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Форум » Кают-компания » International discussions » Spearfishing around the world (spearfishing articles and videos)
Spearfishing around the world
pasificДата: Пятница, 03.07.2015, 21:46 | Сообщение # 1
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Spearfishing in Japan

Hello, I am a Japanese spearfisherman Yoshiaki Minagawa. Now I will introduce the Japanese spearfishing.

There are a lot of notable features in Japanese spearfishing and
marine environment among the world. I introduce some of these. At first,
geologically, we have 34000km coastline, it is the 6th longest coastline a country has in the world.
Japan is a small island country but surrounded by the ocean and has a
lot of islands. Secondly, diversity of marine environment and marine
life are so vast.
Roughly speaking we have 2 different areas.
One is the temperate zone in the northern part and the other the subtropical zone in the southwest part.
Marine environment and fishes in these areas are quiet different in
the northern part the shore is rocky or sandy beach and there are
temperate fishes such as sea bass, amberjack and sea bream but in the
southern part is surrounded by coral reef mostly and there are a lot of
colorful tropical fishes and big game fishes such as Giant trevally and dogtooth tuna.

The temperate zone

The subtropical zone

Now I live in a southern most island of Japan and do spearfishing in subtropical corral sea.

Thirdly, equipments for spearfishing in Japan are really different
from those in other country where spearfishing is popular. We are not
supposed to use spear gun. Because Japanese regulations about marine recreations are rather complicated.
So we use a pole spear to avoid troubles. We just want to enjoy spearfishing.
Generally speaking in Japanese Spearfishing, we use very long pole spear and dive with breath hold diving, swim from the shore. In some limited places and situation, we can use speargun and boats.
Long pole spear is with a slip tip. Rubber band loaded hand and hold
by hand to shoot it. When the chance comes, loose the hand then it is
It sounds so primitive but this equipment is effective more
than you imagine. There are a lot of types of pole spears; Material,
size, type of tip. I introduce the pole spear which serious
spearfishermen use commonly. The total length of pole spear is about 4m.
It is separable two peaces, with two 1.8m carbon or stainless pipes.
40cm stainless shaft is attached on the front part of pipe, to put the
slip tip on it. Slip tip lined to the pipe.
Rubber to shoot out the pole spear is single straight 13-16mm diameter or circler 9-11mm diameter.
Other Equipments (fins, masks and wet suites) we use from European or
US maker mostly such as Omer, Mares, Cressi-sub, Beuchat, Picasso,
Riffe, etc.
Most of Japanese makers don’t make equipments for freediving like
long fins, mask with low volume and wet suites for freediving. Speaking
of Italian maker, the Omer products are very popular in Japanese spearfishermen.

I explain how we dive roughly. We dive 8 to 15m deep mostly, some
divers go down to 20-25m but not many. Divers who can go down to 30m are
really few.
Compare with European divers, Japanese divers dive much shallower. One of the reason, we see fishes anywhere if we don’t
limit target fishes. We can enjoy spearfishing in any depth and any

I introduce marine environment and fishes.
In the temperate zone, visibility of water is about 5m to 15m, water
temperature is around 13 centigrade in winter and around 25 in summer.
In the subtropical zone, visibility is about 10m to 25m, water
temperature is around 20 centigrade in winter and around 28 in summer.
Our target fishes are below.
Basis of choice are good to eat, size of fishes, difficulty, gracefulness of figure and so on.
In the temperate zone:

“Akahata” Epinephelus fasciatus

“Ishidai” Oplegnathus fasciatus

“Buri” Seriola quinqueradiata
In the subtropical zone:

“Budai” Chlorurus microrhinos

“Hata” (left) Epinephelus fuscoguttatus, “Rohnin aji” (right) Caranx ignobilis

“Iso-maguro” Gymnosarda unicolor
The spearfishing is very minor recreation in Japan.
The number of spearfisherman is very few. Nobody count it exactly, I
think it may be less than 5000 all over the Japan. There is no magazine,
no websites like “I love pesca sub” providing fine articles regularly,
and no certain club.
Shops selling spearfishing equipments are really few either. I will show you a story about how we spend a day for spearfishing.
Wake up early in the morning and grab gears and bring in the large
cooler box and jump in the car. We care about fish preserving, we
prepare a big ice blocks in the cooler box.
We drive a car on the road along the shore scouting good location
with big expectation for catches of fishes in our mind. Find the
location, we need to walk down the trail to the shore. Because good
location is rocky shore and it is steep usually.
We stop the car and put the wet suites on and grab gears and walk down to the shore. Bringing long fins, long pole spear and weights is not easy. When the trail is long, we are like an
ascetic. At the shore, wave is violently breaking, we find the good
place to jumped in and out from the water.
Once we jump in we move away from the shore quickly.
We swim to open sea where bottom is about 10-15m, swimming around
surface and look for good rock at the bottom or look around pelagic
fishes coming in. We shoot pelagic fishes and fishes near the rock or in the cave both with long pole spear. It needs skills
and experience. We enjoy processes to develop these too.
Waiting for fishes coming in at the bottom or top of the rock,
chasing after the fish slowly, look into sledges and caves. We do some
way depend on situation and fishes we want to get.
After spearfishing, we hold home party and cook fishes and eat with our friends and family.
First of all “Sashimi” is the way eating fresh raw fishes, with soy source and “Wasabi” spice. But we also grill it, boil
it and make the soup from heads and bones. We have a lot of ways to cook
fishes. Japanese spearfisherman loves to cook and eat fishes.
Now we have some problems about doing spearfishing openly in Japan.
But apart from problems, I want to keep introducing attractions of
Japanese spearfishing. I hope the situation will be better and all spearfishermen in Japan can do spearfishing with no concern.
Yoshiaki Minagawa
Adjustment: M.N. Petruso, L. La Manna

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pasificДата: Пятница, 03.07.2015, 22:00 | Сообщение # 2
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Mozambique, spearfisherman’s paradise

After years of civil war’s, in 1993 Mozambique got out of it,
devastated in its soul and core. Marked by the UN as the second poorest
country in the world in 1989, today, after nearly 20 years of peace and
a growing and stable economy, their ranking is in the top of the African

A country with a thousand faces, a thousand colors and a thousand
cultures, Mozambique is an extremely poly-ethnic country, where racial
differences are barely heard. The devastating civil war have led at
least one thing: the conservation of both ocean and land. With over 3500
km of unspoiled beaches, the country boasts a
maritime proliferation compared only to the most isolated places in the
This is a spearfisherman’s paradise, this is Mozambique.

I don’t know where to start to make readers understand the
complexities of such an environment. At any time of the
year, different scenarios and different dynamics fit together in such a
way to make every single fishing journey unique. Water temperatures,
tides, winds, currents, predators, migratory species, and more, must be
taken into account to make the most of every spearfishing day.
Then you have to decide what type of fishing you want to practice, bottom hunt or bluewater, experience in this case is a must.

