Thursday, March 19, 2009

Garrick (leervis) Growth rates, Plus some of my experience in shooting "Greeks"

Last Saturday I did a dive a little east of the Swartkops River mouth. This river is in the darkest NW of Algoa Bay - by this I mean there is very seldom viz in this area and Saturday saw a few meters of vis in the backline.
I dropped in and did a few dives onto the sand in about 2-3m of water.
In due course a shoal of about 50-100 garrick filled my eyes. I picked out one and put the spear through the dartboard zone (widest part). Moaning about the absence of a second gun in my left hand I watched the shoal circle a few time and edge out of the viz. The garrick had a tag.
I called the number on the tag and asked for the fishes history. I measured its fork length at 77cm.
In June last year the same fish was tagged 2 km up the Swartkops River and measured 58 cm - that is 19 cm less 3/4 of a year ago. Pretty fast growth I'd say.

My best success with Garrick has been in shallow water - seldom deeper that 8m. Often they occur over the sand next to open river mouths and just beyond the backline. All along the dolosse and parts north of PE harbour to Swartkops garrick can be taken - don't hug the side to closely though rather patrol about 30-50 out from the dolosse over the sand or small scattered reefs.
I took a small garrick from a shoal the other day at the front of the slipway. The approach I used works quite often to get spooky garrick to look at me (and get within range)
I saw the fish pass by while throwing sand up with my left hand. They started to head off out of the viz - I bolted off the bottom after them - they spooked and I slowed - they turned to look and I got my shot in. If they still did not turn I would have settled on the bottom which action often brings them in for a look.

Also try diving with two guns and garrick often accompany the speared victim for a while as do yellowatil. During this period there is a chance to get another while the first fish flaps about. Do keep the lines tight or the snake like movements can close the barb and the fish mysteriously comes off.

I have given a few hunting tips here - my spearfishing courses (beginner levels) and mentorship all cover hunting techniques in much more detail, especially the advanced spearfishing course.


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