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spearfishing wrecks

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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looking for deeper water
Jan 26, 2002
hi guys

My mate and I are planning to spearfish some of the deeper wrecks in our area, the first is in 63ft of water with average vis of 8 to 10ft, the second wreck is in 104ft of water and has average vis of 40 to 50ft. We are going to try the shallower one first for safety reasons, I have heard rumours that monster Tiger Sharks hang around wrecks and so I have been a bit scared about diving it. Also should I use a breakaway system or the other one where you attach the floatline to back of gun I think this is called fixed. I also thought it would be a smart idea to shorten up float lines to the depth of the wreck, to try and stop fish wrapping line around in deep water. This will be the first wreck we have dived and we are both excited and scared. Any thoughts or suggestions on how to approach this sort of hunting will be much appreciated.


Before going around a wreck with your gun, you should learn the geography of the wreck. What are the current, what place are dangerous on the wreck, where will you find most fish etc, etc. That will help you to choose gun length, best spear etc..etc... But the very most important thing is to know the wreck very well before starting to hunt it. Especially in low wiz water.

Also, since you can get entangle very fast on a wreck, make sure you can remove any piece of equipment fast if it get stuck, and that you always have a sharp knife that you can reach.

The hunt the wreck, i would use a technique called agachon. Basicly, you let yourself fall to the bottom beside the wreck and you stay motionless there. The fishes in the wreck will be curious and they will start coming out to see what's that think at the bottom. And then SHHHHHLLLLIIINNNNNGGGGG!!! Having the fish come out of the wreck is better then going in to get them.

Good Luck!
Hi Ivan,

I do hunting in wreck very often, but on scuba. Me can't go down to 60 feet on apnea so....:confused: Anyway my wreck is a 565 foot HMAS Perth which belongs to ur navy, sank in WW2. It lies in 125 feet of water with top deck at 65 feet and water visibility by average at 4 meters or less. The current is wild most of the time ( depending on time & tide ) and can hit up to 2.5 knots or more.

I use 500 lbs coated stainless steel cable for shooting line but since I am on scuba I tug-of-war with anything I shoot, without cable I will loose even a 7 kg Golden Trevaly common to this wreck. The same I think will apply to ur situation. Mine comes with a swivel clip so I can remove the shaft and shooting line only even without a knife...remember I have an air tank on my back.
We never use floatline because we will be drag down by the current.

Do some research on the wreck age. In shallow tropical water, wreck get ruined much faster. Stay away from overhead environment, don't even think of going into the wreck for the grouper which likes being inside. Up current and around the eddies ( swirl ) is where I find most fish. I always use my Riffe Ice Pick breakaway spearhead on wrecks because I find them superior for tug-of-war with fishes, don't open wounded flesh a great deal. For freediving wrecks and 7mm shaft, don't use this spearhead, they fall off easy.........sometime.

I think a float will be better than reel in ur wreck. As Frenchy put it, make sure u have a sharp knife. U can't have a float only as deep as the wreck cause it will be difficult to pull. In most cases the float will not be exactly on top of you but rather at an angle and that means extra length maybe necessary.

If you fear that a fish will line wrap around the structures of the wreck, I think you need to reel in the moment you shoot, but make sure ur Hawaiian flopper can take the tug-of-war. Not all fishes go making knots on ur shooting line on the wreck. In most cases they will be the Trevallies, grouper and snappers. Other species will most likely head for open water....Spanish mackerel and Barracudas.

As for the Tiger shark, me no comment cause me will run if me see one :D :D . If us ay that the Tiger shark is a Monster type I will......pee in my pants if I see one. Honest !!!!
It will be best to have a buddy standing by with a loaded gun and be willing to part with it if u ever decide to shoot the Tiger. I heard Tiger likes going close to shore in the evening or when it gets darker.

Look for damage or open wound on the hull. Fishes love going in and out of these area, especially if it gets current going into these holes. If u can apnea well, be on top of the wreck around these holes and wait for the fish traffic.

I am sure u will find quite a few red trouts around the wreck. If this wreck is seldom fished or speared, I am sure there will be one "Boss" grouper waiting... a big one.

Ur 104 feet wreck with 50 feet viz sounds like a safer one to me. Any wreck which is far away from a coral reef will hold more fish than a wreck just next to a reef..........my finding. At this deeper wreck, u might get fish around the 30-40 feet water column, those mid water pelagics. U will also need less time to study the structure. If a wreck is 8-10 feet viz like what I get from HMAS Perth when I first dove it, it took me more than a few hours and many dives just to learn which part is which on this gigantic 565 foot ship, the shape is so confusing if this big and water this bad viz.......... trust me. The one time I was blessed with 40 feet viz, only then I can imagine properly how it look like. Learning the complete shape of a 100 footer ship is totaly different that of a 500+ feet in 8-10 foot viz.............and quite scarry too cause over 500 people died here :waterwork.

Whatever you do, take ur time and be careful. No fish is worth risking long dive...remember that. I still want to spear with u one of these days dude... ;)

Bring plenty of extra shafts, 7mm in wrecks with a 10+kg fish is like a tooth pick. With the fertile waters around Australia, I won't be surprised u will be overwhelmed by the fish !!!

