To the uninitiated, spearfishing can appear to be one of the most daunting adventures one can take. And it is. But with the proper training, practice, and experience, it can be an addictive and exhilarating activity that’ll bring lifelong memories you’ll cherish.
Of course, to have the best time possible, you must ensure you and others are safe while practicing the sport responsibly. This article lists essential tips for safely enjoying spearfishing adventures.
Tips For A Safe And Responsible Spearfishing Adventure
As an extreme sport, there are various safety considerations you need to make when planning to go spearfishing. And it starts way before you get in the water. Below are the most basic things you need to be mindful of.
Before Getting In The Water
- Make sure to undergo all necessary training. Having the requisite training ensures the safety of both you and your dive buddy. Apart from free diving lessons, this includes CPR and first aid training.
- Perform due diligence on your dive spot. Remember that the more restricted the waters are, the stronger the current. Additionally, study the tide tables for the day.
- Stay hydrated. Hydration is critical for proper equalization.
- Make sure your speargun has undergone proper maintenance and servicing before the dive. You don’t want any malfunctions underwater. Should you want added security, check out these powerheads.
- Always dive with a buddy. There are many perils surrounding the sport. Doing it with someone gives you an extra margin for error.
- Inform someone of your dive plans and let them know when you’ve returned. This way, they can call for search and recovery if they don’t hear from you.
- Make sure you have the proper gear. Apart from a speargun, this includes:
- Spearfishing wetsuit – Consider the water temperature in the spots you plan to dive in. For example, if it’s somewhere in Ireland, you’ll need a much thicker suit.
- Fins/flippers – The better your fins are, the better you can navigate the waters. If you buy cheap, the fin quality may not be enough to combat stronger currents.
- Mask and snorkel – Instead of looking for one that’s “cool,” find one that fits your head perfectly. Visibility is also vital, so consider that when choosing a mask.
- Float, flag, and line – Never attach a fish to your person. Doing so can be disastrous should it attract predators. Instead, use a float with a catch bag to keep the catch away from you. Meanwhile, a buoy with a flag will let people know you’re diving in the area.
- Knife – Make sure you have one that’s sharp, rust-resistant, and durable. You’ll need this to cut ropes and anything you get tangled with underwater.
- Never load or use a gun out of the water, even on a boat. And never point the speargun at anyone.
- Don’t get obsessed with retrieving a fish you shot. According to seasoned spear fishers, a surprising number of people have died making this mistake.
- Know your limits. Whether it’s the water getting too rough, too deep, or staying underwater for too long, you need to keep your diving in check with your skills.
- When buddy diving, the person in front should always be the one with the speargun. Additionally, always be aware of where you are pointing the speargun. Be mindful that it could misfire at any time.
- Set boundaries with your partner. If you decide to split up, have a pre-determined time to meet again.
- Don’t shoot anything dangerous or too big. This includes creatures like conger eels, seals, sharks, and, sting rays.
- Be careful when diving in wrecks. It’s easy to get stuck or lost in them. But if you do, always do so with a partner.
On The Hunt
- Don’t shoot at anything that’s too far away.
- Make sure the shot you take is fatal. Don’t pull the trigger if you think you’ll just be taking potshots at the fish.
- Don’t shoot at a fish that’s pointing at you unless it’s at close range. Meanwhile, a fish pointing away from you is nearly impossible to hit, regardless of how close it is. Wait for a fish to show its flank. Otherwise, wait for a better shot.
- Be mindful of what’s behind the target before you squeeze the trigger. This is done to avoid injuring other creatures behind the target.
While the know-how can be highly technical, employing common sense goes a long way toward keeping you safe during spearfishing adventures. Similarly, being conscientious in your preparations also ensures that you understand what the mission is, the risks involved, and a backup plan in case of an emergency. Keep the notes above in mind, and you’ll be an expert spear fisher in no time.