Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Spearfishing & Hunting Technique

I often pass on some information about hunting technique to students and always think of it ini military or warefare-like terms.

See the fish as your enemy ("enemy").

You need to outsmart or outmanouver it. Knowledge of environment, and ability to predict what will happen enhances your success tremendously as would be the case in a battle.

Some questions come to mind:

Can you approach the enemy without him realizing your intentions?

Can you approach the enemy without him seeing you?

Can you approach the enemy using diversions to distract him?

Do you know how your enemy thinks, moves and behaves?

Can you guns shoot accurately, far enough, and penetrate armour?

How will other enemy behave when you knock off one of them?

Can you use environmental factors such as fog, wind and terrain to your advantage?

Do you know what environmental factors can kill you before you get around to killing your enemy?

If you can see fish as the enemy, one that you wish to eat, and answer these questions your chances of eating the enemy will be far greater than if you can't.

My online mentorship program answers every one of these and a lot more.

So I wish to offer in this and a few related posts some insights on hunting technique. I will take the odd excerpt from my mentroship lessons.

Excerpt 1
Lesson 14 Hunting Methods Part 1

In this lesson and the next two we will concentrate on hunting techniques. These lessons are probably the most important part of spearfishing once you have learned to freedive and have all the equipment. I would rate the finding of good reef and fish just as important. As we progress you will see that all these topics integrate and once you master most or all then you will increase your success.

Notes on the nature of Fish
Fish are very curious – “curiosity killed the cat” is a misnomer – rest assured that many more fish have died because of their curiosity than cats. We will manipulate this curiosity and once you get a feel for how different species of fish behave then you will “click” and fish will get onto your stringer or boat easily.

The hunting techniques use the curiosity of fish to the hunter’s advantage.

An approach and retreat strategy is used in which the diver must judge the fish’s approachability by observing its reactions to his presence in the water. Fish are often territorial or semi-territorial – they return to the same site yearly just like we go on holiday to a holiday house. Intruders are of great interest to a territorial fish just as a farmer would be very interested in people walking amongst his sheep or cattle in the veld. Also if I had a bunch of females I kept in a certain zone all for myself then I would be interested in potential intruders that may interfere with my potential offspring. From observation I believe that fish breed on good reefs and are threatened by intruders. They see something strange arrive and must investigate the possible threat be it another fish or a shark or a diver. In such investigations they will swim near to get a look and that it where you must take the opportunity to spear the fish.

Sometimes fish are easy to shoot and may almost be labeled as suicidal. On other occasions they as very cautious and will keep to the very edge of the visibility. Fish, as most other creatures, appear have moods and varying behaviour – if you note a fish is very spooky then you will react differently than if it is bold and trying to be dominant on the reef.

There are two key approaches to getting close to the fish to take the shot and combinations of these are also used.

In this lesson we will investigate the chase where the predator pursues the game and gets close enough to contact it – we will make such contact with our spear – an unexpected trick that fish are not aware of.

In part two I will offer another excerpt from Lesson 14

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