Blue Water Hunting and Freediving - Digital Version 1 - Page 18

bluewater hunting and freediving
Bandon Zeek hunts the blue water edge at Catalina Island Photo by Terry Maas
come around for another pass . You might have to wait for several circuits for a good shot . More than once I have found myself in 60 feet of water , drifting down , waiting for a closer shot as the fish circled . It takes skill to get the largest fish in the school . ( Al Schneppershoff was a master at this .)
When hunting on oil rigs , drop offs and deep water structures , Cameron utilizes a technique he calls the “ pinch .”
The idea is to close the distance between you and passing fish by effectively pinching them between yourself and the structure or another diver . Pelagic fish will do everything in their power to avoid passing too close to objects in open water . They are too accustomed to no boundaries and feel most comfortable when they can escape in any direction into the great blue . When I hunt dogtooth tuna on drop offs , I try to stay out away from the drop until I see an approaching fish . Then I swim towards it so he is forced to cut between me and the rocks , assuring me of a close quarters shot . The “ pinch ” can also be applied while hunting dorado and wahoo on floating debris or weed patches . By splitting apart from your partner by 40 feet or so , you create a “ pinch ” that schooling dolphin or individual wahoo can swim through . As they approach , descend and swim toward each other and the fish . More than likely one of you will get an opportunity to take a shot . This all sounds easy in theory , but figuring out the exact timing to keep fish comfortable and confident that they can in fact make it