I would start talking about a topic that arouses most interest in spearfishers. The prey.
As one of the most teeming oceans with fish, world record capture’s
aren´t extremely exceptional achievements. Between 2009 and 2010,
Mozambique has registered 6 world records (IUSA).
For those who seek groupers, this is the place.
There are almost all the existing species, all kinds of Grouper,
Coral Grouper, Giant grouper (protected). Last month, my partner of many
adventures brought home a Malabar Grouper of 40.3 kg, one kilogram from the current world record of 41.4 kg.

For those who instead prefer a tough fight, big Carangids are abundant, like the Giant and Golden travelly, the Queen, the African pompano. Fish that weigh easily more than 10 kg,
arriving and exceeding even 50 kg. Personally in the past month of
March, I caught one of 40 kg.

Even those who love to hunt pelagic fish remain astonished: Spanish
Mackerel, Barracuda (Pickhandle and Great), Tuna fish (Bonito, Yellow
fin and dogtooth), Wahoo, Marlin (Blue, Striped and Black), Sailfish and
many others that can be seen frequently. Because these are migratory
fish, their presence depend on the seasons.
There’s a lot of fish, but catching them is another story.

The fight and conquer of each prey goes through diverse phases,
including the dispute against other predators such as sharks,
giant groupers and dolphins. In the summer (November-May), the
waters become infested with many breeds of sharks such as Tiger
sharks, Duskies, Bronze Whalers, Bull sharks, etc…
Once I was asked, “Have you ever seen a shark?”  My answer was “ I
don’t think I’ve ever got out of the water without seeing at least one”
When a hunter is about to plunge into Mozambican waters, he should
be Aware that he loses its place on top of the food chain and
becomes a part of it directly. But sharks are not the only problem for
a hunter, giant groupers are no different.

It’s well known that groupers in general are resident species, and
usually when they reach a certain size, they choose a den for the rest
of their life. In Mozambique, these groupers can reach up to 400 kg
(recorded data), and its common to see 150 kg species in less than
15 meters of water.
This grouper is able to ingest prey the size of a third of its body weight, in this case a 30 kg Giant Trevally is an appetizing dish. One journey, a grouper that we nicknamed
Rosalina, managed to steal 5 Golden Trevally of about 12 kg each.

A very frustrating day!
To shoot them is unsporting because the approach is easy and
immediate and it’s considered a crime by  the authorities, being
an endangered specie (fortunately not in Mozambique). As a
result, often we have to literally fight to pull them away ”kicking and
To make matters worse, sometimes dolphins come in to the occasion.
Extremely docile and friendly animals, but with elegance and
great sympathy they rip our prey away into their mouth with a huge
Fascinating the first time, cute the second, indifferent the third, by the fourth it starts to be annoying…
Emiliano Finocchi

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pasificДата: Суббота, 04.07.2015, 18:01 | Сообщение # 3
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Spearfishing in Mozambique, second part

Last week we introduced a scenario for those who want to venture into these fascinating waters; this week we’ll discuss which techniques are used and how to use
the natural elements in their best way, such as tides, winds, currents,
and seasons, for even more satisfying fishing journey’s.

Brief information: the Indian Ocean has the quotients of the largest tides in the world, which range from a minimum of 0.5 meters to a maximum of
nearly 4 meters, dividing the tides into two categories: Spring tides
and neap tides. The tides have a big impact on the currents, in fact, during periods of spring tides, there are strong output and input
currents along the Bay of Maputo (the capital), the current
runs west-east or east-west, which pulls a lot of suspension from
the rivers which significantly lower the visibility, making it difficult
for bottom fishing, but instead, it encourages pelagic species to
appear. During neap tide periods, the water becomes cleaner,
increasing visibility impressively, making bottom fishing easier and bluewater fishing difficult.
Depending on the prey we want to catch, there are two types of
spearfishing. To catch pelagic fish, we must know well how to make use
of the currents and tides, applying a spearfishing style called,
“bluewater”. For prey that inhabit the bottom of the sea, shallow or
deep waters, classic techniques are used, such as, sneaking techniques
and ambush.
If you’d like to start to fish in bluewater  you shouldn’t just read
the book from Terry Maas, “Bluewater Hunting and Freediving ”,
appointed by many athletes as the bible of bluewater hunting.
Bluewater fishing techniques differ very much from normal spearfishing,
It could almost be considered as a total different underwater activity.
Characterized by long hours of waiting, often in distant and deep
waters, it’s easy to return home without catching much. But patience
often pays off, and you might see in the distance a silhouette of a blue
marlin, a tuna or a wahoo, with a size enough to satisfy the
frustrations of an entire day. This is bluewater, “when it comes it’s big”.

The secret about bluewater resides on three variants: the type of flasher, the tides and the equipment.
Personally, my flashers have two colors, depending on the
visibility: a yellow/green coloration for over 15 meters of
visibility, and a dark color, black/gray, for lower
visibility. These are purely personal preferences, based on
non-scientific experiences and observations. Normally, the flasher has
to be placed at a depth of  around 15/20 meters, as in the blue, there
are no reference points.
The aim is to call the attention of large specimens from deeper
waters, or possibly to attract prey passing close to the surface. Be
aware though, you won’t be attracting only tuna and marlin, but
also large sharks. And its normal therefore to find Bronze Whalers,
Tigers, White Tips and large groups of large hammerhead sharks,
fortunately the sighting of Zambezi (Bull Shark) are rare, Black tips or
Dusky sharks , frequenters of coral reefs and lower depths. The
important thing is to be psychologically prepared.
The tides have a major impact on pelagic. During neap tide
they tend to take refuge  in depth, these fish use the currents
for their hunting actions, so during these tides they try the
camouflage on the bottom. Consequently, for bluewater hunting it’s
important that there’s a fair amount of current, so fishing during
spring tide is recommended. As always, it’s not 100% guaranteed, it’s
not a rule, only a statistic, however it’s more likely to see big
fish in bluewater when there’s current.
The equipment is perhaps one of the most important things for
this type of hunting.  For small fish, weighing not much more than
5 kg’s, equipment and spearguns have diminutive importance, instead,
techniques are the key issue. In bluewater however, it’s the exact
opposite; Our life is at stake. The hard part is not the approach to
large prey, because they feel protected by their size, but the fight,
when speared. There must be a relationship of trust with each
component of your equipment, the speargun, the floatline, buoys, and all
the intermediate components.
My advice: follow the paratroopers example, they always bend their
own parachute, and prepare the equipment themselves, including nodes, so
do not let someone else do it for you.
Personally I prefer to use medium range speargun with a maximum of
two bands, because I like to get close enough for a clear angle and a
fatal shot. I’m not apologist of catching prey at any cost, it is better to let prey go, if you’re not sure you manage to catch them. Its inhumane to wound a fish instead of capturing it, that’s why I
recommend people to think like me, a carbon fiber Rob Allen of 160cm
with two 16mm bands, a 7.5mm spear shaft with a slip tip , hooked to a
floatline of 30m (elasticity x3), at the surface two buoys attached to a
11L bungee (elasticity x5).
On board a buoy of 35 Lt, prepared for eventualities. This configuration has never disappointed me.

