PDA

View Full Version : dangerous salt water spear fishing



Kidder
09-21-2007, 23:26
I have a spear gun and can't wait to go fishing, but I don't think I'll ever go in salt water. The risk of shark attacks seems too great.
http://www.cdnn.info/news/safety/s070919a.html

marchand
09-21-2007, 23:40
It really depends on where you are doing th fishing. Australia and the surrounding countries, I hear, have tons of sharks. If you are diving I the USA then you shouldn't have a problem with them.

The only time I have crossed paths with a shark was when I was diving about 20 miles out of Daytona, Fl with my uncle. we were mainly going for the bugs but brought the spears in case we saw any good sized fish, which we did. a few minutes after my uncle shot and bagged the fish a shark came swimming up the reef. It wasn't a BIG shark, ,my guess is about 6-7ft. Just sat there for a few minutes while we collected bugs. It eventually swam off. I think it figured out that the fish in question wasn't up for grabs, or I just might be that ugly…

Just to let you know, more people die from falling coconuts than get attacked by sharks. No idea how true that is. I live in Florida so I hear that a lot.

Kidder
09-21-2007, 23:49
Maybe its because I have never been, but salt water spear fishing seems like it is baiting your self. I wouldn't want to cross paths with a bull shark.

marchand
09-22-2007, 18:25
My family was been spearfishing in saltwater for the better part of 30 years. none of us have ever been attacked by a shark, and none of our buddies have either. Shark attacks are really uncommon, especially when you compare the numbers to how many people go spearfishing every day.

Just carry a bangstick and you wont have any problems ;)

scubasavvy
09-22-2007, 20:51
I don't think it matters, just as long as you don't carry it up next to you on your body. I also don't think the risk would be that great if you weren't in warm water...

diverdad
09-22-2007, 21:40
I think if you spear fish you are competing for the same food as the sharks and they are attracted to fish in distress and the blood in the water. But i am no expert so you can use my advice one way or another.

BuzzGA
09-22-2007, 22:09
Shouldn't be much of a problem. My buddies who spearfish all keep their catch in a bag with a long line on it. That way its not next to their body and if the need arises they can drop the bag.

Kidder
09-23-2007, 00:02
Shouldn't be much of a problem. My buddies who spearfish all keep their catch in a bag with a long line on it. That way its not next to their body and if the need arises they can drop the bag.

A long line would definitely be a smart idea. As well as an alert buddy to watch your back.

mulefeathers
09-24-2007, 08:47
the reason I got into scuba was to spear fish. Have never had any problems. We are using a stringer that attaches to the BC. Can easly be removed should the need arise however.

Keiths
09-25-2007, 00:54
We use lift bags anything that we shoot gets sent to the surface. Bull sharks are deff not scared of anything when theres blood in the water.

Black-Gorrilla
09-26-2007, 16:07
Just to let you know, more people die from falling coconuts than get attacked by sharks. No idea how true that is. I live in Florida so I hear that a lot.

85% of all statistics are made up. :smilie39:

Jipps
10-22-2007, 19:00
I spear alot on the east coast of florida. Never had any problems. I keep the stringer clipped to my BC, nice and close...anything else feels like trolling, plus u can get tangled dragging a long line. Saw a twelve foot bull one dive, that did make me a little nervous, but he left me alone.

chace_nicole
10-22-2007, 19:51
I agree that attacks are on very rare occasion. Sad for this diver, hope he is okay. Would like to hear more about the attack...type of shark, situation, etc. I will check the website for update, do they do that often?

moosicman
10-23-2007, 00:11
Statistics of Shark Attacks on Divers (http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/sharks/isaf/diverstats.htm)

How to search GSAF data (http://www.sharkattackfile.net/incidentlog.htm)
on this site you need excel and download the incident log

YOU WILL NOTE THAT SOME OF THE ABOVE INFORMATION IS IN CONFLICT WITH ONE ANOTHER....MESSAGE ME TO DISCUSS OR OPEN A NEW FORUM THREAD IF DESIRED.

