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Tell me about: noises to attract fish

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Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2017
In some videos, especially Spearfishing Life's I notice the use of noise to attract fish. I noticed breams to be attracted by the sound of stones hitting each other, to some extend imitable by clicking the tongue. In video's I saw the bands of the gun being strung to instruct a group of barracudas to make a U-turn.

Trying with different sounds it still seems a mystery to me. The same breams are attracted by the sound one moment but seem to be scared by it the next. So I welcome all the information you can share about this subject.

I am mostly interested in the fish of Greek waters, but if one wants to share how to call Scottish lake-dragons or other local seafood then of course it would enrich the thread.
I spearfish in northern Greece. I like to create some noise with my larynx or by scratching a rock or some sand infront of me. Some times it does work and some times it doesn't. From my experience so far I have noticed that it is better to make the sounds when the fish is moving away from you. For example, you see a fish that has a direction towards your area. After a while it makes a small turn and moves away from you. This is the moment I will try to attract its attention with some sound. I have noticed that many times it will turn again towards me. But it doesn't always work. A lot of times it won't have any effect at all.
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With the larynx sound you mean like a slow scraping <eeeeehhhhhh> sound, but with the mouth closed?

I did notice that the older fish are only interested in sounds they cannot see the origin of. The young fish come swarming to any sound. But no shooting the young fish!

Scratching the rock... With gloves I assume? If so that gives a hint on the subtleness of the sound. The past few days there was an extraordinarily calm sea, which made it easy to swim silently, but also showed the importance of being completely silent. In my home area there are always waves and fish are less disturbed by the sound of my fins.

Perhaps I should make a second thread about the importance of stealth. I notice fish being more easily scared away when my body is tensed because of cold or need to take a dump, hunger, coffee or whatever. You don't flow like a fish and the fish don't flow with you.
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Try 2 shell fish when at the bottom cause them to friction on one another alike thumb and 2 fingers in a massage movement or purchase a fish recaller 15 euro,.I use muscles from time to time for sea bream.some people tap the handle repetitive on the rocks,.depends on what your hunting
Omer sell a little plastic clicker to put on your finger. You spin/click it to attract fish. It is ridiculously expensive so haven't tried it. With a little imagination I expect you could make something, or perhaps shake an anging lure that has a rattle?

Our fish are quite skittish. Some are curious. It doesn't take much to spook them. I watched some of JoePK's recent spearing youtube videos and he has a good, calm approach. He tends not to spook fish, in his videos at least!

Another trick is to flick up a little sand, as if foraging for food. Or tapping/scraping rock on rock. Burley and/or "fish magnets"* work better for me though. "Fish magnet" is one or more speared fish on your waist stringer or your nearby float (overhead is good). Getting that first fish is therefore key. ;)
Generally speaking, you want ot be as silent as possible. If you don't see any fish or you see them swimming away, then you make some noise. What works for me is gutural noises like "huuugh, huuugh, huuugh!"... Then you stop, wait few seconds and do it again.
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Another trick is to throw some small stones in different directions go down the curiosity brings some species closer to investigate a great trick if your fishing a reef
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the fish recaller make one out of an old tipex correction tape cog a small piece of wood and rigid plastic drill another hole pass some cord or yaught elastic then attatch to wrist so as not to lose
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Fish are usually curious, but if they have been shot at a lot, noise that sounds like a spearfisherman will spook them.

If it sounds like "food" you are way ahead. Shooting hogfish, that forage in the sand for hard shelled prey, I'll grind two rocks together or dig my spear in and out of the sand bottom. This works great unless its an area with much spearing pressure. Sharks definitely react to the sound of food. Grouper will be attracted to any loud noise. Again, if shoot at much, stealth is much better.
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Slowly this thread is growing with lots of good information! I like!

In one of Noob Spearo's podcasts Kimi Werner talked about how she goes to nibble at the rock next to the one that has the grazing fish, so that they all think "hey, that strange big fish over there is so interested in that rock, it must be better than this one!", and in no time they're swarming the tip of her pole spear.

