There are a few things you need to keep in mind when you go spearfishing that will not only keep you safe, but also your mates:
– treat this like a firearm at all times, loaded or unloaded – so never point it at anyone at any time. Spearguns are extremely dangerous – and while the spear does not go very fast the point has a lot of inertia behind it which means heaps of penetration power – easily go through a persons limb. I have been spearfishing with guys who don’t unload their guns before climbing back into the boat – try and avoid going out with these guys as these actions are extremely dangerous to the other people who are around. So, in summary:
Always spearfish with a mate
- Never point your gun at anyone at any time
- Always unload your gun before climbing into a boat or handing over to someone on deck.
- Don’t rely on your safety – I tend to avoid using it…treating the speargun as loaded at all times will keep you and everyone around you safer
- Never...ever fire a speargun on land. The water makes a huge difference in reducing recoil so not only is it very dangerous you can end up hurting yourself.
– never do it alone! You just never know what may happen when you are out at sea, a freak accident could cost you your life. Always make sure you carry lifejackets, and at least two forms of communication when you go out (cellphone and marine radio). Let someone know where you are intending to go and roughly when you will be back.
When you are in the water, keep track of where you and your buddy are at all times, just in case one of you gets into trouble – time is everything when there is water involved. Make sure you keep some distance between you so there is never any crossover with your firing lines.
– make sure you have heaps more than you need.
– fuel for you, in case you get hungry, and in case you need to stay out longer than planned.
After each trip, make sure you do the following:
- check your mono line that attaches to the end of the spear – this tends to be an area of high wear and tear that can go unnoticed until you see a fish swimming away with your spear!
- Also check the other end of the mono for any wear – if it starts looking worn, replace it – much better than to lose a good fish and your spear…
- Rinse your gun with freshwater and store it somewhere out of direct sunlight which will break down your mono lines.
- Check your bungy for signs of perishing – replace if it starts looking a bit old.
- If you have been spearing around reefs – check that the tip of your spear is nice and sharp, a metal file will easily restore the point.
Check you wetsuit for any tears or damage from your dive. If there is damage either repair it yourself or get it done professionally.
Small cuts/tears are quite easy to fix:
- Purchase some wetsuit glue (get from any wetsuit repair shop)
- Dry the wetsuit properly
- Apply the glue to both surfaces and let dry
- Repeat 3
- When touch dry, bring the surfaces together and press firmly from all angles.
Cleaning – wash thoroughly with fresh water after each dive and allow to dry, then turn inside out and allow the inside surface to dry. I recommend drying the wetsuit out of the direct sun – in a garage or inside. Then store away from direct sunlight until next time….
Booties, gloves, line, float – also rinse with fresh water and dry away from sunlight, check for any damage as you are rinsing.
Sharks are amazing animals which deserve your respect - so make sure you give it to them. Avoid areas where there are large numbers of sharks, or where sharks are common. Try and do your spearfishing close to your boat so you can get your catch out of the water as soon as possible - this will reduce the chances of attracting sharks with the blood and body fluids of your catch. Killing your prey quickly is also a priority, as struggling fish attract attention.
If you see a shark, relax! Chances are it is not interested in you at all...just your catch. If a shark does start acting aggressively in any way - get out of the water and move to another area. If a shark gets too close - give it a prod with the speargun to show him you are armed, and then either move away or get into your boat.
Make sure that you don't hold fish close to your body for any extended periods - keeping them on a stringer by your float is much safer, out of the water is better still!