest mounts, but it really needs to be on the mask.