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Correct Spear for fish on rock

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7BDiver

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Sep 5, 2019
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What is the correct type of spear or spear tip to use when shooting large sucker fish resting on solid rock? I am using an old Beuchat Arka where the bill is perhaps a couple inches from the tip and this just wont work. Is a speargun completely the wrong tool, a pole spear is particularly difficult as getting that close to the fish is very challenging?
 
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A pranger or cluster head has barbs near the sharp tips that hold the fish, so there is no flopper to penetrate the fish. The rock will blunt the prongs if they hit the rock, depends on how fat the fish is. Shooting range is less due to tip drag, but should be adequate for rock sitters.
PRANGERS LONG.jpg

The cluster heads come in different lengths and have either five or six prongs. These heads are also commonly used on handspears.
 
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What is the correct type of spear or spear tip to use when shooting large sucker fish resting on solid rock? I am using an old Beuchat Arka where the bill is perhaps a couple inches from the tip and this just wont work. Is a speargun completely the wrong tool, a pole spear is particularly difficult as getting that close to the fish is very challenging?

Typically I would use a pole spear with a three-prong, similar to Pete's response, but without the barbs. If the fish is large, then having the barbs is good.

You mentioned getting close is difficult with a pole spear. If could possibly get a side shot on the fish, I'd do that to minimize spear damage. Sometimes I de-band my gun one band to lessen the power. It works on fish that are still further away for a pole spear, but in the rocks.

Two other options are:
- find a threaded spear shaft and attach a 3 prong to the tip. I've used that before, long ago.
- If the fish is worth it, just shoot it, but I'd recommend using a stronger shaft, like a RA shaft. I've had better luck with RA shafts not bending shooting into rocks.

I've done all of the above for fish hugging rocks.
 
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Thank you for the replies, this helps me get a good direction to start. These are descent sized fish generally around the 3kg range if they are adults. I have found they are easiest to approach from behind and above. Being in a cold lake (38F) they are still a little lazy but spook easy when approached considering it is a rather featureless bottom with nowhere to go but down.
 
There are barbless three prong heads that hold their prey as the tips splay after hitting the fish, but these need to penetrate the fish to do so in order to allow the tips to spread. Barbed pranger tips also splay, but can hold the fish as the multiple barbs snag the fish without going so deep. A powerful gun can drive a pranger head deep into a fish at close range, so removing the fish involves relatching the spear in the gun and pulling the fish off by dragging it between your fins standing on the fish while you are floating vertical at the surface. The gun stock gives you something to pull. If you shoot your fish in the head then the damage of ripping the barbed prongs out does not matter as you throw that part away.
 
I fish off of the rocks, almost exclusively. I use speargun with regular tip. Never had multi-prong tip. Maybe they are good but I wouldn't know. To me, best way of taking fish off rock is by falling down somewhere to the side, away from fish and shooting parallel to rock slab. It is worth to take time, or even multiple dives, but place shot accurately. I don't know what you have in mind, when you question whether speargun is a correct tool or not. What are other options anyway.
 
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