• Welcome to the DeeperBlue.com Forums, the largest online community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing. To gain full access to the DeeperBlue.com Forums you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:

    • Join over 44,280+ fellow diving enthusiasts from around the world on this forum
    • Participate in and browse from over 516,210+ posts.
    • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
    • Post your own photos or view from 7,441+ user submitted images.
    • All this and much more...

    You can gain access to all this absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

Tell me, is this ethical or not ?

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.


Mr. Long Post
Apr 22, 2002
Like all other spearos, I dream of landing some species I think as premier game fish.

This year I actually saw for a first time in the water , a +-12 lbs wahoo while I was close to the surface. It sure looks a lot like Spanish Mackerel from a distance. It seems attracted to my slip tip spearhead which was dangling and all shiny. I reloaded my gun as fast as I can and did a desperate shot from a distance and miss.......:duh.

Next experience was also a first time underwater, three Mahi-Mahi swam past me on the surface. All were small, none exceeding 8lbs. It was a joy to see and no chance to shoot anyway.

The most amazing experience was.....and for the second time in my life.....was to see a Marlin underwater. The first time I was holding a baby gun to become a back up for the kill shot with no floats attached and my friend was supposed to be holding the primary gun with a single float. The Marlin passed by me instead of him, so me dare not shoot, not with a baby gun. I think it was about 100lbs. The viz was like 15 feet or so.

The boat crew spotted the Marlin as it was sun-tanning in the sun early morning at 9AM or so. The second time and in different location, I also managed to get in the water to a Marlin doing sun-tanning early morning. This one is huge at least 200lbs upwards and possibly 300lbs according to the boat boys and I could only sea the tail. The viz was very bad at 10-12 feet. It was milky green water. It was black tail and look like a coconut tree trunk size at the end tail. I have never seen a Marlin while diving, it is always spotting them when they do sun-tanning.

Since I could only see the tail and like 30% forward of the tail due to the water viz, I was trying to guess where to aim if I want to shoot at the imaginary mid-body. I was using my MT5 and my parachute float. I thought when I first jumped in, the fish was like 100lbs and I forget about using the Riffe float. The surface was choppy. I kinda behave like a kid when encountering this Marlin, I have never shoot one.....I was too excited. The devil in me told me to shoot at the tail, the only part of the Marlin I can see barely, as it was going away from me. So I did and pray that it will not kebab me.

All I could remember was that the fish accelerate fast and after that my shooting line went limp falling to the water below me.
My reel and parachute float was not spent. I thought, did I miss or the fish broke free ? I was like a fool dazzled for about 30 seconds or so. I hold my cable shooting line and decided to swim back to the boat and all of the sudden there is this powerful force almost ripping my gun away from me, the line of the reel was spent out about a meter and that is when my two C02 cartridge began to fire on the parachute float. The parachute float sank another meter and then pop back up again. I could not see anything below me. There is no more pressure on the shooting line, the Marlin indeed broke free this time. Then I thought, damn if it were below me, my silhoutte could be a good target for it to ram at me, so I swam back to the boat fast. Didn't see the Marlin after that. My 3/8" shaft was bent at the front, some meat left over on the slip tip...........damn what a brute force from a mere kick of the tail.

My question is to brother spearos :

It seems my only opportunity to land a Marlin is to look for one doing sun-tanning. At this stage, a Marlin seems very approachable. If I ever get 30 feet vis or better, at next opportunity, I can line the shot at fatal point. Now, I am not used to approach a fish that has no fear of me. My hunting location are quite over harvested and all other fishes I targetted are either trying to get away from me or don't want to get close to me.....well that's the cost of blowing lots of bubbles...:confused:
I actually enjoyed chasing fishes with my fins.

This Marlin thing on freedive is different, either it thinks I pose no danger, or I don't generate noise since I freedive ( yeah...yeah 0 to 15 feet of water is do-able....he he he ), or maybe it thought that I am so small compared to it and I should be fearful of it....well I do fear of getting poked by its massive bill....:D

Is this a typical "scare-of-no-one" attitude of a Marlin doing sun-tanning ? Is it ethical too shoot one next time if I have the opportunity again in clearer water ? I mean it is ethical to shoot a fish when/if the given opportunity allows me to get very close to it because it swims so relaxed and allowing me to aim nicely and pull the trigger. I know some spearos do not like to shoot fishes that actually swim to a hunter like it is trying to offer its life to the barbecue grill.

Marlin is legal in my country, almost all species are legal to take on line or spearguns.......we don't have proper law yet....:head

Input will be very much appreciated...thanks

Hi Iya, (and welcome back too!)
If it's legal, and you know you are not spearing an undersized or rare species, the decision you take to shoot it or not when it is passive or swimming towards you will probably be determined by how you think you are going to feel afterwards - happy for a new hunting experience or a little doubtful because there was no "thrill of the hunt", where you felt that you were simply doing something mechanical. I don't know, just go for the feeling level. whatever it is, don't feel empty afterwards!