Bluewater technique:
Once in the water, with the flasher in its position, patience is
necessary. Frequent descents are also necessary
to obtain a greater range of vision, and during the ascent one must
examine well the surface by taking advantage of backlight. At each
plunge a partner at the surface must maintain visual contact in order to cast away undesired approaches, or to provide assistance if
needed.  When sighting a prey it’s important to first recognize it,
because each species correspond to different actions, only then it’s
wise to make an approach.
In the case of a Spanish MackerelWahoo or a Snook one must swim fast toward their rear fin, outside their field of
vision and wait until they turn around due to their curiosity to observe
us. At that point you just aim and fire. You cannot miss the moment,
the timing, otherwise the prey is gone. In case of a Marlin sighting, the approach must be done in a smooth and uninterested way. It’s
important that the prey doesn’t feel that we are the predator, therefore
no sudden movements, instead, try a more curious behavior during the
approach, that way the prey will just get close enough to aim and shoot.
Attention: A marlin is an aggressive animal, specially big species. Once its wounded it starts to get more and more aggressive, we must expect that it will try to attack us with its sword. For that reason it’s important to let the Marlin swim, do not hold the
floatline and let the buoys do their part. Once it gets tired, the
possibility to approach and shoot increases. Remember to collect the
floatline always from the same side without ever crossing right and
left, extend the line when necessary. The greatest risk of this
technique is to get caught and be dragged under by the marlin. If it should ever happen to you, you have to stay calm and try to pull the knife to cut the rope.
In case of an undesired approach, such as a curious shark, it is
important to understand certain psychologies: it’s all about
dominance. If the shark feels you are afraid, it will take advantage of
this weakness and might attack. If it feels your strength instead, then
it will go away.
When the shark keeps his distance, we simply ignore it, but if he
gets too close, breaking that wall of imaginary security, we must be
able to contradict our instinct and ”attack” first, to make
him understand “who’s the boss”. Unfortunately you
have to swim in a brisk pace and hit it with the tip of the spear
shaft. At that point it will disappear or will held its distance (there
are various theories about it, this is the theory of the South
African fishermen and tested by me in recent years and has always
worked). Whoever feels unprepared for such an experience, cannot practice bluewater spearfishing in Mozambique. The rewards for a bluewater trophy have no possible comparisons, but practicing it, takes a lot of patience and willpower. Personally I go bluewater hunting once a month, all the other fishing journey’s are done at lower depths.

Bottom hunt
I don’t believe I need to introduce or explain techniques like ambush or sneaking technique. Therefore I dedicate this part to make it clear to the readers when and
how to use ambush and sneaking technique, in these waters. First of all
we must understand which predators besides us are competing for the
same prey. Sharks are not the only predators that can be bothersome in
shallower waters, giant groupers and dolphins are no exception. As described last week, in these waters can easily
be spotted groupers with over 150 kg in less than 15m of
water. It ’important to understand their behavior accordingly.
As for sharks, the speech is very similar to bluewater, we need to
define who’s the boss. The advantage is that in shallower waters the
size of sharks are reduced, on average around 2 meters. We must cast a
shark away before we start the hunt, otherwise we will have to cast him
away after a possible shot, which is rather more difficult. Frequently
the companion waiting for us at the surface must descend and  accompany
our prey to the surface in order to keep sharks away. Most of the times
this is the solution, but sometimes we lose the prey. The important thing is never to show fear.
There is a place called Pinncles, south of the capital, famous for
its special natural conditions. This place is abounding with fish, and
full of aggressive sharks. I saw with my own eyes, tourists getting into
the water and being attacked several times in a short time (never
negatively concluded attacks thankfully), and locals swim and fish
together without suffering any attack. Why? Sharks do not recognize hunter’s, but they feel fear or hesitation. The body movements of someone who’s calm or someone who’s nervous are
different and the electromagnetic field of a nervous person swings,
making it more ”visible” to the ampullae of Lorenzini.
The giant groupers instead have many different behaviors. The
grouper is a territorial animal, so dispelling it will not help. The
benefit is that groupers can easily be heard due to a roar like a
flash that they can produce with shots of their tails to
warn intruders that they command their territory. It ’a very
intelligent animal, it learns quickly. If he understands that it is
easy to take off your prey, he will do it all the time. You must make
his life difficult and discourage him to approach. As a result the first
shots are important, for each shot the companion in the area has to
drop to accompany the prey during the rise. In case of a an
approaching grouper, the spearfisher should hit it with the tip of the
spear shaft and put himself between the grouper and the
prey, blocking his passage. The pricking is unfortunately not always
enough, but a good shout, has its effect. It must learn that the effort
to take your prey is greater than to take one on their own. Once you are
successful, the grouper will cease to steal your trophies. Warning: never shoot a giant grouper, because they are a protected, and two because you will probably lose your whole equipment .
Dolphins, another predator of these seas, they are generally docile
animals, but as we know also very intelligent. There aren’t many
considerations to be made, personally at times I’m happy to give them
something to eat. They are mammals that move a lot, so they don´t stay
in one place for long. It’s annoying at times, but they are
fascinating animals too ”to argue” with.
The Mozambican waters are rich in coral reefs, rocks and wrecks. The
Portuguese sailed these waters for over 500 years, leaving behind them a
long list of sunk ships and vessels; very interesting places for
spearfishing.  Bottom fishing is recommended during neap tides, and
while increasing.
It’s impossible to enunciate the breeds of fish in this scenario,
because two pages would not be enough, but in general we can say that
there are voracious fish such as the family of Snappers,
grouper fish which hide in hole’s and herbivorous fish such
as parrotfish. Those who give most satisfaction are the Snappers: Red
Snapper, Yellow Snapper, Bocanegra, etc …  Very difficult to
approach only with a long (over two minutes) wait, ambush. These
fish are extremely careful and always keep a safe distance.
There are no secrets to catch groupers, sneaking into holes is
the most effective method. Parrot fish are prey for beginners, easy to
approach but if you don’t shoot it well, its thick scales will
divert the direction of the shot. The secret is to understand the type
of prey existing in certain places and act accordingly. The use of a
flashlight is highly recommended.

