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N Cal Stupid Fish?????????

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Blue Water Wanna Be
Mar 27, 2001
Sturgeon had posted in one of the threads that the fish in N. Cal were stupid and I had to agree, depsite the fact it upset a few other members.......Sven???
I just wanted to elaborate a little. Everybody who has dove N. Cal Im sure would agree its much easier to shoot blues, lings and cabs than it is to shoot say a White sea bass or the skittish Calicos found in S. Cal.
The problems I found spearfishing in N. Cal was more waitting for a good day to dive, dealing with surf tring to overturning your board (losing expensive gear), managing the cold water and pushing your luck with low to really low viz. Not to mention the fact that G. Whites are a real possibility.
It seemed that water conditions determined very often wether you would get skunked or not (often the case anywhere you dive). Add this to the relatively difficulty of finding a good sized fish made hunting hard (with no scuba scouting). :head
Are the fish stupid in N. Cal, IMHO yes. But nature is more often than not on their side.

I just wanted to pipe in................Ding, ding let the fight begin :ko


I thind each location is different. I will not say a fish as stupid but more "scared-less" of divers. There is one rig in South China Sea where the trevallies will come to you and u can swim in the circling barracuda. The rig I have close to my town is totaly different. The moment they saw u, every fishes flee.

Same fish act differently in different location. I think it will depend on how much fishing and spearfishing that particular place have taken.

Also somehow I sense that fishes ( maybe not all ) knows when we want to turn them in to diner. When I am holding a camera, fishes are not so scared of me, unlike when I am holding a gun.
However, I feel a freediver can approach many fishes much easier than me bubble blowers. I dove one spot on scuba. When I am done I do freedive on the same spot just for fun, yet some fishes appear, even though they keep a respectable distance. When I hook my tank and do 2nd dive, some species just left/hide....:confused:

I think it is difficult to generalize to an extend a big piece of area. One thing I know, if the fishes are REALY a lot in one area, they tend to look more "stupid".
just stupid divers...

Thanks for speaking for me, Hamrhd, re: that blues, lings and cabs are smarter, thus harder to hit than the degreed and wiley White seabass and those genius calicos of the state's Southern climes...:head

Anything else you want to say on my behalf before I tee off on your idiocy? rofl

I think once you gain a little humbling at this, you'll come to relaize that the fish in any given area have their own traits and behaviors. And to go after these fish you'll need to adapt to be successful and safe. To go and blanketly label a species of fish as stupid is just as stupid, thus my (as well as some others here) taking some humourous offense. Not that these fish needed defending, as you sorta pointed out- the conditions that these things live in is a good portion of the battle. Maybe their ability to exist there is a sign of higher IQ than the diver's flipping their boards, loosing their gear and coming back empty handed? :hmm

I've shot both Whites and calicos with equal aplomb and have done so with equal amounts of stealthy stalking as well as just turning a corner and finding them sleeping. Just like lings. And just like Sheephead, Yellowtail and a few other genius fish.

Like the signature below says, "Wherever you go, there you are. Meaning that the areas and the inhabitants are different wherever you go. It's you that are the same. Same thoughts, troubles, nueroses... Whether you choose to adapt and enjoy, is your decision.

In my rambling about lings, cab and blues I wasnt infering that you said these things I was making a generalization about the different nature of fish in Cali.
I simply mentioned your name to get your view point, I can say now it worked. I assumed that you would have a decent amount of information to pass on to a relatively newbie like myself. I thank you for your colorfull input. ;)
I think in this instance "stupid" was a bad choice of words. A better choice would of been "easier" to shoot relative to other species in California.
On a side note I was lucky enough to not loose my gear, it was a general statement about how many divers including some National Champs who have lost gear never to be found again in the N.Cal surf. Coming up empty handed in a small craft advisory on the safe side of Fort Ross is something Im sure many N. Cal divers have done.
Thank you again
Ps Congrats on your numerous 10" abs.

I dove one spot on scuba. When I am done I do freedive on the same spot just for fun, yet some fishes appear, even though they keep a respectable distance. When I hook my tank and do 2nd dive, some species just left/hide....

Be carfeful, I understood that's it's very dangerous to freedive after scuba or between dives, it might cause DCS. I wanted to link the DB thread discussing this issue, but somehow I didn't find it, it's relatively resent, last month I think.
New diver to Nor. Cal. viewpoint.

Coming from Hawaii, the conditions created anything but a smooth transition.....

Hawaii - Being able to see fish cruising on the botttom in 60 feet of water
NorCal - Sometimes not being able to see my speartip

Hawaii - Most of diving was stalking & lying in wait for wary fish
NorCal - Actively diving up & down just to look for fish (can't see them from the surface, so finding them is paramount)

Hawaii - Warm
NorCal - Cold. Very very cold. Really.

Hawaii - Reef
NorCal - Kelp

Hawaii - Scantilly-clad bikini models running around the beaches. :D
NorCal - Sven :yack (no offence Sven, but not a comparison you'd win very often ;))

Basically, it's like night and day. Oddly enough... Diving in Nor. Cal. really reminds me of night diving in Hawaii. The hardest part is visibility, finding the fish by checking out holes in likely looking grounds is key, and the fish are really not very hard to shoot once you've found them.

I'm not saying Nor. Cal. fish are stupid, but very territorial & due to the conditions they live in - are generally quite easy to spear.

Both areas use a different sect of diving skills. Nor. Cal. seems to put a lot larger emphasis on hustling, whereas Hawaii puts a lot more emphasis on skill in stalking as the fish are often on the move and can see you from a long way.

This is just an generalization derived from my experiences in both environments. As always there are exceptions, but the overall gist of it remains the same.
We have similar conditions around Cape Town (kelp ; low viz ; currents ect. ) Our country's best spearo's come from this area , you have to WORK for your fish .
Although moving to subtropical waters brought it's own challenges it's a breeze in comparison .
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Reactions: icarus pacific
Agreed. It will definitely make me a better diver.

I'm going back next month for a couple week vacation & I will never take diving in Hawaii for granted again!

Hi Deep Thought,

Thanks for the worry, but have no fear, I am a super lousy freediver. My best is 30 feet and I averagely do 15. I am not even 10% of the time at 15 feet cause I like sleeping on the surface and only descent if I see or "smell" something. I am totaly aware of the DCS problems but my skill is unlike most here, so call me a snorkling hunting....not freediver... :D :D
Hmm, I'm not the one to approve this behaviour, it's your call. :)
I still think it might be dangerous, have you tried wearing a diving computer to both dives and the "freedive rest period" in between? it would probably go bananas. and most certainly freediving can't be calculated as a resting period between dives.

To me it still sounds a bit scary.:confused:
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