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Shooting tuna under shrimp boats?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Aug 19, 2002
Here in the Gulf of Mexico, one place where fisherman find yellowfin and blackfin tuna is under anchored shrimp boats. When an anchored shrimp boat is located, the question always is, does it have tuna under it? I have been tempted to put my gear on, with my speargun, and take a look; but what is holding me back is the fear of sharks, which are also known to hang out at shrimp boats. Tiger sharks are the most feared here. What do you think? Have you ever done it or would you ever do it?

I dove one time in the blue water under my boat with no other structure around, and it was kind of freaky. Just a lot of blue as far as I could see. I felt like I needed at least two more pairs of eyes to see in all the directions a shark could come from.
If someone wants to watch my ass from tigers, I will jump under any boats as long as I don't get net or runned by the props.

I don't have shrimp boats in my close by area but I would want to try to seek tuna the way I fish them. Use birds to spot feeding frenzy, where I troll my Rapala, instead I would want to jump in ahead of the school. I read this is possible. This is also good cause they then be much closer to the surface and suit my lousy apnea skill. The only problem is that Tuna feeding this way only occur very rare and I must be there the next day as soon as my charter boat guy call me. The feeding might last a few days and might last a week..........in a month of two the season should start.

I recalled once in my life I seen Tuna feeding so aggresively, they did not sound when our boat approached. All 4 rods got hooked up. I was the first one to land one of 50 lbs and got so honry looking at the water which is now all black of the tuna back , it was a sight. I took a squid rod and placed small Shimano spinning rod with 100 meters of 30 lbs line and a 6" Red/White Rapala. I cast for fun and it was hooked by a 65 lbs yellowfin tuna, the biggest of the 6 we caught that short 1 hour nearly evening. Can't crank the reel, not enough gear ratio. Maxed out the brake as the line is thinning out. The boat boy ended up pulling the fish with his tough hands cause u can't pump a Tuna on a squid rod. The rod broke, the line hold, fish landed.

If I have a speargun that day with a float, I will jump in the water. Even if I do not jump, I probably can shoot one from the boat...........it was that packed with Tuna.......amazing !!!

One question too for those with experience.......
Will a tuna bump me at this feeding craze ? I mean getting my stomach rammed by a 50 lbs tuna if it were doing some 40 km/h underwater might get some ribs broken.:D

I am scared of sharks but I don't mind endless pit of blue water.

That’s an amazing catch. It’s incredible to catch a 65lbs tuna on a 40 lbs line, by pulling it in by hand! I have never witness a tuna feed frenzy. I have heard that it is very rare, depending on where your at, to see one.

There is another way people are catching tuna here in Texas. It’s the new deep-water offshore platforms. The water is plus 5,500 feet, which for everyone outside of the U.S. is 1,692 meter deep. The closest one to me is 130 nautical miles away, which is 6 ½ hour boat ride. I need another crazy person and two smooth days to go.
I live in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. Jakarta faces the Java sea at the North, so no tuna and a big garbage of sea. Almost lifeless. Only wrecks, FAD and oil rigs worth going. I am not allowed to go to the active oil rigs anymore, they will arrest me next time the catch me diving there...what a lousy luck !!! I envy the freedom u guys get in the US for being allowed legally to fish the oil rigs. If I can do oil rigs again, I will be the happiest spearo in Jakarta. Our closest decently good spot is also 125 miles one way but not in the middle of the sea, it is a rock pinacle by an island that faces the Indian Ocean.

If I drive by car for 4 hours, I can also get the Indian Ocean. This is 250 miles by boat..one way. So car drive and boat small boat charter, makes more sense. This is where I done all my Tuna fishing years ago but then I was only owning a pneumatic and JBL so shooting Tuna is way too exotic. I also fear bottomless blue water and most of my friends told me that I am sick if I want to hunt tuna the way I want to fish them. Now that more of us own Riffes fro the past 1+ year , we feel we have the fire power.
Just add Standard#4 to my collection and that is as powerful as ur MT5 when u replace ur muzzle with the blue water aluminum one.

Going to the Indian Ocean side is very heavy on my wallet cause my friends boat is in the Java sea. So I go to this garbage Java sea often cause I just relax, catch some sun an happy to just look for rainbow runners and pay dirt cheap. All night long partying is another strong reason to go...he he he. If is so unfortunate my gang and I have not own the Riffes when we did the oil rigs ( +- 50 dives there ), so much 10 kg up fishes were lost due to incomplete penetration. After buying Terry Maas books and watching freediving videos and now Deeper Blue forum, I learnt a lot and wish to learn to freedive cause it is more time in water that way. I am still a scuba hunter.

Anyway this Indian Ocean side only has tuna passing the area sometime late in the year. Only 2 or 3 months a year. The El nino have upset some weather cycles here. Tuna sometime get caught when I troll by certain popular reefs and in most cases we need to spot them by the birds. I love fishing tuna but I hate looking for them. I been fishing like 30 trips to this Indian Ocean side but Tuna as seen by feeding birds only available in the morning. From 6AM to about 8 or 9AM. Then, they dissappear. Later at about 5 to 6 PM, they feed again. It is so boring chasing them only like 6 or 8 times in a day as provided by the birds and many times we don't get hook up. Goin home NIL is more common that going home with fishes. We don't do bottom fishing, strictly trolling only.
I am sure the way I fish tuna should work for spearing too but Tuna don't wait for weekend and my friends need to work on weekdays, me...quite flexible.