In the last years Mozambique has registered 6 new world records, the records are on the link of IUSA.
It is easy to find large pelagic in hunting actions, in the beginning of the summer, like big dogtooth tuna.
In this environment, the equipment is a very personal matter and the technique assumes a role of greater importance. I personally use two variants: a Rob Allen of 130 cm, carbon fiber with two bands of 16mm and a 7.5 mm shaft, attached to
a reel with 60m of 1.8 mm Dyneema, to use out besides in holes, and a
similar variant, a Rob Allen of 100 cm to use in confined spaces
(burrows, caves, wrecks, etc …). In addition I always carry with me a Belt Reel with 85m of additional Dyneema 1.6 mm. The belt reel has saved me on
several occasions where the initial 60m were not enough to hold the
prey. In this case the skipper plays a crucial role, having to launch a
buoy in the shortest possible time to prevent them from taking even
more additional meters.
Understanding the seasons is crucial to understand the purpose of the hunt. In the period commencing from November to May, our summer, the problem does not arise, because the seas are filled
with almost all species. But this period also coincides with the rainy
season, making some places inaccessible on many occasions. This is also
the most violent fishing period, the presence of predators is
greater, you need a more aggressive approach in order to improve your
From May to July the rain stops and starts a calm season, characterized by the absence of strong winds and calm seas. The
fish begins to migrate to warmer waters in the north, but but meanwhile
from the south, large pelagic Wahoos and Snooks start to appear. It’s
a period for beginners: few sharks and still a lot of fish in calm
waters. In August, the winds start to blow again and with them the whales appear.

Mozambique has many mating places, and the presence of whales is
a certain event each year. For those who never had a close encounter
with a whale, I can only say that it’s an unforgettable
experience. These animals have a unique elegance, and
an indescribable presence. The joy that you feel when you dive with such
creatures is unparalleled. With the whales other fish arrive such as
the Cobie (Prodigal Son), fish with an incredible strength, weighing up to 40 kg and are easily misunderstood with small sharks. To shoot a Cobia alongside a whale is an adrenaline feeling. High winds force us to find relatively protected fishing spots, and it
takes a good deal of the stomach to face the sea in these conditions. In
November, the cycle repeats, and the story begins its course.
Emiliano Finocchi

Adjustments and pagination: L. La Manna
Translation: Pedro van Uden

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pasificДата: Суббота, 04.07.2015, 18:01 | Сообщение # 4
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Spearfishing in Mozambique, third part

Briefly:  In the first article we introduced spearfishing in the waters of Mozambique, with its particular climatic conditions and fauna, in the second we’ve introduced the techniques of hunting, Bluewater and bottom fishing with each one of
its implications. Now I will tell you some episodes that actually
happened and the emotions experienced by their protagonists.
The first episode I want to share with you is a rather extreme one, edging tragedy.
to make it clear to readers that accidents can happen to anyone, even
to the most experienced ones, in these waters small incidents
can rapidly turn into tragedies when they’re not immediately
noticed. That morning, Fenias (inseparable companion of adventures) and I
decided to go hunting in a wreck at about 35 miles from the
coast, RecB2N. First we decided to stop along the way to warm up at a
lighthouse, collapsed into the sea in the 60′s, called Cockburn.
It was an extremely clear day, the sea was flat and the visibility
was splendidly rare, we were very excited. After an hour at Cockburn we
decided to move to the point, RecB2n. The moment we got in the water a
two meters and a half long Tiger shark came to “greed” us. He turned a little around us but kept its distance, just far enough,
so you don´t decide yet do hit it with the tip of your spear shaft, to
send it away; Instead the shark decided to stay, always at a visible
distance. Ignoring him, Fenias and I decided to take the first plunge.
 I stopped at about 22 meters, trying to prepare an ambush by hiding
near the keel of the ship, while Fenias hid behind the cockpit.
Suddenly I heard a shot; Fenias had a hit on the tail of an
“Spangled Emperor” of about 5 kg. He began to struggle at the bottom,
forgetting that he still had 22 meters of water over his head. (he tried
to excuse himself afterwards saying that he didn’t want to struggle
with the fish at the surface because of the tiger shark). I began the
ascent, but I thought that if I’d stayed a few more seconds that I
wouldn’t make it to the surface. At the surface I started to observe
Fenias. Suddenly I saw him looking up and starting to panic, he began to
rise quickly but without leaving the prey neither the weight belt.
In the last 6 meters he gave me his last look and “faded”.
I dove right away and took him by his back. Meanwhile, the tiger
shark, noticed the difficulties and  approached. I took the prey and the
rifle from Fenias hands and dropped them, the shark dashed
immediately on the prey and then remained around us. Once at the
surface I called the boat that was at a short distance, I took off
his mask blowing into his face. A few seconds later he regained
consciousness but began to have violent spasms, we loaded him into the
boat. Then I wanted to recover his speargun and dove again.
The tiger shark was still there, ready to enjoy another prey. I
found his speargun nearly 25 meters deep, incredibly, the head of
the Spangled remained attached. I returned to the boat and hugged my
best friend.
Moral: over-confidence leads to big errors like this one, to even the
most expert divers, Fenias is a spearfisher with great background. An
accident like this could end in tragedy, fate did not allow it. Too
many things could have gone wrong: I could not have followed him during
his rise, the tiger shark could’ve  taken advantage of the emergency
situation, the boat could not be so close, etc… Remember that you’re
never good enough not to require caution.

Cockburn is an incredible fishing town. Built by the Portuguese in
1901 within the Maputo Bay, the lighthouse of Cockburn signaled
a dangerous sandbank, which sank in 1960 after a storm. It is
divided into 2 parts: the tower of reinforced concrete leaned like the
tower of Pisa and stands 4 meters out from the surface, while the
whole external structure was dragged for more than 150 meters,
creating an oasis of beams and rock.
Cockburn is located in the center of the entrance to the bay of
Maputo. For this reason the concentration of species is
remarkable, especially in certain tidal conditions. That day, Nuno and
I plunged around 9 am, looking for the input current of the bay due to
the rising of the sea. Suddenly we heard a sound coming from afar, like
a dog whistle, Dolphins were coming.
After a few seconds we were surrounded by several specimens, some
of considerable size, which began to hunt small trevally. Almost
simultaneously Rosalina enters the scene (already mentioned her in
previous episodes), a giant grouper (Brindle Bass) of at
least 250kg with a certificate of permanent residence in Cockburn No 6.
To see dolphins hunting is a rare and unique experience .The dolphins
compacted the group of carangids, and 2 larger specimens were
attacking their prey. I do not know how many they caught. In one of
these actions, a particularly large dolphin caught a carangid by the
tail but was unable to ingest the meal. Rosalina saw the scene
and pulled up next to the dolphin very slowly, as if not wanting to
Suddenly she bumped with her nose against the dolphins stomach, the
dolphin turned towards her: in that precise moment Rosalina grabbed the
carangid, stealing it from the dolphins mouth.
At that point an exciting police, thief  chase begun. Rosalina was
trying not to get caught by entering and exiting the rocky areas, and
the dolphin wasn’t giving up, every time they got close to each other,
it tried to bite Rosalina’s tail, this lasted for some 5 minutes and
ended when Rosalina finally managed  to ingest the carangid while
swimming away, leaving the dolphin in disbelieve.
Never ever before that day I’ve regret so much not having an
underwater video camera with me,  It was a unique moment, a piece
of marine life that few have ever had the good fortune to attend.
I could recall many other stories like this one, but I don´t want to
bore you too much in this article. Similar stories will be told in the
next article. Anyone who arrives in Mozambique feels a unique desire
to enter the water.
All seasons have their beauty, their mystery, the important thing is
to understand what to look for. From whale’s, sharks, strong currents or
dead currents, from marlin to tuna, from
shipwrecks to sunken lighthouses, here everything is possible.