i'm not sure you will feel MORE or LESS comfortable after reading through some of this...but i will say that when you are spearfishing and there is blood, wounded animals and animal body matter in the water, there is NO doubt that a shark is aware of you and/or your catches presence. it is due mainly to the sharks keen senses that there are not MANY MANY more attacks on people, even under these circumstances. we just ARE NOT a part of their food chain, much in the same way that we are not a part of a lion's diet. but you wouldn't go for a jog next to a pride of lions and not absolutely expect trouble. however we can go swimming around sharks, even wound and hold on to their very prey by spearfishing, and it seems the statistics are in our favor...this is an incredible testament to the fact that sharks are not as interested in us as we have believed.......that being said, i would never, NEVER....NEVER spearfish myself...due to this very reason. because even though those statistics seem in our favor, they DRAMATICALLY increase when performing this particular activity....i've known many divers who have had near misses when spearfishing.....and if you look at that incident log from above, you will note that you have to go many years back and through many, many attacks before you see any UNPROVOKED attacks on divers...primarily, it is swimmers, surfers, snorkelers, and spearfishing divers....or PROVOKED divers.....the graphs on the icthyology website seems to be in conflict with the incident log....still, i believe there are reasons for this, but you should take them for what they are worth...if you are a spearfishermen, then happy hunting, but for God's sake, if you see a shark, DROP THE FISH, give up your kill and get out of the water....don't get caught on the business end of a hungry shark. it will not be worth it. the other crafty thing about a shark is their ability to attack by total suprise. don't think you are just going to watch a shark and keep him at bay or know the point when he has crossed "the line" in terms of his behavior. if he is going to attack you and means buisness, you may very well never see it coming. save your life and go eat at red lobster that night. a diver recently told me (n terms of diving safty) that you can call off a dive for any reason or NO reason...i would apply this same rule to spearfishing when having seen a shark....it is just a game of russian roulette not to play it safe...

kyfriedchipper
10-23-2007, 02:29
Somebody said to get a "bangstick" - what in the world is that?

moosicman
10-23-2007, 08:26
a bangstick is a baton with a shotgun cartridge on one end of it that basically will destroy the shark with a swift boom to the head or body. you know that pride of lions i talked about in the earlier post...well limit it to one and its kinda like killing him off so that you can go have a pick-nick in his backyard. i'm obviously not wishing anyone to lose their life. but there are other ways to avoid a shark rather than to kill it. Shark Shield :: Shark deterrent system :: protection from shark attack and great white sharks::Default.asp (http://www.sharkshield.com/Content/Home/)
YouTube - Shark Shield (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZ_8dLnN8aE&mode=related&search)=

i've seen a few posts about carrying a bang-stick and i hope this alternative would be considered. who knows, you could end up popping yourself in the leg......

fire diver
10-23-2007, 09:34
I have a spear gun and can't wait to go fishing, but I don't think I'll ever go in salt water. The risk of shark attacks seems too great.
Scuba Gear and Scuba Diving Equipment - Discount dive gear (http://www.c-d-n-n.info/news/safety/s070919a.html)

I've said it before and I'll say it again.

STAY AWAY FROM C D N N. It is a sham of a website. The operator plagerizes articles from ligitimate writers, and skews many, many articles. The operator has a personal grudge against Leigh Bishop and other well known wreck divers. All the "sponsors" of that site are fakes. The website has been sued many times, but it just pops back up under a different owner on a different server.

FD

MSilvia
10-23-2007, 11:16
Yeah, CDNN is terrible. Don't believe anything you see there without confirming it elsewhere.

FWIW, not all salt water is infested with bull sharks. If you're spearing stripped bass in Rhode Island, you'd probably be more likely to be eaten by a falling coconut.

Now that I've said that, who is it exactly that is simultaneously in danger of being bonked by a falling coconut and eaten by a shark? The statistic doesn't at all account for the difference between the number of people in the world who sit under a coconut tree on a given day and the number of people who are in the water with a dangerous shark. Unless you assume that everyone in the general population could be injured by a shark or coconut at any time, comparing the two is meaningless. If I regularly swim with sharks (I do not), but have never seen a coconut palm, my odds of getting hit with a coconut aren't even in the same probability ballpark.

In any case, even if a shark does bite you, the odds are you won't be devoured.

fire diver
10-23-2007, 11:24
In any case, even if a shark does bite you, the odds are you won't be devoured.


"Your arm's off"
"no it isn't"
"look!"
"It's just a flesh wound"

Sorry, couldn't help throwing in the Monty Python. ....Now for something completely different....