Eversince I pursue specificaly rainbow runners by a deep 170 feet buoy, I kind of fear no more bottomless sea. My water viz is about 20 feet so, even at 60 feet water ....all look bottomless:D :D

My Indian Ocean side also not so sharky cause I seen the way traditinal fisherman catch small bonitos. They swim in big groups like 10 people. Each holding a bamboo which they hit and make noise. They somhow "guide " this 3kg bonito into the stand by net. I've always seen it from the boat. I have yet to see how they do it underwater. The water there is like anything from 100 feet to 4000 feet, mostly they are in the 2,000 - 4000 feet water when catching the bonito.......so this guarantee no shark to fear or else they would have lost legs. I dove the reefs there too and have not had any shark encounter. Eversince I got the Riffe, I been there only 5 times and the biggest my group caught was a 60 pounder Giant Trevaly and some Spanish Mackerel, see no Tuna or any classy fish. When time is right, this area hold Marlin, Wahoo and sailfish, not that much but sportfisherman do hook up.

The traditional fisherman on small sampan/canoe always catch Tuna up to 50 kg with handline. They use 200-400 lbs line. If the fish is too big, they just tie it on the boat and let the fish drag them till they tire. If you see the palm of the hands, it look like 100 grit sand paper. These are tough and poor people.

My area is not a fish heaven, Bali is not bad but too expensive to go.

If I do shot tuna in open water, I will want at least 2 guys watching my back and take turn shooting. This way there are always two guns loaded and ready to shoot any nasty predator......this is the game plan my friends agreed upon...........if the Tuna season start. My group and I are not in the iron ball category as some people in this forum that think a bull or a tiger is just a possible bother.........I am dead scared !!!
White tip and black tip is about the maximum.......YEP if only two.....if 4 or more.........I RUN !!!!!

Anyway I think where they are much meat like shrimp vessel, that should be a hot spot. Any fishing magazine like SPORTFISHING is a good lead, the methods of finding the fish is the same. A European guy with a small pneumatic landed a 100 lbs Blue Fin Tuna in Europe this way.......by the shrimp vessel.

That kind of deepwater oil rig u mentioned is known to carry Marlin and sailfish.........I think you will need at least 2 Riffe size floats if the fishes are 100+ lbs. If I recall correctly a fish can pull an energy level probably double its weight, some species more. The pros here should be answering ur question..........me enjoy typing...he he he:D :D

Oh no! Not shrimp boats! I tell you what, I have not that much experience around the deeper trawlers but when I take a group out trolling often, if the day is slow, I will troll behind the active shrimpers. You dont even want to know about the sharks! As for those that are anchored...if they are picking out their catch I wouldnt get in the water b/c its like a buffet line! The thing is, sharks are an unavoidable danger of bluewater hunting but they are at those locations for one reason....to feed. To get in the water where large sharks are actively feeding is usually a bad idea but Im sure some of the S.A. spearos will go with you! Now if the boat isnt actively "picking out" I would go for it with another diver...but thats just me!
PS...be on the lookout for MONSTER cobia on those boats...
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I don't know about what's going on under the shrimp boats so much, but here's what happens when your urchin boat is anchored for the night and the squid come to hang out. Enjoy.

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That's a classy photo Sven............Damn good one !!!
Are bad sharks on the lower layer ?
Originally posted by rigdvr
Im sure some of the S.A. spearos will go with you!
Hi Rig , it's not as though we relish having the buggers around ...:eek: Personally I would just as rather not encounter sharks . Unfortunately that's pretty much wishful thinking back home , seldom have a day without some encounters .
When we return from a day's spearing we hardly mention sharks we've seen , but if none were sighted , THATS worth a story ...:D
That was entirely my point! You guys get much respect from me. I also see more sharks than I desire to but getting under an active shrimper is a different story...:naughty
On a wendsday night in Saudi Arabia (there version of a friday night) they have large Kapsa on the beach. Kinda like a BBQ, but it's an entire goat or 10. we show up around 3am when everything is slowing down, the local's throw the carcas's in the beach after the meal. just as daylight is breaking we slip into the water and hunt around the carcas. lots of Big stuff comes cruising by. good hunting, monster Spaity!

Do you guys use/trust electronic shark shields?
Do you guys use/trust electronic shark shields?

Haha Mr.X that will jut open up a preverbial can of worms as far as posts go. SS have always been a hot topic well at least since i joined DB. Like stated earlier sharks are a way of life in SA. And my opinion is that even if a SS works on 50% that can still save your life by 50% and thats odds im willing to take.

Remember the biggest mistake you can make is get a shark shield and feel invinsible. Yes they are good and yes they deter most sharks most of the time. But no they are not 100% and no they cant deter all sharks especially if your lucky enough to take your first dive right in the middle of a feeding frenzy. Then nothing except luck neptune and a well placed powerhead can save you :)

I have always dived without them and the only reason im here typing this is becuase i respect and even fear sharks. If there is a shark around i try and get out and leave it be. But I have also decided that end of this month I am buying a freedom 4 since there has been some close calls in the past. All i can say is dive safe dive clever, have a buddy, and never get too confident. Your a land based animal in a marine world.
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