For more pictures click www.africanbluewater.com , and if you want to learn more about Mozambique contact me on emiliano@africanbluewater.com.
Remember always to maintain the level of concentration at peak,
and rest well before each hunt. The concentration and common sense make
this a wonderful sport and a lasting and continuing excitement.
To be continued…
Emiliano Finocchi
Translate by Pedro Van Uden

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pasificДата: Суббота, 04.07.2015, 18:03 | Сообщение # 5
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Art & Spearfishing: Kimi Werner from Hawaii

Hello Kimi, how did you approach spearfishing?
I learned to dive from my dad. He was a great spearfisherman and that’s how he’d feed our family. I’d go diving with him.
I wouldn’t spear fish, but I’d swim along
and practice diving and holding my breath. I could stay out for hours
with him. I loved every moment.
You live in Hawaii, I guess you are not short of fish over there…
There are many great fish here in Hawaii. I think it’s important to
take them responsibly and protect the resource so that there will always
be fish.

How long do your plunges last? and how deep can you dive?
My dives usually last a little under 2 minutes. I can hold my breath
longer than that but when hunting I always try to come back to the
surface around 2 minutes. I figure that if the fish doesn’t come in by
then, I’d be better off changing my strategy than holding my breath
longer. I like hunting in 70-80ft of water.
My deepest dive was 159ft and longest breath hold was 4min 45 seconds.

And what about the equipment?
Having the right equipment is very important. You have to be
comfortable to completely relax so its key to find gear that you are
comfortable with.
I actually like diving with my Beuchat 90, which is a rather small
gun. I’ve shot really big fish with it. I think that it’s okay to use
small guns if you know how to bring the fish close to you.

What are you commonest preys?
My most common prey are goatfish and porgy. I love eating and hunting them.
And the biggest fish you ever catched?
The biggest fish I ever shot was a 57 lb Giant Trevally.

What about the sharks?
I see sharks a lot. Most of the time, they are not a problem.
Have you ever been diving in different seas from yours?
I’ve left Hawaii to dive in Palau and Tahiti but the only time I left
the Pacific ocean, was when I did the National Championships in Rhode
You’re also a good agonist, you have been Absolute Champion in the USA in 2008, can you tell us about this experience?
Diving the Atlantic Ocean was awesome! I ended up shooting a 33lb
striped bas and some other great fish. It was so exciting to me. It
was my first time diving outside Hawaii and to win the championships
was a dream come true. I felt so grateful for the experience and for
everyone who helped me reach it.

In Italy too we have great women divers and spear fishers, for example Tiziana Martinelli; do you think this sport will spread among women?
I do think this sport will spread to more women. I think it’s important
that fathers start taking their daughters diving. Most of the time,
fathers just take their sons. If we learn to expose girls to diving at a
young age too, then they will have the comfort and knowledge necessary
to become active in the sport.

You live the sea so deeply, you even portray it in your wonderful paintings, so what does the Sea mean for you?
The sea is a place where I feel at home. It can humble me with it’s
strength and amaze me with it’s beauty. It can provide me with food and
exercise and fun memories. It’s a place where no words are needed and
you must rely on your instincts. I feel connected to something
greater when I am at sea.

We really love your hand-painted hats too, is it possible to buy them online?
Yes, my hand painted hats can be bought at kimiwernerart.com

You’re also a great chef, how do you generally cook the fishes you catch?
I cook fish in so many different ways. I love to cook all kinds of fish
and I like to make sure to use every part of the fish. I use the
bones to make stocks and soups and I’m always coming up with new
recipes for fish. It is my favorite food.

Thanks a lot, Kimi and good luck for everything!
Lorenzo La Manna

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pasificДата: Суббота, 04.07.2015, 18:04 | Сообщение # 6
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Interviewing Umberto Pelizzari

Hi Umberto, obviously I’m not going to start this interview by asking
you: “tell us something about yourself” you’re the most well known and
famous freediver in the world. In this interview I would like you to
talk about your current situation, because you’re past is already a

Considering your availability I want to make the most of it, I would like to ask you about your point of view regarding to the new
world records. In your opinion, what depth, which limits will freedivers
achieve.  The depths that one day were considered our limits have been
largely exceeded, what do you think about that?

I think it’s a result of an ever increasing specific and serious
training. Nowadays freedivers are real professional athletes,
considering there preparation, medical staff, trainers, etc…
But these incredible results are also an out coming of specialized freedivers (besides Herbert Nitsch, I believe that he’s the strongest freediver in the history of apnea) in one single discipline.
You know him well, Herbert Nitsch declared a future attempt of -305 meters in no limits… His previous record of -214 m was already
an incredible achievement, what’s your opinion about this new world
record attempt?

If he declares it than it means that he truly feels it.
It means that his new techniques of compensation created in him new limits that go beyond of what we might imagine. He’s
very serious and balanced. I believe his dive will make history. Let’s
hope he’ll manages to do everything with seriousness and attention in
terms of security, in order to avoid incidents.

Years have passed since the world recordshaven’t you ever had the wish of making a comeback, maybe a record in one of your specialties?
I started to miss the world of records a lot, immediately after I
stopped. In that period I would get up every morning thinking of getting
back training for new world record attempts. Now I don’t have that
desire anymore. I’ve reached deeper depths than my world records, but
I don’t want to compete for it. if I had to make a comeback, I wouldn’t
be strong enough to challenge the current strongest constant weight
You’ve crossed around world, how would you classify a top 5 of most beautiful and suggestive freediving destinations?
The sea that I prefer is the Mediterranean.
I love Sardinia, the north of Sardinia and Corsica. I am also
fascinated by the banks in the strait of Sicily. These preferences in
the Mediterranean derive primarily from the fact that I like spearfishing. Other particular spots are the Red sea, if possible far from the usual touristic destinations and the Bahamas.