I agree with Adrian on this one. Most fish we shoot can be very easy to approach at times. In fact, I would say 99.9% of the time we only get fish because of their curiosity and/or lack of fear of us. We don't usually get them because we 'sneak' up on them or are stealthy. Spearfishing is totally different from land hunting. As Adrian said, you have to do what makes you feel comfortable. If you really think you want to shoot a marlin then my advice to you would be to try it out one time. Take a responsible shot and put the meat to good use and if you don't feel good about it afterwards than just don't do it again. At least it will be something you can cross off your lifetime list of things you’ve done and you'll know better than to do it again.

Hope this advice helps and welcome back.

  • Like
Reactions: Erik and Adrian
very strange question:D at least for me who has very strong hunting instinct....

Ethic is personal thing, it may be ethical for one people but may not for another. IF it was me i preffer to take the shoot rather than regret it later.Especially if i want the fish so badly...Hovewer if it was me i don't take a shoot if i only see the tail of the fish... We have smilar situations here too, and the golden rule is if grouper in the cave does not shows its head to you, don't shoot it!!!! you will either had to leave the fish there to death with your spear or you will kill yourself while trying to take it out (SWB).
Thanks Gentlemen,

Indeed, I will probably shoot ONLY one if I ever get the chance again. The Japanese chef at a restaurant I frequent keep telling me that Marlin meat is good. I never put any meat to waste, I got tons of friends who will come for such a feast.

I don't usually shoot fish's tail but the desperado in me was just so overwhelming........... he he he. Looking at a Marlin underwater that huge simply gives me Parkinson shakes.

This sun-tanning Marlin is just so unique.
Last year I managed to get in the water three times to jump into a school of feeding yellowfin tuna, at one time I mamaged to get as close to 8 meters/ 26 feet but the water viz was only 1/3 of it and I had to keep putting my head into the air to see its fin. I can't see anything in the water. This location is the only place I know which has YF tuna feeding at predictable location at certain time of the year but very murky water due to river run off. Physically not fun chasing a YF like this but mentally it is fun, and the tuna really speed off.....zoooom.

Well, if it is my fate to land a Marlin................let there be another sun-tanning Marlin.....:D
Iya, seriously work on that breath hold buddy! We have very similar conditions here due to run off from the Mississippi river and often the murk is only the top 5-30ft or so(b/c the freshwater runoff floats on the more dense salt water)If those tuna are in there feeding I promise you can make some dives into the clean water and get a shot...sounds just like our hunting on the lumps:cool:
Shouldn't I come closer to the YF school boiling on the surface instead of diving down to 30 feet ? Aren't they all supposed to be on the surface at such feeding frenzy ?

I don't know where the clear water starts, this area is a bay, very close to shore, some is just 1/2 a mile from land but with very sudden and deep water. My sea mount is like 1.5 miles away from land and water is still murky all the way down to 120 feet if not more. Sometime 0-60 feet has this milky, smoky layer of water with probably 6 feet viz......yuck !!

Aren't we supposed to wait at a mere 10 feet if such feeding frenzy occurs ? I am looking a this depth because the water is less choppy at this depth and I can actually aim straight.
hi Iya

Welcome back mate missed the long posts and the +- indicators :D

Here in Australia there is quite a few people who go for MArlin that are sun tanning etc they even troll lures around to attract the marlin and then jump in to try and spear them. Id go for it if I was in your position but still I dont reckon it will be as fun as hunting doggies on those deep pinacles. ;)

I have been after a marlin for 2 years now. I have seen them 3 times and even had a shot at one that was out of range. :( I have also spoke with spearos who have taken them and read all I can find about it.

From my understanding there are 2 difficult parts to taking a marlin. The first one is finding one. I have done trips out to the continental shelf off Australia and I have dived on bait schools searching for them. YOu don't see them that often if you are a spearo. The 2nd part that is difficult is the fight. If you don't get a very good shot you are infor a hell of a fight. Billfish of all species are very strong and fast fish. Apparently when you have come across a marlin they are a big confident fish and so long as you don't swim hard at one, you usually can get a shot.

Ethics? Wanting to take a marlin is cool but shooting the tail of such a fish would only result in injuring the fish and not taking it. So that was not a wise action. And I am guessing that was on your mind. If you speared such a fish but did not have sufficient gear to hold it that too would be a problem. Last year a friend whom I spear with regularly speared a 80-90 kg marlin and due to a mistake on how he rigged his equipment he lost it. He was devastated. However, he won't make that mistake again. So we use our experiences to get more skill.

So, Iya...I think you will be more ready next time. Don't forget to post a pic of your prize.:D

DeeperBlue.com - The Worlds Largest Community Dedicated To Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing


ISSN 1469-865X | Copyright © 1996 - 2024 deeperblue.net limited.

DeeperBlue.com is the World's Largest Community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving, Ocean Advocacy and Diving Travel.

We've been dedicated to bringing you the freshest news, features and discussions from around the underwater world since 1996.