It works very well here in Greece for spinefoots parrots and salpa. The older fish aren't tricked as easily though. But I guess that's true for every species. A 40cm bream probably saw quite a lot of spearguns, hooks and nets in its life and knows very well about the true intentions of this ugly swimming biped.
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Yes, the bigger fish usually are smarter here too. Usually curious smaller fish come in first
If there are bigger fish around and if they are curious, they usually come it later. Probably waiting to see what happens to the smaller fish first.
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Generally speaking, you want ot be as silent as possible. If you don't see any fish or you see them swimming away, then you make some noise. What works for me is gutural noises like "huuugh, huuugh, huuugh!"... Then you stop, wait few seconds and do it again.
Yes. I finding hiding behind a rock or in weed helps. No point alarming them unnecessarily. A spearo in the open probably looks a lot like a seal to a fish.
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Leander, I know you are mostly interested in what works in your area, but I find it fun trying different things and finding my own ways. so far I have used three tipes of sound with success.

First one is rubber string, but that one needs rubber band to be free to oscillate, won’t work properly on some guns. Say, it works best if your bands are spaced with metal wishbones. Doesn’t work with dynema wishbones where your bands are tightly bundled and pressed againt the barrel. It also depends on the “tune”. Attracts Pacific Shiners, really great sound and I use it a lot. No amount of stealthiness can be as good as calling fish from far. Rubber bands don’t seem to attract anything else, but shiners and perch in general will swarm in, pick and shoot. Really a “magic flute” type.

The second sound is scraping on the rock with spear tip. It seemed to work in one particular area. I do that mostly out of season when rockfish is inactive and hiding and needs a bit of action to show up. Greenlings also come-by to investigate, not my target species but on a slow day I will take it.

Now, the best sounds ever is loud banging of a metal shaft about the rocks. This may scare away all the little guys at first, but if you are in an area with big lingcod, this is what I do. It works particularly well on rocky bottom with terraces, where big monsters are in deep and dark places. I don’t push, pick a comfortable terrace at 10 meter or so, bang and wait and bang again. May take a repeat dives to the same spot. I figure, the sound carried away very far under water and it takes time for fish to find where it is coming from. It is fun to see a prize fish ascending from darkness and circling you. Lingcod being territorial king of the hill so to speak, always come to metallic obnoxious clanking.
With a little imagination I expect you could make something, or perhaps shake an anging lure that has a rattle?
Just did a quick Google for 'fish rattle' and Salvimar and Neptonics come up with a highly overpriced steel tube with BBs. Just last week I recovered someones lure and half a kilometre of line. It was one of those rattling lures. I wish I read your comment before I left it in a random fishing boat.
I sometimes tap my knife on my gun to try and attract carp in freshwater. Never noticed that it helped much. The thing about carp is that they are very curious so if you scare them off at first, more often than not they will swing back around for another look at you.
The first few months of hearing divers use sounds in videos, I thought they were just gagging or having contractions. Then someone pointed out to me that they're using calls, and I started to try. Although my breath hold isn't that good, I noticed immediate results. I mostly do the low throaty sound, and as you guys say, all the little fish swarm.

I decided that if the bigger fish have seen me, they won't approach. I caught my first sea bass this way, and my first 30cm sargo. The latter was a very proud moment since I had hid well in the grass, made the call and immediately a group of sargos came to check it out. I also learned that if you're on the bottom and motionless, they'll sometimes come right up to you unafraid.

The gilthead seambreams seem more hesitant imo. But I've seen a big one circle in the distance and disappear after seeing me. It's my next goal. The grey mullets always show up in droves when I make the sounds, but I've stopped hunting those.
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Mullet is common as to shoot 1st in the beggining.,Then as you mention sea bream ,Seabass.Then you shall discover the corvina shy fish loves summer warm water comes out at night although found sometimes in day light.For sea Perch Mormara stirr up the sand a little or move the small gravel lightly !they think their is a feast and attend if in the area.The other noise is indian crawling through the Algae can be a advantage as a disadvantage depends on alert level of the fish,some times youll find seabass hide from the other predator fish
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