“A scuba diver immerges to look and observe, a freediver looks and observes himself” This is one of your most famous phrases. What do you see inside of you when you are deep in the sea?
Beneath the sea in apnea I manage to live sensations that otherwise I
wouldn’t be able to live. A feeling of freedom, thoughtlessness. Often,
when I reach the bottom, I stop and wait: than I manage to experience a
unique sense of inner peace. In these conditions I realize that I’m
privileged, and often I find myself praying  to thank God for what He
has made me discover in the water, in apnea.
Besides being a freediver you are also a (apnea) spearfisher. What excites you the most, to dive 50 meters deep or to shoot a dentex at 50 meters?
Two different things.
You are able to confront and concentrate for a dive in apnea in a
purer way and have more availability for pure sensations. In the other
hand, to shoot a dentex gives you another type of satisfaction. It’s
difficult to decide which one is better. They are two different things.

You are one of few who takes the task of giving a good image of our sport to the general public; However we are less and less
regarded by the public. From this perspective, what can we do to make
people understand that “that fish on the photo with the spearfisher” is a
result of many sacrifices, passion and hours in the sea?

The fact that we find ourselves in this situations is also our fault.
For many years we were thrown completely out of rules, overfishing,
sold fish, a lot of indifference towards real spearfishing problems.
Each one would care only about themselves, if some distant sea areas
would close their doors to spearfishing it wouldn’t be our problem.
We’ve always been passive and isolated. We’d thought only about
ourselves. Now that we’ve realized that the laws are more and more
limiting, we seek remedy. But in many areas it’s already too late.
Let’s organize and make our voice heard and try to save what’s still
to save. Let’s hope that the federation finally decides to intervene
with the competent authorities (ministries, commissions, local
entities…) in order to save, in a real and strong way, those few areas
where we can still fish. Not only in words!
Eight years ago in Città di Castello I attended a conference on
spearfishing, many things were discussed, projects, action plans… But
last year in Bologna, 7 years after, the exact same things were
discussed. What has been done in the meantime?!? Meanwhile, during these
seven years, tens of projects of marine parks have been presented… And
we (or the ones who should represent us) keep on talking!

France has abolished spearfishing competitions, is this the way forward?
I believe that spearfishing competitions don’t take away anything but also don’t give anything too the image of spearfishing.
What I regret is that I don’t recall anymore all the people that
accompanied the time of the contests of Mazzarri, Molteni, etc…  I
regret that.
It’s a disappointment that the awards of certain competitions are
given in hotel basements or in the club organizer rooms. It must be
seen, it must go to the streets and squares and people should know how
that fish was caught, the sacrifices, the difficulties. If people get to
know these things, than they will start to appreciate spearfishing.
What equipment do you usually use when you go spearfishing?
Cressi sub equipment. Some tools, especially spearguns, but I personalize them.
Which was the biggest fish you’ve ever caught? Do you remember how you caught it?
In the Mediterranean, a 43 kg Amberjack. In front Riolo, at the Scherchi bank, off Sicily.
Did you follow the world cup in Croatia? Are you happy with our placement?
Unfortunately Italy didn’t won.
But I think we got a great result. I’m happy for Daniel, the Croatian
boy that won, he’s part of the Cressi team. That’s way I know him. He
is a really good person, nice, humble and obviously a great spearfisher.
Coming back to you, what commitments will expect you next, some participation on tv?
In the Television industry they always tell you everything at the
last moment. I’m waiting for some answers, but until I’m certain I’d
rather not talk about it. For the remainder I continue with my courses,
conferences and presentations, and… Spearfishing whenever I can!
Thank you Umberto, until next time!
Interview by J. Muzzone – L. La Manna
Translate by Pedro Van Uden

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pasificДата: Суббота, 04.07.2015, 18:06 | Сообщение # 7
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Spearfishing in… “pink”: Tiziana Martinelli

Today we meet Tiziana Martinelli, a skilled spearfisher as well as a
good spearfishing instructor. And so here we have a woman’s perspective
on spearfishing. Tiziana answers to all curiosities that her fellow male colleagues might want to ask, let’s see what Tiziana has to say:

Hi Tiziana, female spearfishers are very difficult to find,  how did you fell in love with this sport?
I would rather call it a discipline instead of a sport. My passion for
the sea was born with me. Since I was a little girl I’d spend my whole
summer vacations along the Adriatic with my parents, they passed to me
this mix of “blood and salt water” that run in my veins.
Especially my father, who also practices spearfishing, I followed him
since I was young, I remember my first fins, that I got at the age of
four. But I only started to use a speargun two years ago, when I met my
“master”, spearfishing colleague and boyfriend, and since that day I’ve
never left him.

Do you know other women who practice spearfishing?
Yes, thanks to the Facebook phenomenon I’ve managed to contact women who
share the same passion all around the world. I’m interested in
organizing an event to bring together women who practice this activity,
but maybe we’ll talk about that further on.
Do you have a spearfisher partner or do you go alone?
I always go spearfishing with my partner. It’s important to know that
there’s somebody you can trust waiting for you at the surface.
Spearfishing satisfies our individual needs but if we share the
excitement of spearfishing with our partner than a simple capture
becomes even more special.

Where do you normally fish?
The surrounding waters of Giglio Island are my gym and second home, I
spend there almost all weekends of the year. In the summer I love to
spend some weekends at my childhood sea, the Adriatic, even if the preys
and clean waters aren’t the biggest attractions.
Did you immediately started spearfishing or did you started first freediving?
The approach to spearfishing was direct. Apnea and spearfishing were
born and are growing in parallel. My trainings aim spearfishing but pure
apnea always finds its rightful place as an essential component to the
welfare of a spearfisher.
What are the main difficulties faced by a woman compared to man in the practice of spearfishing?
There are no particular difficulties, you just need the right technique
and a good intuition. The hunting instinct as opposed of what people
might think is pretty much the same, there’s no distinction of sex. The
thing that sets us apart is the physical strength of men, which in a
women is far less developed. The difficulties that I’ve experienced have
to do with loading, when using long spearguns, and sometimes the handle
is also too big for a woman’s hand.

The loading of spearguns is a problem?
It can be, it depends on the type of fishing and the performances of the
speargun we’re using. There are arbalete or pneumatic spearguns that
are easy to load. Personally I let my partner load my double elastic
Do you use the same equipment that your male colleagues use?
Yes, the equipment is the same. It would be nice to create an all-female
line, with special adapting equipment for our needs, but since we are a
minority I think we just have to adjust!

