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bottom time...the bottom line ?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Well-Known Member
Apr 21, 2003
This may well be a topic which has been thrashed to death, but here goes anyway...What is the bottom line for improving bottom time for hunting ? Static teaches you to hold your breath in 1 ft of water, with zero motion, constant weight teaches you to descend a line, turn, and ascend, focusing either on the line, or within.
Dry statics ?? Running ?? Gym ?? Underwater hockey ?? or just go and hunt whenever possible ?? Does anyone have any tried and proven methods of improving basic bottom time to hunt ?

Some days I feel awesome, other days I feel like I'm really struggling, and I have been diving quite regularly. Water temp average for my dives 10-14 degrees. I have buddies who cruise around comfortably for 2 minutes 30 before easing slowly back to the surface. My static time as a newbie is 3:30, but a 2 :30 hunting bottom time' at this stage seems impossible for me. Do I need to train harder, or will it improve with time ?
You have some heavy duty mates. How deep are they cruising for 2:30?

I have good days and bad days but relaxation is your best friend. Make sure you are fully relaxed before going down. Economise your energy as much as possible.
relaxation and concentration... those are the two critical words!!!
Hi Shaca

The depth I think was about 8 meters. I think that was obviously quite an exceptional dive, the time was an estimated one, but these guys are both seriously experienced divers. The relaxation thing is key, I have realised that, but it's amazing how I am able every now and again to tap into a new level of relaxation, and my bottom times show it. I try to do the same breathe-ups, etc etc, but I need to isolate what is happening to get me to that occasional 'alpha-state' of relaxation. I was wondering if there is anything more I can do from a point of training ?
Some tries yoga, its logical since relaxation is in mind basically...
I am in the same boat as you. I have pulled big bottom times and then not been able to reproduce them. My longest apnea has been at 16meters for 2:27. That was when a 2.5 metre Mako was swimmimng overhead. You think I was relaxed!!!!!!!!! Not a chance. So I am a bit confused about the whole relaxation thing as well.
you were seriously concentrated and focused at the maco event I guess.. :) focusing and concentration usually make me forget about breathing, and helps me to produce good times.
Hiya bluecape

I tried doing dry statics but got bored very quickly. I think i managed 3:30 on my third or fourth attempt and then got bored!!!

I've got my Suunto D3 for about 2months now and wow what an amazing help it has been. Some numbers which i've made a mental note of is as follows:
Best dive: 1:45 at 8m
Average dive time : 1minute to 1:20
Deepest dive : 23.5m

When hunting in the cape, you'll find that the average dive depth will be between 6 and 10 meters. A total dive time of about 1 minute at that depth is more than enough.

Best advice is to go hunting as much as possible. I tend to get bored with training, so i just gave up. My buddies are in the airforce and they train regularly, so when it comes to training after work, they're generally too tired.

Jeff, if you want to see great fish life, go and check out Smitwinkels Bay Marine reserve. I normally dive at a small pinnacle just inside the reserve. When the water is cold in false bay and no fish are to be found, we normally just jump in at the reserve and feed the numerous romans, galgoen,etc. Loads of fish life and beautifull underwater scenery. Just remember, its a MARINE RESERVE, so NO HUNTING!!! I always imagine that false bay looked like the marine reserve before all our fish stocks were decimated. Two thumbs up for marine reserves!!!

Hey Miles

Am also diving with a D3, and very chuffed with it. My average Time on a hunting dive is in the region of 55 sec to 1 min, and as you say, seldom past 10-12 meters.
I am probably going to get back into a bit of circuit stuff at the local gym just to keep endurance levels up.

I am keen to check that spot at Smits. On wednesday I did a drift from Buffels to Rooikrans with Mark from Alpinist, and 2 other guys, and even that area was rich with fishlife compared to your 'overdived' places. We got to swim with a giant Ray for a time, actually ran into 2 of them. It was my first hunt off the 'point', first drift dive, and after hunting around Kelp forests I must admit that a long drift in the 'open water' here had me feeling quite vunerable at times with our big white friends !

Viz was average about 8 meters. Hottentot, Red Roman, but no Tail unfortunately. And as you noticed, the Galjoen were everywhere suddenly !!



Those huge rays are resident during the yellowtail season. What happens is that the fisherman at rooikrans normally clean their fish on the rocks. The rays then simply wait at the edge of the rocks for the fish entrails. There's normally 2/3 big rays that stay through-out the summer.

1minute dive time is quite good. You shouldn't have any hassles spearing fish in False Bay:D Good story for you about that stretch between Buffels and rooikrans:
We walked down klein rooikranz and jumped in the water. Half-way to Buffels we got our first school of 'tail. We were 5 guys and had about 15 fish between us. Viz started to deteriorate but the tail was everywhere, so we continued diving. A bronzie of about 3meters showed up and decided to try and tax us!!! With 5 of us in the water, he stood no chance. Next thing we know, there were 4 bronzies buzzing us. Biggest one about 3.5 meters. Five powerheads on spearguns and half and hour later we exited the water. Hairy stuff!!! (happened beginning of the year)

Still haven't shot my first tail for the season:( Hope the weather clears up so i can get to Bellows. Plenty tail outside the point.

Smits reserve will knock your socks off. That area between rooikrans and buffels is considered barren............so just imagine what the reserve looks like!!! Just gimme a shout when you want to go and i'll give you directions.


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