FD

No Misses
10-23-2007, 11:46
I second moosicmans post. The shark shield does work. I personally do not own one. But, I know people that do. They swear by them. I have heard that most spearfishermen dive with them turned off, until they shoot a fish. The theory is that this conserves battery power.

I do own a power head (357 mag) that fits over the end of my spear. I have never needed to use it. With any luck, I never will.

As for dropping your catch when you see a shark, I am not in favor of this. You are teaching that shark to "be fed by divers".

I have one shark story. It is not even a good one. I have a small piece of wreckage that I dive/spearfish on a regular basis. I shot a hog snapper out in the sand before I got to the wreck. A 6' nurse shark came out of the murk and wanted to eat my fish. I poked the shark with my unloaded speargun. It swam away. I shot a couple more fish near that wreck and every time the nurse shark came to eat the fish. Each time I poked it and it went away. The following weekend I was diving the same wreck. I shot a fish and the nurse shark tried to eat it. I poked it with my unloaded gun. It swam maybe 10' away and came straight back in. I poked it again only this time I did it harder. It went out ~10' and turned right back around. This time I had my spear gun loaded. I poked it in the snout with the end of the spear. It went out 10' and came back. This went on for several minutes. I decided to end my dive. I let the current carry me off the wreck and I slowly surfaced while watching for the shark to return. Later while doing my surface interval, I had to wonder, "Did somebody give up their fish to this shark? Was it trained to come running when it heard the twang of a speargun? At no time did I feel that my life was in danger. There was no reason to kill or wound this shark. It was just doing what came naturally. I am the trespasser. I have dived that wreck several times since then, The shark has moved on.

The moral of the story is: Don't feed sharks. It just trains them to associate divers with food.
:smilie40:

moosicman
10-23-2007, 15:02
Great post by no misses....i can totally see his point. and there is a LOT to be said about creating a new behavior in a shark by divers feeding them. that being said, i'm sure no misses wouldn't have taken this tactic with the mighty tiger shark or the hammerhead or oceanic white tip. these being more migratory (and agressive) sharks i would DEFINITLY suggest giving up the catch...the chances of them forming a learned behavior by this are infintecimal compared to the smaller reef sharks or nurse sharks who do not travel such distances....it is a great risk even still because they can totally out swim and out manuvour (sp) you...if you were consistantly giving up your catch, in the same spot to the same shark...that is a valid argument....but remember the shark is going to be drawn to that fish regardless of formed behavior...so its learned behavior on one hand and a possible graveyard tombstone on the other....but i totally get what he is saying!

Jipps
10-23-2007, 20:37
I agree w/ no misses on this point. While I dont have a powerhead yet im in the process of getting one, but it will be like my octo, hopefully i never need it, but just in case its there. I would not give up my catch unless I thought i had no choice. Even bull sharks dont really want to bite you, just the fish, and even then most of the time they dont wanna get close to you. The learned behavior part definately comes to play in the waters around west palm/jupiter, its illegal now from what i have heard, but they used to do shark feeding dives, so the sharks around there come up to divers looking for food. Rarely do they attack, and normally its because the diver gets freaked, but if one gets too close, remember, a smack to the TOP of the nose is like kicking a guy where the sun dont shine.

moosicman
10-23-2007, 22:24
Jipps...

the latest research i have read on hitting the snout of a shark for defence does not support the claim that it will drive them away....i'm afraid this one is fading into one of the many "old wives tales" because it seemed to make sense. for example: the armed services use to tell divers and sea bound victims to shout and scream at them and splash all about....who knew this was the exact OPPOSITE of what you should do. anyway, i thought i should bring that up. at best the jury is still out on a hit to the snout.

hey....that rhymed....

Jipps
10-23-2007, 23:57
lol, nice rhyme btw. Yah, i havent tried it myself so i dont know from first hand experience, just what ive been told by my boss, and hes the most experienced diver ive ever met, of course, there is the chance it works better on some species than others, not sure. Hopefully i never have to field test the snout bopping method.

