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Question about weights and tactics

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Homerkp

Active Member
Sep 21, 2018
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So I'm just a couple months into spearfishing. I don't use a wetsuit yet but I'd like to ambush by hiding on the floor behind the seagrass. Divers here and the internet tell me that weights are only to counter the wetsuit, but then how are you supposed to stay under in shallow water? I know that deeper you lose buoyancy, but if it's shallow I can't really hold myself down without my feet going up behind me. If I put my feet in front in a crouched position, I'm having to use my harm to hold my entire body down. So to do this in shallow water, I imagine some weight is necessary?

My second question is this. I learned about how easily fish can detect you, so I went in very quietly this morning. I'm in Greece btw. I hid behind a rock (they have short lines of them jutting out from the beach) and looked out into the shallow water (meter and a half). I was near town and everyone says you have to drive an hour to find fish in more rocky, less developed areas, but this morning it was packed. There were tons of good fish, big fish. I waited for a few minutes there and a few breams came to check me out, but not quite close enough. Something that looked like a mini tuna went by my face too quick to shoot. In the distance (10 meters) I could see even bigger fish eating. So Eventually I made my way deeper very slowly. As soon as I left the rock everything disappeared. The place was empty. This area has sand, very few reef holes, and tons of tall seagrass patches. My question is, did all these fish bolt for the deep or are they all hiding in the seagrass?
 
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xristos

Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2013
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Personally im neutrally buoyant at 22m with speedos mask and snorkel. I think you should take a full inhale and invest some dives to figure out neutral buoancy (it took me alot without a line and buoy). Then you can weight so that you are neutral at around 12. That's widely considered safe I think. From then if you are fishing really shallow you can put more weight but be sure to float on the surface on passive exhale and in general you should never have to work at all to stay at the surface. That is for the weight question in my unqualified opinion. Lets wait until someone qualified has better answer.

As for the fish. Welcome in Greece, fish is hard to catch here. If you could specify general area depth you operate and more importantly what fish you are talking about maybe i can give some help. I guess its sea bass ( kefalos) you saw and the sea bream try ambush. Some people get dermatological problems laying in sea weed with no clothing. There is no silver bullet. Good luck
 

7BDiver

Active Member
Sep 5, 2019
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I have read that some divers used to make their spear guns heavy instead of wearing a weight belt. Being able to hang it on a buoy at the surface is very handy and you get the benefit of hands free buoyancy and more comfort without a belt. I do not have the experience or opposing view to know what the downside/safety of a heavy gun may be, if the water is shallow ditching it in an emergency shouldn't be a big problem. As long as your legs don't float a bunch it might work.
 

xristos

Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2013
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I have read that some divers used to make their spear guns heavy instead of wearing a weight belt. Being able to hang it on a buoy at the surface is very handy and you get the benefit of hands free buoyancy and more comfort without a belt. I do not have the experience or opposing view to know what the downside/safety of a heavy gun may be, if the water is shallow ditching it in an emergency shouldn't be a big problem. As long as your legs don't float a bunch it might work.
If you have a gun with mid handle maybe possible if balanced . Normal gun you will get some serious forearm workout and not much fish.
 

Leander

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2017
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My preferred way is to dive the shallows with less air in the lungs to trim my bouyancy, but that has the side effect of reducing max bottom time of course (although compared to fighting to stay down you might actually gain bottom time!).

If you really want to use weight, you have to introduce some form of compressible positive bouyancy as well so you stay afloat when you're on the surface. That is the effect the wetsuit normally has: it's big and floaty on the surface, cancelling out the weight of the belt, and it compresses as you go down, so the belt becomes relatively heavier. The downside of using neoprene purely for the positive part of the bouyancy is that it keeps you warm, too warm in Greek summer very shallows, so you'll have to be creative here. Perhaps use those weightbelt pouches the scubas use for lead shot, but instead you stuff a balloon in them.
 
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xristos

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Sep 5, 2013
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The downside of using neoprene purely for the positive part of the bouyancy is that it keeps you warm, too warm
Well, there is another reason ( that Eric Fattah demonstrated in the forum if my memory isnt failing me). Wetsuit results in a substantial increase in net energy expenditure for a dive, greater the thicker the suit is.
 

diver278

Well-Known Member
Mar 11, 2012
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I dive in the Philippines with like 83 degrees water temp or 28 Celsius and all I wear is a 1mm suit or dycra skin just in case of jellyfish. on scuba I use 4lbs of weight and I use 10 lbs of weight to get down freediving I’m a big guy at 186 lbs and dive with a float. Works great for me.
 
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Leander

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2017
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Well, there is another reason ( that Eric Fattah demonstrated in the forum if my memory isnt failing me). Wetsuit results in a substantial increase in net energy expenditure for a dive, greater the thicker the suit is.
Of course. But apart from swimming pool tests where the water was probably nice and warm, if we would do the same test, but measuring a full day of winter spearfishing, then I expect a much different result.

I dive in the Philippines with like 83 degrees water temp or 28 Celsius and all I wear is a 1mm suit or dycra skin just in case of jellyfish. And I use 10 lbs of weight to get down I’m a big guy at 186 lbs and dive with a float. Works great for me.
And you still float on the surface? Body types differ a lot in floatability, that's true. A friend of mine needs 12kg with suit and like 4kg without. I sink like a brick without suit and use 2.5-3kg with a 3mm suit.
 

diver278

Well-Known Member
Mar 11, 2012
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Of course. But apart from swimming pool tests where the water was probably nice and warm, if we would do the same test, but measuring a full day of winter spearfishing, then I expect a much different result.


