wow, i just read this thread from start to finish, spans 11 pages and nine years. God love spearo's!
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awesome thread, helped me alot. seeing everyone asking about how people become good marksmen with a speargun. what i did (am doing) was get an old bucket lid and draw a fish on it. then id punch a little hole in it towards the bottom and thread some fishing line to it. then tie some sinkers to it and there ya go. what else helped is that i learnt with a 90cm pneumatic.this thing had like an 8mm shaft on it so its effective range of 2meters max. the gun was also VERY loud (you could hear a loud crack underwater for about 50 meters) so id only get one shot then the fish would bugger off. very frustrating way to learn. glad to be getting a new gun this week... i feel like a kid at a toystore at christmas.
The surface hunt is the oldest spearfishing method we know. When hunting from the surface the spearo actually doesn't dive at all. He floats on the surface, moves really slowly and silently and waits for the fish to pass by.
During the summer months this method is a complete waste of time. Even if the spearo spots a fish, it would never be close enough for a successful shot. The surface hunt would be somewhat appropriate during the cold winter / spring months. The fish then occupies the upper warmer layers where there's more plankton. That's exactly the time when enormous schools of fish may be encountered. Besides everything else the fish during that period reacts slower due to the cold water and the diminished survival instincts after the hungry winter months.
Here are some methods that occasionally work in very dirty water:
1. swim along the bottom at a pace that will spook a fish - when you near the fish they spook and you hear it, stop and lie dead still on the bottom - the fish most often spook and dart off, curiosity brings them back and that is when you get your chance. I have taken some big sand dwelling fish(white steenbras this way)
2. when waiting on the bottom for fish and they approach but then depart looking as if they do not want to return, you grunt using your soft palate. THis type of grunt has brough many a fish back for another fatal look and serves me well.
3. "Swimby" You swim along terrain with potential, perhaps see a fish spook or see no fish at all. It does not mean fish have not seen you. Swim on a bit then stop turn around and hide facing back the way you swam from. Fish are curious and come out so see what swam by. If you can hide inside a cave/hole behind a ridge it may work well.
4. Sewer rat method - dive down away from the fish and swim closer under cover i.e. though a tunnel to fish on the other side or in a crack out fo sight of them them make a weak appearance to get them to come look.
See this clip Shipwreck spearfishing - sewer rat technique - YouTube
Just be sure you are fit enough to expend the extra energy in the methods where you swim.