Posted by Finfan on May 28, 2004 at 14:27:38:
In Reply to: Re: Do lobster hunters mentor each other posted by Lio on May 28, 2004 at 13:06:00:
There are several clubs out here on the West Coast that both have spearfishermen frequent their trips and even some clubs that are extremely focused in the sport. So I would start there. Once there, befriend the best spearfishermen you can find. I learned along time ago only listen to the ones that can back it up. It's not the guy who leaves the boat and comes back every time with a stringer of 12" rockfish, cabezon or sheepshead. It's the one that leaves the boat and comes back from most dives empty, except for the fourth dive when he has a 30" halibut or 22# yellowtail hanging from the stringer. There's your spearfishermen!
Like all sport, their are those that could care less if it is done on scuba and then those purest that consider anyone doing it on scuba, rather than just breath holding, to be sac-religious.
I've hunted both ways, actually preferring breatholding simply because you are able to get closer to most prey without having the bubble stream. The debate about sportsmanlike or not on scuba could outlast any other thread on this board. To me, it's to each his own.
Not knowing what area you are from or near to dive, my suggestion would be to pick up any California diving news from your local dive store or go online to the California Diving news site and in the back of any month's publication is a club directory. Search out the ones near you and ask them what type of diving they do and whether or not the emphasize hunting.
I also can tell you the next best source is the boat captains. Most of all I have met have been hunters themselves at one time. Given the diversity of game in SO Cal to spearfish for, the techniques to taking them vary almost as your choice of what to hunt. Hunting calicos vs halibut vs white seabass vs yellowtail are all different. I learned a lot by staying up with the captains on the way over to the islands about how they did it. Chances are they've hunted every one. Most of them love the Company and are more than eager to share with you their tips and tricks. Even more important, they are about as knowledgable as it comes to reading water and conditions, about being able to tell the signs that let them know fish are around, understanding baitfish movement. You find find a better teacher, it's how they make a living. You'll need time on the water to apply what they tell you, but at least your part way there if you listen to what years have taught them. Also, don't be afraid to ask the Captains were they would search for game. Again, they are on the water almost every day, the know how the fish are moving and what the bait is doing. Remember first rule, no bait, no fish!
One last resource for you, several books are written on the subject. If your into the big game, Terry Maas's Blue Water Hunter is not just an entertaining book to read, but also has some great stuff to learn from. Their's tons out there and any book store will carry several.
Good Luck. You need years to perfect the sport, but only the patience to listen to the right people to start to get the hang of it.
If you have a particular trip or quarry in mind drop me an email and I'll be happy to share more thoughts about it.
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