By: Capt. Chad Carney
After a freediver has passed a level 1 certification course and relaxed enough to dive to fair depths and times, he or she often looks into spearfishing. Buying a speargun, Hawaiian sling, or polespear is next depending on location and intended prey. (For lots of info see my 20 articles https://www.deeperblue.com/beginners-guide-spearfishing/). Before shooting, I recommend open water practice and flattened aluminum cans are good targets.
Learning to stalk prey is the 1st technique and hogfish are an easy first fish. Hang high above and act uninterested, while slowly and quietly following. Minimize your profile by pulling back your weapon next to your body. Watch for the fish to accept your presence, then begin your calm descent bringing your unextended shooting hand up along side your head and pointed at the fish. The kill shot is from above and behind the fish’s head along it’s lateral line. So calmly extend, lock your elbow and pull the trigger. See my photo with double mangrove snappers on 1 kill shot. This doesn’t happen often on open moving fish, but they swarmed and I was lucky!
Another photo is my student Kyle Barnell as he stalked his smart gags well for a rookie!
A 2nd technique is an ambush. While watching Kyle shoot, I noticed a gag circle back twice to the same spot on a concrete structure. When the gag moved out again, I dove down and laid flat on the back side of the structure. Kyle’s tip was to dive a little fast toward my gag, then stop. The gag’s behavior repeated itself – right into my stone shot!