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YF Tuna Gun built in South Africa

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Jun 13, 2003

My latest toy!!!!! 1.6m Wooden Tuna Gun. Mid-handle, 4x16mm's, 8mm SS spear with slip tip, side stocks and wings.

These guns are built by the legendary Tommy Botha. They came about as a result of South African spearo's finding a YF tuna fishery off Cape Point. Lots of ideas were tried and tested and this is the result. Spearo's have taken YF's of up to 82kg's on 1.3m Rabitechs, but for consistent results, the woodie was developed. Tommy Botha represented South Africa 16 times and is very good friends with guys like Terry Maas, Steve Alexander, etc. Input was received from these guys during the developmental stages of the gun. Tommy's own gun has accounted for more than 20 YF tuna in excess of 50kg's!!!!! Very Impressive!!!!


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Nice toy indeed, Miles. You did a good job on that one. I read more and found out you didn't make it, darn! It's a beautiful fishing gear (sorry can't mention speargun anymore in this forum, because they might confiscate it):D . Is it made out of teak or mahogany?
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The front "boards" are stabilisers, which make the band pull parallel to the shaft and reduces muzzle whip.

The back board is usally a means of adding weight (unless it serves another purpose on this gun?), so the recoil from 4 bands doesn't remove your teeth.

The red rubber looks like the break-away bungee.

Miles can yeah or nay...
Hey Miles,

How are you meant to track a fast swimming bluefin with that?

My buddy just received a Riffe bluewater and I am very concerned that he will not be able to track the big tuna in the current.

A misplaced shot on one of these beast can ruin a whole dive trip
When I got to play with a Bluewater Riffe I wondered the same thing. Tracking isnt an issue, its a non-event.

The way to do it, as a bonito found out, is to carry the gun below the body, one hand on the handle, the other on the barrel, then extend the gun in front of you into the path of the fish. Once the fish reaches the firing spot/zone, squeeze off the shot. For a fast moving fish you may need to aim in front of it.

Use two hands if you like your smile.

btw, I had a shot at some yellowfin tuna up in the GBR. Despite aiming a full foot in front, from 3m away, I still shot behind the 1m long Tuna...:hmm
Thats precisely my point.

whacking a 300 kilo BF Tuna in the tail region would have "Disaster" written all over it.

I would rather not shoot from 6m, as you would with the riffe, and prefer to get the spear connecting in the right place.

Missing a 1m tuna from 3m away :(

I bet you would have hit it with a eurogun :D
I agree with Shadow.

From the solitary tunas (only BF) that have come to my aspettos, ive noticed they choose the path before hand and move in a straight line. A tuna will definitely not stop moving but by anticipating its course once it appears you can intercept it rather than track it.

The only BF I managed shooting and landing however came head on to a normal aspetto on a dropoff. The moment I aimed toward it "flew" upwards and proceeded to swim sideways just underneath the surface with incredible speed. It was beating up the water and literally having fun!! After cat and mouse stalking at the surface in vain, I managed to dive and shoot it from underneath. It weighed around 60 kg.

Thats the advantages of a mid-handled gun. Easier to track with. Swings like a 1.2 or 1.3m gun in the water.

Shaca, have you ever seen a YF tuna swimming?? They're unbelievably fast, and unlike other gamefish, tend to swim in an erratic patern. Most shots are going to be at a moving target. So as Dogmatrix has said, you aim about 1-3ft in front of the fish, hoping to hit it in the just behing head area!!!!!

Hunting HUGE Tuna isn't always easy!!:D :D :D

nice gun miles, do you mind me to ask how much you paid for it? One fo my friend was looking for big game gun and he ended with 130cm wood barell euro:)
Originally posted by shaneshac

Missing a 1m tuna from 3m away :(

I bet you would have hit it with a eurogun :D
Sorry Shane, but I was using my 1.3m Rob Allen. Should have pointed that out...

Once Tuna get up a head of steam you won't track them at all. All you do is point and hope...:eek:

Now if only I had a nice Riffe with 23 rubbers at that time...:hmm
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With 23 rubbers you'd need to plan your dives a month in advance and start loading LOL

I will post pics tonight of my tuna "Spear-Bomb" as Fernando Abella Called it.

The subjects on which some of the testing of this wooden tuna gun was done:

Tommy Botha with subject!!!!:D :D


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That’s an interesting shooting line release on that gun. It looks like the line comes up onto the top of the back board and then ??? It must be attaching to something by the trigger/sear? Could you explain?

Nice gun and fish!


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