Blue Water Hunting and Freediving - Digital Version 1 - Page 20
bluewater hunting and freediving
is more efficient , saves time and helps preserve the resource .
Position your shot carefully . Thin fish like sailfish or wahoo require the most accurate shot . A shot on the lateral line just behind the gill plate generally “ stones ” the fish , rendering it immobile . Any shot striking the spinal cord is a winner ; it will disable the fish . Tuna , on the other hand , can be shot anywhere as long as the shot is placed in a bulky area forward of the tail section . Even the gill plates are good . Their speed is what makes tuna difficult to shoot . It takes great discipline on the part of the diver to aim at a position six inches ahead of a tuna ’ s head ; yet this is exactly where you must aim when fish are swimming fast in blue water . Fish shot in the tail region are especially difficult to land . Line tension pulls the tail toward you , which constantly positions the fish ’ s head away from you , providing it with a maximal swimming advantage .
Clear water causes perception problems . Clear water with visibility in excess of 100 feet presents a special problem for the bluewater diver . This problem is compounded with big fish . I remember our first record-breaking trip to Guadalupe Island , Mexico . I watched a competent diver aim at a school of eight , 150-pound bluefin tuna . The fish were 60 feet away . The diver shot .
His spear streaked straight out for 20 feet and then , its force spent , arced toward the bottom . The fish were so far away that , to my amazement , they did not even flinch at the shot . This diver had problems accurately judging the fish ’ s size and distance . These very large fish , 60 feet away , appeared to the diver as 50-pound fish just 20 feet away .
The solution is to study the approaching fish carefully . Force yourself to see detail before taking a shot . Look for details in their scales , eyes and finlets . Looking for these features should remind you of the adage , “ Don ’ t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes .” Another way to judge distance is to look at your spear tip and multiply this distance by two or three times . This is your maximum effective range . Famed blue water gun maker Dr . Daryl Wong suggests , “ Don ’ t shoot until you can see movement in their eyes .”
Probably your most valuable hunting sense is your vision . When Al reported more fish sightings than anyone in the area , I realized that he had perfected his underwater vision to such an extent that what Al “ saw ” was not the obvious fish five feet away , but rather glimpses of shapes and colors so indistinct and subtle that no one else was seeing them .