Thursday, July 24, 2008

Success in Spearfishing - Part 5 of 9

We now come to the fifth variable that affects success in speafishing:

S = A + B x C + D + E + F + G

Where E is marksmanship
Plus marksmanship which depends on concentration, visibility and equipment.
I have often heard and read how a yellowtail or a dogtooth tuna stripped out plenty of line and weaved it onto the reef and then made it's departure. If the shot was perfectly delivered then such stories would not exist.

Snipers did not become snipers by going out into action and learning to shoot by knocking off enemy.

Often the great snipers of the wars were farm boys who spend many a day traipsing through the woods or veld with a rifle slung over their shoulder.
To get good at shooting you must shoot and shoot and shoot some more…. Smooth-bore muskets are very inaccurate compared to rifles - I know – having used both a great deal. Similarly rail-spearguns are far superior to non-railed guns assuming spears are strait and barbs are symmetrical.
The shooter will need to be able to concentrate, control muscles and steer his gun. Also he will need to predict – trajectories, distance and timing of fish speed and direction to land his shot effectively.
On occasion you may have to judge the viability of a shot and may purposely take a poor shot to permit penetration.
There are times when your shot would have been excellent if it was not for the fish turning at the same time as you pulled the trigger - sometimes the fishes sixth sense works too. So marksmanship also depends on the fish - if they just watched one or two of their buddies being taken out they may just keep their distance next time they see you.
In my opinion marksmanship is a subject best learned at sea with lots of shooting after brief review of physical phenomena at play.

You can make up a target or draw one in the sand and take potshots to get a bit better.

Viz – you may need to shoot fish you cannot see at the time of pulling the trigger by prediction of their swimroute.

Also there is a way to “cheat” a meter or so extra viz in very poor conditions – you shoot the shadow when facing toward the light source”.

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
Wayne Gretzky
[Also you get no fish on the dives you don’t take]

How close you can get to the fish or get it to come to you will definitely affect your success. Also the size of the target has plenty to do with markmanship.

In 1998 on Fayal, one of the nine islands in the Azores I met the French target shooting champion - they even had championships for markmanship with spearguns!

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