UCFKnightDiver
10-26-2007, 00:27
hmm jipps teach me to spear fish lol

ScottZeagle
10-26-2007, 11:02
Jipps...

the latest research i have read on hitting the snout of a shark for defence does not support the claim that it will drive them away....i'm afraid this one is fading into one of the many "old wives tales" because it seemed to make sense. for example: the armed services use to tell divers and sea bound victims to shout and scream at them and splash all about....who knew this was the exact OPPOSITE of what you should do. anyway, i thought i should bring that up. at best the jury is still out on a hit to the snout.

hey....that rhymed....

In my experience, poking a shark with the tip of your spear, whether it be in the snout or elsewhere, will generally encourage them to leave you alone. The shark wants an easy meal, so if you simply give up your stringer of fish when it arrives, it will learn that spearfisherman = free meal. If you hold your ground, give it a poke when it swims in, and protect your catch, it will learn that a spearfisherman = a sharp poke...

Of course, there are some sharks who simply will not take no for an answer, and at that point using a bang stick or a powerhead is the best option, imho.

moosicman
10-26-2007, 12:23
scottzeagle,
i'm curious what sharks you have experience with in the poking? just curious. this would be interesting to know for awareness purposes wether it was a nurse shark/reef shark/angel shark/wobbegongs or a shortfin mako/bull shark/tiger/great white?

still however, i quote you,...."poking a shark with the tip of your spear, whether it be in the snout or elsewhere, will generally encourage them to leave you alone" (bold mine).....

keep in mind that it also might generally encourage them to turn around and bite you in the ass...if a shark feels threatend it may act just like other marine life...it may leave and then again, it may retaliate to protect itself as we have seen time and again with other species...

and like i said before, unless a shark is more territorial (that is, one location a majority of the time), i don't believe (all though it may be possible) that a shark has the cognition to know a spearfisherman from any other recreational diver. They are reacting more to wounded fish/blood in the water than the diver that just plunged overboard and decended with his bubbly tank and hoses....The behavior pattern that you would put forth, i think, would need more time to develop (more frequent stimulus and response). but like i said, it is your life and health of body you take into your hands with that opinion, and you are more than welcome to it, but i would not at all encourage others to do so...kinda like smoking: we ALL know its harms and ill effects, yet for some reason we WILL NOT heed all the medical advice in the world and STOP (i don't smoke btw and abhore it quite alot)...but regardless of my opinion, i think even a majority of smokers would NEVER encourage another to take up such a habit. of course there are exeptions to every rule, example: i would say what human would eat another human, but jeffery dahmer did. but you get my point....

and about the bang stick....i for the most part in earlier threads have ignored these comments, because i see the world created for the pleasure of man, and therefore would say, go frolick! but it is getting stuck in my proverbial craw more and more...simply wipe out a shark because he got in your way and wouldn't take no for an answer and you didn't have the sense to get out of his environment???? the ocean is big.....you can enjoy your sport without killing a shark....you can pick up and go some where else...is that hugely inconveniant to a diver....YES...and i wish it were different...but it has become the world we live in....the same as airport security and school security ect, ect, and the lengths we now have to take to live life...the years like the 50s are gone and we live in a new world...sharks are down an estimated 90%...too fragile to be killing them off one by one even....for this issue you can thank the irresponsible finning and long-lining industry....at least in the current climate, where their numbers are so depleated, i do not think you should kill sharks just to enjoy spearfishing...protect yourself yes....but i dont' think that MUST mean kill the sucker.....no matter how inconvenient i think that should mean get out of the water and go somewhere else or call off the dive for the day, even if you TAKE your catch with you....perhaps invest in a NON-lethal proven protectant which would allow you to KEEP your catch even.... Shark Shield :: Shark deterrent system :: protection from shark attack and great white sharks::Default.asp (http://www.sharkshield.com/Content/Home/)

..."but i can't afford it, and i can afford a bangstick".......well here is the tuff love part, but that is too bad....you want to enjoy your sport, earn the dough to buy what it takes to participate....it isn't THAT much, when you look at how much you have to spend to dive anyway.....plus use this method to raise money and be healthy = http://forum.scubatoys.com/surface-interval/5762-new-funky-beverage-poll-3.html#post81140

i know this will be hugely unpopular...i expect it...i know that the majority will probably NOT have the foresight to consider the ramifications (but suprise me anyway!!)....heck its just ONE shark, right??? they are PLENTY of sharks......right???.... what about coral reefs....we love them..we enjoy them...what if they attacked us every now and again....would we go BANGSTICKING them to death if they started ruining our good time??? or would we find a way to coexist and avoid their attacks WITHOUT harming them in their own RIGHTFUL environment....boy that ol' saying has meaning....if you can't take the heat...get out of the kitchen... after all, its not like they invaded our territory....quite the opposite....WE are the unnatural ones....

