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Relatively new spearo in Greece

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


New Member
Feb 28, 2004
Hey i am currently 15 years old and I have had plenty of freediving experience. I i live in New Jersey and travel to Greece every summer for vacation. This past summer I went to Greece and my parents finally let me buy my first speargun.
Having read up on the forums all year long, I had great success on my first ever spearing session. I managed to catch a few parrotfish, mullet, cuttlefish, octopus and some other fish that I dont know the names of. My equipment consisted of a short 3mm wetsuit, a crappy brand 85cm euro gun with one rubber, a pretty cheap mask and fins (fins were pretty short), a weight belt, neoprene gloves, and a float that had a dive flag and a stringer on it.
My breath hold time was only about a minute and I desperately want to improve on that. On some days, i could not equalize at all and when i dived down to a certain point my ears hurt like crazy as well ay my teeth(it seemed?)Also when i blew my nose after ascending on the surface i saw some blood. I am wondering what exactly happened and why i could not equalize.
My hunting technique basically consisted of searching for fish on the sand or that were hiding under rocks. Sometimes though i would try to dive down to the bottom and wait patiently but not many fish seemed to come, some fish would come but the bigger ones always stayed out of reach of my gun(usually about) 7-8 feet away. Also, I managed to see a few Grouper or too but when i dived down to try and shoot them they dissapeared into their caverns. Im pretty sure that i Definately need a Flashlight to be able to see into the dark holes and crevices.

I am basically just wondering to see if anyone has any input and information accoriding to where i am diving. Ex. What type of equipment i should upgrade too, What techniques to work on, how to improve my breathhold etc etc.
Also i am wondering about what other types of fish i should have my eyes set on in Greece. I specifically vacation on the island of Karpathos, near Crete where i have a house. I think i have seen a few sea bass but they have always bolted away. Also, one time i was encircled by a HUGE group of pelagic fish that had yellow stripes on their faces(maybe seriola??) The sad part was i didnt have my speargun with me at the time. If i did manage to shoot one of those fish (were about a foot long each maybe even bigger) would i have had a tough time fighting it??
I hope next year i will have a much better experience and amount of success. I really want to catch my first grouper as well.
flashlight is must for groupers. There are many many big ones as i know in Adriatic sea even in shallow waters. In greek there are many good speros so i advise you to find one and convince them to go spearing with you..

Fish you can target in Karpathos are: 3 kinds of Sargos, Salpas, Mullet, Bass, 4 kinds of Grouper, Parrotfish, Dentex, Spinefoots, Barracuda, and a range of pelagics. The fish with the yellow stripe on their face were amberjacks, magiatiko in greek, a kind of pelagic fish and 1 foot fish is no problem to land if you get a solid shot.

Flashlight although useful is illegal in Greece. Should you use one be careful because the coast guard generally gives out heavy fines at whim.

Geia sou Greekman!

The fish with the yellow stripes is called "salpa" and it doesn't taste good. I wouldn't shoot one, ever. Just enjoy looking at them.

If you want, contact me to get more info.

Panos Lianos
AIDA Hellas
Blood is a bad sign - sounds like you are not equalizing properly.
I have the same problem - do some reading on it here and practice alot - also if you getting blood you are probably busting capilliaries which is not a good sign.
If you cant equalize and things hurt then do not go deeper.
Dont try and rush it - just accept the current limitations and work slowly and safely to improve them.
Blood = baaaad !

Hope that helps - Ed
Panos, he was referring to the stipes on the face of the fish, which would make it an amberjack, especially at that size. Salpas are smaller and have stipes all over the body. Greekman, you can see some salpas I have here: http://gallery.deeperblue.net/showphoto.php/photo/898/sort/1/cat/500/page/1

Start equalizing before you go down, and then regularly every couple of meters at least so the pressure doesn't build up making you strain too much causing a capillary to burst.

As Ed says, at the first hint of not being able to equalize or if you feel some pain do not go deeper, from there to rupturing your eardrums or screwing up your sinuses it's just a step away and then you really ruin your holiday! Do a search on equalizing here on the forum, there's tons of good information. Use the search function regularly for things you want to know and you'll find there's hours of reading! :)

Salpa tastes pretty good actually if gutted and cooked fresh. Fried, casseroled, or barbecued. Blows cod right out of the water anyway.
Hey guys thanks for all the quick replies and info
Yea i figured that i must have been equalizing improperly- Ill definately take it slow and work on improving that
Yes as Adrian pointed out, I was referring to the amberjack school that i Saw not the salpa schools which i have seen on a regular basis.
Thanks for the info
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