What spearfishing technique do you prefer?
Shallow water hunt and bottom hunt. I love to fish freely in the shallow
parts, to surprise a prey behind a block or to disappear by staying
immovable at the bottom, waiting to see the spectacle of a predator who
is intrigued by my presence and comes to exercise its control over his
territory. Hardly I’d fish under rocks also because the type of speargun
I use isn’t indicated for that type of fishing.
What are your depth quotes and apnea times?
My depth quotes go from 0 to 25 meters. In the summer I like to dive I
little deeper. During the winter I prefer to stay in higher depth range
due to the marine meteorological conditions, that often aren’t
favorable. During my dives I try to optimize the time of descent and
ascent in order to conclude the action as quickly as possible.

You are a great spearfisher, tell us, have you ever made a colleague “cry”?
To cry not really, instead I’ve seen some colleagues remaining very surprised after I came back from a fishing trip.
What are the biggest fish you caught?
Until this moment the best fish I’ve caught was a 2,60 kg Dentex, I’ve
attached also nice specimens of fish on my fish keep, such as Sea
breams, Amberjacks, Brown meagres, red scorpionfish, all fish from 1 to 3
kg, no exceptional weights, but very satisfying.

The biggest fish is an Amberjack of 42 kg. Caught by my partner with my collaboration.. May I add that to my captures?

Do you like competitions? Do you participate in spearfishing competitions?
I’m not very attracted to competitions and I never participated in one, I
believe it’s a “unique world” so never say never. I like to stay
informed about the results because I have some friends who participate
in them.

Do you manage to make a good use of the stove?
I do know how to cook and make gourmet. I like to cook and especially
eat the fish with people dear to me. I always try new recipes
personalizing them with some new ingredients, but I must confess that I
often eat fish raw. That’s how I prefer to eat fish.
You are also a spearfisher instructor, are you the only woman instructing in Italy or are there others?
We were just in two for the first time at the spearfishing instructor course by FIPSAS in Italy, both from Umbria.
How come do very few woman practice spearfishing?
Due to lack of information and a prejudicial environment, perhaps because women aren’t used to see other women spearfishing.
It’s thought to be a discipline for tough men only but it’s for all
those who love the sea. A respectful and sustainable way of fishing and
very selective.

How do people react when you reveal your favorite hobby?
They make a polite smile, but deep down they think I’m a little crazy.
Maybe because they never tried it, they fail to grasp the emotions that I
try to convey with my stories.
What do your friends think?
My friends complain that I’m never home on weekends and that I don’t
have time for shopping and night life. One of them thinks I’m an
“assassin” but when I come back from the sea on a Sunday evening with a
big smile , they rejoice on my happiness and that’s what makes them so
What’s your prediction for the next world cup in Croatia?
I think the Italian team is the favorite team to win, regarding their
recent results obtained also in Croatia. The hosts will certainly be
very competitive.
Thank you Tiziana, until next time!
Interview by Lorenzo La Manna
Translation by Pedro van Uden

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Fishing beneath 40 meters: Giannis Sideris

ATTENTIONSideris, like few others in the world possesses natural skills that enable him
to fish at unthinkable depth quotes. Ilovepescasub insists not to
emulate his performances because these depths are not reachable just by
hard training

“Finally after many attempts we managed to reach on phone one of the
most mysterious spearfishemen of international spearfishing panorama.
The vice world champion.
We managed to reach Giannis Sideris on the phone in his home town Port Eli.  Famous for being perhaps the deepest among
the agonists currently in circulation. Just consider that in the latest
edition of Spearfishing Champion’s League, Sideris managed to catch a dentex at a depth of 58 meters!
Being able to chat with him was really a pleasure. More than a
champion, Sideris is a very modest and wise person. He competes because
he loves this sport but doesn’t make it a reason for a living. A really
special and unconventional person.
Among other things, his life experience has seen him spend a
few years in Naples to study. So he knows and speaks Italian quite
well. This made the interview much easier! ”

Hello Giannis, I have to start with the usual question, at what age did you start spearfishing?
I started when I was 14 years old. At the time I only had a mask and
short fins. When I started it became natural for me to fish 15 or 20
meters deep.
And later on?
Then at 18, I bought my first wetsuit and the first pair of long
fins. Almost without realizing it I  was fishing on the
edge of 30 meters. However, I thought it was perfectly normal. I even
thought it was normal for everyone to reach such depths.
For most of us, mere mortals, the 30 meter target is reserved for few. Apparently not for you …
I don’t want to seem simple and free of risk regarding to my
behaviors or habits. Let me be very clear on this because I see too
many young people thinking that valuable prey are caught only at such
depths. Despite my approach on depth, I recognize the difficulties and
15 kg Grouper caught 32 meters deep at the 2005 Champions League
The deeper you fish, the greater the risks, in every sense. I think
everyone should feel first of all at ease when fishing. Then each of
us gradually reach our limits in harmony.
In your case the limits are quite deep…
Each meter after 30 came gradually.
Eventually I found myself, as today, fishing at 45 meters without
lifting the belt and without the use of movable ballast. But I always
try not to overdo it and limit my allowances based on my feelings, which
are my true guide.

What are your apnea times in order to be operational at these depths?
My apnea times are almost always more 2 minutes, but I try not to go beyond 2 minutes and a half.
Have you ever had a Taravana accident? Many athletes like you, managed to reach deep depths with long apnea times but have had
Taravana accidents.

Personally, I never had any Taravana problem. I can only tell you
that when I fish over 40 meters I get very tired in the evening, so I
prefer not to exceed it.
I know that Taravana most often affects on advanced age.
Personally, I take a very regular life. I eat healthy food and I never
go to bed late. I do not smoke or drink. I think this helps me a lot in
my well-being.
Gold spotted Rock Cod, captured at a depth of 48 m

With the ease which you speak Italian, I assume that you know our country well. Tell us a little about that…
I lived some years in Italy (Naples) for studies. And in fact, in
Italy, more than 10 years ago, I attended my first competition in a
Naples selective. I still remember that there were Fabio Figlioli, Fauci
and Tortorella who I knew personally.
How did it go?
Badly, it was a good beating lesson.
But these lessons helped me to grow as a spearfisherman. I think that
competitions can teach you a lot, especially if you’re humble. 
Instead, if you think that others catch more fish because they are
luckier or because someone gave them good spot indications, than you
won’t learn much.
It seems obvious that those times belong to your past … You’ve become and are the actual Greek champion. What do you expect in
the Lussino world championship?

I’m the Greek champion but unfortunately the Greek national
competition isn’t going through a good phase. I hope we’ll continue to
dispute competitions but it doesn’t look good.
As for the World championship, we’ll leave on the 25th of August, on a ship. Then we will have 2 abundant weeks to prepare for
competition. At the moment I have no idea about it. I’m waiting to see
the scenery with my own eyes. I think we should always confront such
preparations with an open mind, regardless of any preconception.