but go ahead...use your bangstick.....i've debated enough issues in life (beyond this one) to know that debate probably won't make any difference in the world......we are short sighted and it will take us humans loosing something much more precious to us in the long run before we will be willing to adjust....and that is unfortunate!

P.S.--RETURN BANGSTICKING FLAMERS: please don't take this out of context....i am not ANGRY as much as frustrated and disappointed and let down....be at peace, bangstickers all....but try and listen to reason......medicine tastes bad, but is good for you, no? PLUS, i just had to get on my soapbox today...any other day and i would have ignored this comment about bangsticking, just as i have, for the most part, the others in other posts...

*bows and gets off soapbox*

CC1020
10-26-2007, 12:56
Just make sure you swim faster than your buddy, and you'll be fine:smilie39:

ScottZeagle
10-26-2007, 14:00
scottzeagle,
i'm curious what sharks you have experience with in the poking? just curious. this would be interesting to know for awareness purposes wether it was a nurse shark/reef shark/angel shark/wobbegongs or a shortfin mako/bull shark/tiger/great white?

In the Gulf of Mexico, where I do most of my spearfishing, I generally deal with reef sharks. Other people I know personally have had similar results with the bigger sharks as well - poke it and it will know that you are not to be associated with an easy meal.



and like i said before, unless a shark is more territorial (that is, one location a majority of the time), i don't believe (all though it may be possible) that a shark has the cognition to know a spearfisherman from any other recreational diver. They are reacting more to wounded fish/blood in the water than the diver that just plunged overboard and decended with his bubbly tank and hoses....The behavior pattern that you would put forth, i think, would need more time to develop (more frequent stimulus and response). but like i said, it is your life and health of body you take into your hands with that opinion, and you are more than welcome to it, but i would not at all encourage others to do so...kinda like smoking: we ALL know its harms and ill effects, yet for some reason we WILL NOT heed all the medical advice in the world and STOP (i don't smoke btw and abhore it quite alot)...but regardless of my opinion, i think even a majority of smokers would NEVER encourage another to take up such a habit. of course there are exeptions to every rule, example: i would say what human would eat another human, but jeffery dahmer did. but you get my point....

If you do not believe that sharks can be conditioned to stay in one general area, you must have never witnessed one of those "shark feeding" excursions. Those sharks KNOW what is coming as soon as they hear the boat - they don't even need to see a diver! It is my belief that if a shark is given a free meal by a diver, even once, that it can associate the diver with free food...and that is a problem, in my opinion.



and about the bang stick....i for the most part in earlier threads have ignored these comments, because i see the world created for the pleasure of man, and therefore would say, go frolick! but it is getting stuck in my proverbial craw more and more...simply wipe out a shark because he got in your way and wouldn't take no for an answer and you didn't have the sense to get out of his environment???? the ocean is big.....you can enjoy your sport without killing a shark....you can pick up and go some where else...is that hugely inconveniant to a diver....YES...and i wish it were different...but it has become the world we live in....the same as airport security and school security ect, ect, and the lengths we now have to take to live life...the years like the 50s are gone and we live in a new world...sharks are down an estimated 90%...too fragile to be killing them off one by one even....for this issue you can thank the irresponsible finning and long-lining industry....at least in the current climate, where their numbers are so depleated, i do not think you should kill sharks just to enjoy spearfishing...protect yourself yes....but i dont' think that MUST mean kill the sucker.....no matter how inconvenient i think that should mean get out of the water and go somewhere else or call off the dive for the day, even if you TAKE your catch with you....perhaps invest in a NON-lethal proven protectant which would allow you to KEEP your catch even.... Shark Shield :: Shark deterrent system :: protection from shark attack and great white sharks::Default.asp (http://www.sharkshield.com/Content/Home/)

i know this will be hugely unpopular...i expect it...i know that the majority will probably NOT have the foresight to consider the ramifications (but suprise me anyway!!)....heck its just ONE shark, right??? they are PLENTY of sharks......right???.... what about coral reefs....we love them..we enjoy them...what if they attacked us every now and again....would we go BANGSTICKING them to death if they started ruining our good time??? or would we find a way to coexist and avoid their attacks WITHOUT harming them in their own RIGHTFUL environment....boy that ol' saying has meaning....if you can't take the heat...get out of the kitchen... after all, its not like they invaded our territory....quite the opposite....WE are the unnatural ones....