And you still float on the surface? Body types differ a lot in floatability, that's true. A friend of mine needs 12kg with suit and like 4kg without. I sink like a brick without suit and use 2.5-3kg with a 3mm suit.
You probably don’t have the fat like me lol. But yes I float on the surface. On scuba with a 100 steel tank I use only 4lbs with same suit.
 
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xristos

Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2013
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Leander, it was comparing going down around 40 then up with no suit 1mm 3mm 5mm 7mm and correct weighting to have same neutral depth. Then it had grapth with all of them plotted on energy and time. Dang i cant find it .. :mad:so annoyed maybe it doesn't exist and i am delirious. Please if someone remembers something and can find it..

No pool. Obviously if you are shivering thats fine print. But op wasnt talking about that nor did you. If you ask me its impossible to spearfish with no suit at least in our area. Yesterday it was 25 C surface 24 C at 30m. I would last one or two dives .
 
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DiveHacker

Active Member
Jun 17, 2020
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I don't consider myself an expert but in shallow water I just use the extra energy to hold myself down. The key is to try and use your hands on a rock or seagrass whenever possible. When that is not possible just lean towards using fins, moving slow with some downward vector. Your dives will be shorter yet you will be doing more of them. Ambush to me us about relaxing the fish as if you are moving with things (animals, sea grass, and current) in the surroundings. It is when you dart at and hunt fish, that is anti ambush movement. Finning slow on the in the shallows in order to hold yourself down is very ambush like to me.Otherwise, it is very difficult to impossible? to weight yourself like you are asking (neutral in shallow and positive on surface).

Also, as Leander mentioned, use letting out air as a tool, although we would never do that on a deep dive, on shallow dives it is no big deal at all.

I think you are talking about depths less than about 15 feet or so. If you are going to do dives to that depth or less entire session just weigh yourself by gently exhaling (not a full, 100% exhale but more of a natural exhale). You want to be just on the side of positive buoyancy when you do this. So if you find a weight you don't sink with on exhale, but you almost sink, you are in a good area.
 
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Homerkp

Active Member
Sep 21, 2018
61
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Personally im neutrally buoyant at 22m with speedos mask and snorkel. I think you should take a full inhale and invest some dives to figure out neutral buoancy (it took me alot without a line and buoy). Then you can weight so that you are neutral at around 12. That's widely considered safe I think. From then if you are fishing really shallow you can put more weight but be sure to float on the surface on passive exhale and in general you should never have to work at all to stay at the surface. That is for the weight question in my unqualified opinion. Lets wait until someone qualified has better answer.

As for the fish. Welcome in Greece, fish is hard to catch here. If you could specify general area depth you operate and more importantly what fish you are talking about maybe i can give some help. I guess its sea bass ( kefalos) you saw and the sea bream try ambush. Some people get dermatological problems laying in sea weed with no clothing. There is no silver bullet. Good luck
I'm talking white sea breams (sargos) and gilt-headed breams (tsipoura). The other fish I saw wasn't a kefalos (flathead grey mullet) or a sea bass (I think those are lavrakia?), it looked like a mini tuna. Those were the ones I saw close. In the distance there were bigger fish. I'm just wondering were all these fish are going to when I spook them. Does anyone know if big fish hide in the sea grass? Or do they call it a morning upon seeing me and head for the deep? Some of the White Sea breams hang around and I see one or two big ones in some nearby holes, but the rest have vanished. As for the weights, it seems like I should get a little for the shallow. As fall and winter approach I may get a wet suit anyway. Not ready to give up my new hobby just yet!
 

Leander

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2017
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Fish manage to cram themselves really in the smallest hole or crack. Sometimes I wonder how they ever get out again.
And of course they're so fast, within less then a second they can disappear into the fog of the sea. I'm so jealous of that. :)
 

Homerkp

Active Member
Sep 21, 2018
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Using a flashlight is illegal unfortunately and fortunately. I see a lot of people using them in videos though. Btw after looking at some pictures I think the other fish I saw go by me was a mackerel.
 

Andrew the fish

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2010
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yes, makerel is really a smaller species of tuna. Hard to shoot, they swim-by very fast and rare come back for a second look. Kefalos is also hard to shoot, they have thin profile and keep the distance.

Homerkp, I do not recommend adding extra weight for shallows. Sounds like you will be buying a wetsuit as water is getting colder. This is what I do - I ballast myself once for specific wetsuit so that I am buoyant at about 6 meters, and never change the amount of led. This gives me enough buoyancy to rest on surface and is manageble for fishing at shallows with passive exhale. Passive exhale, also called FRC for “functional residual capacity” is the whole hot-debated subject in freediving. With practice, your exhale dives will be as comfortable as full lungs. When you shift to deeper waters, dive with full lungs that is all.
 

Homerkp

Active Member
Sep 21, 2018
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Yeah I forgot to mention, before getting weights without a wetsuit I'll try taking smaller breaths. My breath hold isn't good yet but I do think the less buoyancy will make up for it.
 

Leander

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2017
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Using a flashlight is illegal unfortunately and fortunately. I see a lot of people using them in videos though
Those are a bunch of idiots who don't understand the reasoning behind those rules. They shouldn't be hunting for rofos either (they are allowed to, but if they cared they wouldn't). Don't take them as an example of what makes a great spearfisherman.

I love this country, but it still has a long way to go when it comes to caring for the planet. Just yesterday another fisherman made the news with a catch of a 6m shark that's on the list of protected species.
 
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Johny Depth

Active Member
Sep 27, 2020
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Try for to stop your feet in finns floating up in shallow water 200 gram or other weight to anchles their is the plastic clip version or velron version try decathlon or omer or best divers or other i use best divers ancle weight from time to time as the finn scares the fish
 
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