OK young man, becareful....you hear....:D . Have fun.:D

So when do I get invited ????:t :t

Andrew , I know I'm repeating stuff , but keep that knife handy . Lost a mate not long ago who got wrapped up by a trevally .
If you use a breakaway at least your gun won't take a hammering .
If I were you I would think twice about a fixed rig. It leaves the possibility of losing all your gear! Go with a breakaway rig and worst case scenario you lose a shaft and line.

As far as the dives are concerned you failed to mention the height of the wrecks. One with more verticle profile will usually be more productive as well as closer to the surface. if your wreck in 60 feet rises 10 feet off the bottom it is no closer tha a wreck in 100 feet that rises 50 feet.

Please, please, lease take the advise on the knives. Unlike open water or reef hunting, fish on a wreck or rig can run around you and actually tie you to the structure. If you upgrade to cable make sure you can cut that effectively as well. I carry two knives and while shooting cable I add a pair of EMT shears(aka Sea Snips) to my weightbelt. These easily take care of cable without oxygen robbing effort.

Good luck and be safe:D

Ur friend entagled by a Trevaly reminds me of my friend. We were on scuba and it was only 60 feet deep open reef. I heard him shot, noisy JBL and after 5 minutes I approached him for the fun of looking at what he got.

Man, he shot a not so big barracuda +- 10kg and it was still alive well and kicking. The barracuda made circles around him till he got wrapped like mummy. One hand holding the barracuda because it was trying to bit him, the other hand was trying to reach for a knife. I was laughing, he can't let go of the "bitting" barracuda to undo the shooting lines. We were on tanks so it was no hurry, but he was on the sand lying down looking like a sick diver :D :D. Well could have been dangerous if I did not come to him and if it was a freediver...............hhhhhmmmmmmmmm.

Riffe has a 5" bungie with swivel clip, like I use. U can cut the dacron part of the bungie easy with a good knife.
Don't use bungie float line on wrecks, use non-strectch ones, can take more bruises.

Iya , if you look in Terry Maas' book "bluewater ect. " you will find the story of my friends accident . I spent about 30 mins on the boat and another 20 mins. on back of pickup trying to rescucitate him . Not a happy memory .
I am extremely wary around wrecks since .
OOOPPSS. That is the Guy ??? Damn I read that one well. Poor soul. Sure no fun for you being there. Sometime when my scuba buddies surfaced late I do fear what actually is happening to them, I mean I know their wife, kids and some of their parents........if anything happened to them what do I tell the family ????? We been scuba hunting for like 9 years together.

I think I am lucky that my apnea skill is still not worth mentioning, thus I can not venture on apnea to places I even find sometime dangerous even with scuba. I had two close call but one was because of my sinus and cold water......... I nearly died at 120 feet at night on a wreck. I didn't even shoot anything. Later I gave up scuba diving for 3 months and in fact until today I can not be as carefree scuba diver as I used to be, I lost 40% of my confidence and comfort underwater today. When new divers are trying to look macho going deeper, I try going as shallow as possible.

We do choose this dangerous sport afterall.....:confused:

good response


Thanks guys magnificent response I think I will sharpen my knife up right away. Both of these wrecks are in the shipping channel and are no where near the reef, the shallow 63ft wreck rises from around 80ft of water and the high point is 63ft, the deeper one is around 110ft on the sides and rises to around 100ft high spot this one is more of a rubble patch where Red Emperor hang around. My mate and I just finished making a new 8mm spear and home made slip tip for my Ra 110, my 150 is arriving in one week. I will use a breakaway on the wrecks, I have always used breakaway anyway. Iyadiver my apnea is not the best either I mean i cant hunt at 45 to 50m like alberto March but Im slowly getting their. There is another wreck which is a long way from shore and is around 150ft deep I dont think we will hunt their yet. Anyaways thanks again. Oh the 60ft wreck is a lot closer to shore than the deeper one my uncle shot a fingermark around here that equalled the Australian record at 26lbs I will have my eyes open.

With wrecks in mind... I think it is worth rementioning that it's not the best Idea to enter them... no fish is worth it... the problem is that once you get in there it is all good.. but when you turn around sometimes a lot of silt has been kicked up and you can't find your way back out. Anyhow best of luck with the spearfishing :) hopefully you can post some nice pics here soon :)
wreck spearing

I used to spearfish inside wrecks,
got my first big grouper(about 80 kilos) in Baja California
3 m inside(down) the smokestack of one.

like was said:

KNOW your wreck

and its currents, especially
changing(tidal) ones!

inside move VERY carefully

Silt can screw you up, for sure

also beware of SHARP EDGES!

I used my 1m(40") spear length arbalete and
line only from the front of the gun
back through the little hook and back - 1,8m total

Knife - have a sheath that neither line
nor anything else can catch on,
not the kind where the knife-handle top
sticks out and snags a loose line
while you are upside down in the dark
with a fish going berserk!

so - yes, best don't go inside at all!

good hunting!

peter, www.juprowa.com/kittel
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