At this point I simply have to ask....are you a spearfisherman, or have you ever been spearfishing?

If so, have you ever had an encounter with a shark that simply would not take no for an answer? How did you handle the situation?

It is quite easy to sit behind a keyboard and tell someone what they should do, or how you personally would handle a situation, but until you are faced with it yourself, one doesn't really know what they would do - or wish they could do.

The spearfishermen (and women) who I surround myself with would use everything possible to avoid killing a shark. There is absolutely NOTHING to gain from its death. However, once you are forced to make the decison to either get attacked or kill the shark, I think it is pretty much a no brainer.

I am far more concerned about the longlining industry dragging miles and miles or cable across the natural reefs than I am about a SMALL number of sharks being killed due to aggression. These longline boats are hooking whatever will bite, including huge amounts of undersized fish, sharks, turtles, etc.


but go ahead...use your bangstick.....i've debated enough issues in life (beyond this one) to know that debate probably won't make any difference in the world......we are short sighted and it will take us humans loosing something much more precious to us in the long run before we will be willing to adjust....and that is unfortunate!

P.S.--RETURN BANGSTICKING FLAMERS: please don't take this out of context....i am not ANGRY as much as frustrated and disappointed and let down....be at peace, bangstickers all....but try and listen to reason......medicine tastes bad, but is good for you, no? PLUS, i just had to get on my soapbox today...any other day and i would have ignored this comment about bangsticking, just as i have, for the most part, the others in other posts...

*bows and gets off soapbox*

I have no problem with a healthy debate, and I am not upset in the least. Spearfishing is the most effective way to fish, in my opinion. You do not catch fish that are undersized, are not particularly good eating, etc. - you target the fish that you want and dispatch it. There is no bycatch in spearfishing.

...and let me add - before this post becomes some tool used against Zeagle - that these thoughts are mine and mine alone, and do not reflect the views of Zeagle Systems, Inc or its employees. ;)

Scott

moosicman
10-26-2007, 16:13
I must say that of all the forums on the internet, ST has the most reasoned and well mannered people of them all....i thank you scott

i too enjoy healthy, functional debate....so i am glad scottzeagle and i would probably consider each other friends if we were to know each other in real life...may our discussion be an example to those who get "way" too caught up in argumentiveness...

LOL...that being said....hehehe...i need a moment for rebuttal....

your quote..."If you do not believe that sharks can be conditioned to stay in one general area, you must have never witnessed one of those "shark feeding" excursions. Those sharks KNOW what is coming as soon as they hear the boat - they don't even need to see a diver! It is my belief that if a shark is given a free meal by a diver, even once, that it can associate the diver with free food"...

I am very familiar with shark feeding excursions...i dislike them as much as bangsticks and i do not at all agree with the practice as they DO DEFINITLY change the sharks behavior to associate the practice with food...but you don't truly mean to tell me that one diver on a reef spearfishing is the same as these shark feeding excursions do you?? shark feeding excursions are vastly different than the one diver.....shark feeding excursions are frequent and often and consistent and constant.....the diver is, we'll say, not nearly as frequent and constant.....but let me clarify something that i mean by saying giving up your catch to avoid being bitten or killed by a shark, but it will take a moment to set up its context so bare with me...

let's suppose it only does take once to condition a shark to be fed by a diver but use a different senario...

if there is a stray dog hanging around outside my house and i know that if i feed that dog scraps because i know he is hungry and the above is true, then every time he sees me he will have an expecation of food....suppose he sees me and finds the food using his senses (not at my feet but at the edge of the road to my house)....do you suppose he will associate ME with the food, the AREA with the food, the ACTIVITY going on with the food, or if he finds the food there on an infrequent basis (as sharks DO find wounded or unwounded fish) will he simply devour the food as a matter of instinct because that is the way it goes in his environment and not much different than the day to day or week to week or month to month as it is with sharks.......

