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Spearing at Hotspot

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New Member
Jan 16, 2002
I had the day off , it was a rare windless day and the sea was oilslick calm with low , slow swells ... perfect conditions for a trip to an area of reef I had recently investigated .
As is my custom I am alone on my Ski-Vee , a 14 ft boat with twin 30 HP outboards - light enough for one person to handle .
On the way I see several schools of baitfish , mainly fusiliers , feeding on the surface of the northern tips of reefs I pass , a good sign as it means our prevailing current is in action , a necessity for hunting pelagics ; the only fish we are allowed to spear in this marine reserve . To seaward I notice some Bonito feeding , another excellent sign .

The place I call Hotspot is the northern seaward edge of a 2 km. reef , relatively flat apart for this one bump which attracts all kinds of fish . The bottom is mostly 30 m. On my previous dive here I speared some 'couta (king mackerel) ,all between 8 and 15 kg ,typical summer size . In winter , although fewer , we get them to 30 + kg.
After kitting up I slowly move the boat upcurrent while paying out my floatline , killing and lifting the outboards about 70 m. past the actual site .My technique is to hold onto the boat and wait for fish to come and investigate my flashers , which are tied to the boat .I can't afford to dive down to look for ish as the boat drifts faster than me and we quickly separate .
I slide into the water , load my gun and deploy the flashers . Visibility is about 20 m. , pretty average around here .My flashers hang about 18 m. below me . Before getting to the ball of baitfish at the hotspot I do a dive to prepare myself and check things out .I notice a blacktip moving off , another good sign . Sharks and pelagics often hang around together . I am breathed up nicely by the time we hit hotspot and dive down into the bait .As I go down I notice an Ignobilis of about 18 kg departing smartly towards the reef , thats O.K. I am not interested in them when alone , have a nasty habit of reefing themselves with me watching my boat drift over the horizon .Dont see anything else except a school of smallish rainbow runners .
Hardly have time to breathe up before a 'couta appears as if by magic next to my flashers . I bullet down after it , get behind it and give a burst of speed to catch up and move slightly to the left to catch its eye . The 'couta does what I love best in this species , slows down and turns to get a good look at me . I plant my spear in the sweet spot between the dorsal and anal fins , solid meat all the way .
Although a lot of spearo's like to hang their flashers shallower to pull the fish up I prefer mine deeper to lessen the chance of spooking them when diving . 'Couta especially have a nasty way of almost imperceptibly sinking as they swim away when spooked , leaving you with the unwelcome realization that you have exceeded your depth/time limits .
As the spear hit I released the breakaway and returned to the surface , swimming for my boat now about 60 m. away .After dropping the outboards and tugging them to life I wind up my flashers and spearing line and set off after my buoy ,a yellow lifesaving one slightly larger than Pamela likes to hug close . These buoys have a great way of trying to keep their noses out of the water .
'Couta normally give a strong first run , and I had a quick cigarette waiting for it to tire . As it slowed down I drove up to the line and gave it some gentle tugs , spooking the fish and setting it off again .When I saw the fish curving to the left , the side I speared it from , I knew it was tired enough for me to haul in ,so I jumped back into the water with a line from the boat looped around my arm to keep it close . The fish came up easily and I brained it with the flopper .
After restoring order on board I returned to the previous spot and hopped in again . I managed to land two more 'couta in similar style before things quietened down . Since nothing seemed to be happening at the hotspot anymore I decided to continue the drift further down the edge of the reef .
After covering roughly 1 km. a wahoo suddenly appeared to seaward but as it was only 6 m. below the surface , showed no interest in my flashers . My first reaction was to chase after it but I immediately changed my mind as this is usually pretty futile and would only spook the fish . Instead I got everything back onboard and set off upcurrent again towards hotspot ,jumped back in after setting the flashers at 5 m. and drifted , waiting .
After some interminable minutes I saw the wahoo swimming directly for the boat and flashers . I had meantime fallen slightly behind and as the fish neared the flashers I dove down away from it and did one of the hardest things I've ever done spearing :
I turned my back on the fish and pulled myself into a little ball with my gun close to me .
To my great relief the wahoo appeared on my right , slowly swimming past me and turning in front of me , almost motionless . I extended myself and finned up slightly to improve the angle .
The spear entered the fish from behind and above the pectoral and exited through the opposing gillplate .Fortunately I released the breakaway simultaneously with the spear as the fish took off at a rate of knots . The buoy gave up the unfair fight in seconds and disappeared underwater .
Again I returned to my boat and lit a fag with shaking hands , scanning the surrounding waters for sign of my float . Eventually after long minutes it resurfaced some 200 m. away and moving slowly . I jumped in next to the line and gently applied some pressure . Although the fish was still swimming , it was only moving weakly and I managed to haul it in easily .When it came into sight ( 45m. line ) it was already lying on its side ,a sure sign of exhaustion . Blood was pouring from the gillplates and the pressure of the line on the flopper had kept the right plate shut , interfering with it's breathing .
After loading the wahoo I returned to shore , hoping some of my mates would be around for the traditional show and tell .
The wahoo weighed in at 37 kg.s


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Yep. I'da tagged that one too.

Don't need to hear about fags on your boat thoug

I think I shot at that one the night before...in my dreams...my girlie loves when I have those dreams b/c I wake up all excited...:p
Sven's Right

Originally posted by Abriapnea
Again I returned to my boat and lit a fag with shaking hands

And with the new liberal goverment, you'd never get away with it rofl

but very nice fish abri. it must have impressed the hell out of all the vaalies
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