Who are the favorites?
As always, the Spanish, the Italians and the Croatians.
Maybe this time the Croatians have bigger chances considering that they are the hosts…
Being the hosts is an advantage and a limitation. For instance, they
won’t be able to prepare well on the last few days for fear of being
marked on sight. This can be very limiting.
It’s important not to forget that in our sport we must deal with
living organisms, it is very difficult to predict their moves. So it’s
really hard to make a prediction!
What are you doing to prepare yourself for the world championship?
I go spearfishing. Fortunately, my job is to manage the rental
of houses and offices owned by my family. So I have a lot of time for
What took you to start to fish so deep?
Where I come from (Port Eli and Ermionida) you hardly see fish until
you pass the 25 meter quote. So I was forced to fish at this depth at
In the winter I use a 9 mm jacket and 8 mm pants and I fish between
30 and 40 meters. Only on certain days of January and February I get to
see some fish in shallow waters, but only on days of rough seas. Due to
strong anthropic pressure and unfortunately also due to fish nets and
fishermen who use tanks.
Grouper captured at 41 meters

I dare to ask about the groupers you are able to catch…
Oddly enough, I avoid shooting at large groupers (Yellow belly rock
cod). Especially if you are
in unfamiliar places. I noticed that big groupers keep their areas
alive. So I prefer to catch a nice brown meagre or a sea rock perch.
So the groupers are fond to you, they might even come close to you and you don’t shoot?
No! I always try to scare them to avoid them to became too familiar with spearfishermen … otherwise they might become easy prey!
Interesting, what a rare point of view!
What kind of spearguns do you use?
I prefer a wooden homemade speargun of 125cm with a 7 mm shaft with
double rubber bands. It’s very precise and allows me to shoot with
ease untill 5 meters away from the tip of the shaft.

What do you feel you want to say to our readers… to those who may hope you can give them some suggestions to improve their depth skills?
I think it is wrong to look at depth that way. I Recommend the use of
a watch only for the recovery time. Each of us has its limits and that
should be respected. The important thing is to feel comfortable without
ever overdoing our limits! Unfortunately, many young people seem not to
understand that!
Greetings to Italy and especially to readers of I LOVE PESCA SUB!
Interview by I. Bisulli and L. La Manna
Translation by Pedro van Uden

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Fishing Wreckfish: where and how to catch it

Dragomir Milinkovic Clauss was born in Belgrade in 1970. His Father introduced him to apnea when he was a child and
immediately fell in love with fishing. After the choice of moving
to Milan for business, he started to organize fishing holidays all
over the Mediterranean.
Dragomir has been working for years with Team Omer where he’s in charge of the photo and video sector, as cinematographer
and professional photographer. He’s also a reliable equipment tester,
mainly because he’s able to dive so often, which gives him a very good
ability to judge the equipment.
Great champions when questioned about which specimens are most difficult to catch, have often replied that the wreckfish is the most challenging one. Why?
Very simple, the wreckfish is one of the most wary fish and lives always at challenging depths.
First of all, how did got so passionate with this type of fishing?
Specifically due to the fact that this is one of the most
difficult fish to catch, I’ve been always passionate about it, and ever
since I discovered some tricks to capture it, it has become a
real challenge.

What is its habitat like, where can we find it?
The best places in Italy are between Calabria and Sicily and
also throughout the hole south of the Mediterranean. It prefers banks
with fissures whether there caverns or rocky. They inhabit places with a
lot of current and large schools of small fish. They don’t
like noisy places.
Its habits are different from those of the Dusky grouper?
Yes, the Wreckfish is frequently a little elevated from the bottom
and does not like to hide in holes. It rarely escapes in to one, when it
does hide in a hole, it become easier to catch than a dusky grouper.
What is its maximum weight?
I’ve seen some estimated around 15 kg but I don´t know the
precise answer. I know that some professionals
fishermen have caught such big species with long lines weighing about 15
kg but always at abyssal depths. Most of the encounters
are still between 3 and 5 kg.
How do we distinguish it the from the golden grouper?
Its nose stands out and it has a big and powerful higher tail, the
color is darker brown with dots and it hasn’t got the classic golden
Is it the kind of fish you can approach on the bottom in open spaces or in holes?
Generally I try to capture them in the glide, by then, if not caught,
I continue mixing ambush and sneaking techniques, very
challenging. Sometimes it seeks a den where it sticks like any
other grouper. In this case, I change speargun and go look for it in
holes where they almost always can be caught without much difficulty.
Often you hunt in deep areas with long range shots, what is the indicated speargun?
Definitely a long and fast speargun. Personally I use a 115 or 130 cm speargun with a 6.5mm shaft with double barb.

Is it better to perform a pure agachon or to try sneaking techniques?
During an agachon it’s likely that it remains out of our range for
the hole time and literally makes fun of us. Instead, a slow sneaking
approach, crawling on the bottom to ambush it, also stimulates their
curiosity, although it’s a very dangerous technique.
I think it has the ability to accurately evaluate a safety distance,
but also it has the failure to put a few seconds in the evaluation,
which is why our agachon allows it to keep a safe distance, while a
sneaking approach allows us to ambush it and gain a few seconds
of advantage.
How much weighed the biggest Mottled grouper you caught?
The biggest I’ve caught weighed 10 kg. I caught it in Greece on a bank, around 27 meters deep.
Is it possible to find them in shallow waters?
I’ve never seen them in less than 20 meters of depth. Even at that
depth it’s not common. I see them more often between 25 and 35 meters.
How is it prepared in the kitchen and what about the taste and texture of this fish?
It’s very tasty and has a compact texture I think it’s better than
Dusky grouper. I like it specially raw. It’s also very good in the oven
with potatoes.
Often encountered but mostly impossible to shoot. So if we know well an area inhabited by a wreckfish, how should we prepare our
plunge in order to surprise and ambush it?

I try to approach it from a long distance frontally in a diagonal and
slow glide. When you approach it frontally it remains surprised and
evaluates the situation just long enough for us to attempt a long shot.
If it hides I glide to the bottom and try to crawl in its direction. It
will never give you an easy shot, so, long shots are necessary.

What if, while attempting to catch a wreckfish, a dentex comes in sight?
Often attending the same areas even though they have different
behaviors. At the same weight I always prefer wreckfish, but
sometimes if there’s a school of big dentex, the choice falls on this
last one. In fact, while I fish for wreckfish from time to time I catch
some big specimen of dentex.
Can you recall a particularly difficult capture of a wreckfish?
What I can recall is the one I liked most to catch, a 5 kg wreckfish
while I was filming Marco Bardi in action. Both with a perfect ambush,
perfect approach, ending with a successful shot. I liked it because
we captured it while using a camera which is a double challenge, anyway
we managed to keep in context with great harmony.
Marco Bardi e DM Clauss.
Editing: Lorenzo La Manna.
Translate: Pedro Van Uden.

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