By: Capt. Lawren McCaghren
[dropcap]N[/dropcap]ow that our short red snapper season has come and gone it is time to shift back into amberjack mode. These are the hardest fighting fish species that we target as spearfisherman. It is because of their strength they are called “Pez Fuerte” south of the border. In English it means “strong fish”!
Their size and strength contribute to the excitement as the ultimate target species in underwater hunting. Amberjack are targeted only by experienced spearos that have developed their aim well enough to “stone ‘em”. But it only takes missing the kill spot by 2 inches to be dealt an exciting fight. Underwater video of good and bad shots are a great tool to use in training new hunters.
A huge trend among spearfisherman this season has been shooting video. Most of the hunters I dive with have added camera mounts to their guns to video the excitement of the stalk, hunt and fight.
It is easy to get a good quality, high definition video camera and underwater housing in a very small package and for a reasonable price. The logical next step was to mount it to your mask or your gun and capture the action. Non-diving friends and family are amazed at the action and scenes that we enjoy every time we venture under the gulf. A fisherman sitting in the boat 70 feet above the action has no idea what goes on below. The freedom of being able to select your own fish and just seeing all the species that inhabit the sites that they fish. Instead of guessing what the colored pixels on your bottom machine represent, why don’t you jump in and have a look?
The Sealife and GoPro-style cameras can be mounted out of the way leaving the hunter free to press “record” then forget about the camera and get on with the hunt.
The added bonus is seeing all the fish species on the reef, not just the ones biting. The video evidence from divers has been instrumental in educating the “powers that be” on the proliferation of the red snapper population in the northern Gulf of Mexico, in hopes of getting the season and creel limits relaxed.
Divers have provided the video evidence of the Lionfish invasion to our coastal reefs. Because Lionfish don’t bite a hook, most fishermen only read articles about the invasion. We’ve seen the Lionfish go from a rare sighting 2 years ago, to a common species.
Call Gulf Coast Divers at (251) 342-2970 and ask about dive training, spearfishing and underwater videography.
Training can be completed in a couple weeks and you can be geared up and ready sooner than you think. Then you can grab your Sealife camera and be uploading You Tube videos after your first trip.