i would propose that you drop your catch upon sight of a known apex predator (i.e. great white/hammerhead/tiger ect.)...let that food sink or not at all be in the area in which you remain because you are on your way top-side...it is possible that he will be associating that food with you, and it is possible that he will not....my answer is this.....neither you nor i know right now....its fair for you to have your theories based on your experience and its fair for me to have mine (even based on my lack of experiences, for i have never been nor never plan to go spearfishing....but i don't need to to be aware of the dangers of doing such...if i never went quail hunting i wouldn't be disqualified from telling someone they could accidentally be shot by another hunter...happens all the time, so though i grant you your point, experience is by no means an eliminating factor for debate)

To sum up, i think my main point was, good for the sport or not, the SAFEST route for someone nervous about spearfishing is to get out of the water upon seeing a shark...to recommend anything else ups the risk for death or injury but they have the RIGHT to up the risk, and it is good for them to hear others talk about it so that they can make an informed decision....so there it is

about the bang stick

your quote...."The spearfishermen (and women) who I surround myself with would use everything possible to avoid killing a shark. There is absolutely NOTHING to gain from its death. However, once you are forced to make the decison to either get attacked or kill the shark, I think it is pretty much a no brainer."...

Highly respectable position and i agree, i would wish for your saftey first ABOVE THE SHARKS.....so...one of those possiblities under that list of everything possible to avoid killing a shark is the sharkshield.....to my knowledge, it is failsafe...i would love to hear of any experience, as i plan to get one myself, and i'm not even gonna be spearfishing. so i hope that you bought this piece of gear BEFORE you bought your bangstick...as it is in that list of possibilities....

your quote..."I have no problem with a healthy debate, and I am not upset in the least. Spearfishing is the most effective way to fish, in my opinion. You do not catch fish that are undersized, are not particularly good eating, etc. - you target the fish that you want and dispatch it. There is no bycatch in spearfishing."....

most noble and you are commended for your sportsmanship...i regard you highly scott, as one brave with nerves of steel to spearfish...lol..i don't have the desire, but if i did..i still couldn't...TOO much risk involved and the odds are (though good) not good enough....its a russian roulett...so my toast to you, my fellow diver, is...may you not poke a pissed off shark!

that made me laugh......:) peace!

ScottZeagle
10-26-2007, 16:37
I' m not sure that one incident would turn a shark into Pavlov's dog, but in Florida there are quite a few people who dive the same reefs, many of whom spearfish. If every one of them simply dropped their catch at the first sight of a shark, it wouldn't take long for the shark to associate the sound of scuba and spearguns firing to a free meal, in my opinion.

For freedivers, simply leaving the area is not hard to do. They just come straight up, get in their boat and move - however, at 200fsw, it isn't quite that easy!!!

As for shark shields...I have never personally used one, but I know people who do. I have heard that even a dive buddy can be shocked by it - but again, I have no first hand knowledge. I'm not real keen on swimming around with an electrocution device strapped to me though....

DON'T TAZE ME BRO!!!!

:D

Ok, I gotta finish getting packed up for DEMA...thanks for the debate.

Scott

moosicman
10-26-2007, 16:44
NO i won't TAZE you bro....that was FUNNYY....

pnevai
10-26-2007, 21:45
Sorry, any reason for not dropping a catch is just an excuse. Personally I feel that if you go spearfishing it should be against the law to carry a bangstick. If you are going to compete against an apex predator for food then hey, it should be on even terms, want your catch be prepared to fight it out man to shark. You have brains the shark has teeth, fair enough. You either admit defeat or just have at it.

Back in the day when man had to hunt to eat and eat to survive, back then it iwas a diffferent story. Hey you had to eat, and well in order to do that you had to compete. But in this days world when the local supermarket is just a short ways away, there is no rational excuse that can justify killing another animal for food. And since there is absolutely no justifyable need, to be spearing your own fish, by extension there it is inexcuseable killing an apex predator just to keep the fish you have speared. The shark has every right in the world to that fish, see he needs to eat it to survive, not to fulfill some ego pumping urge. Sharks have no ego's they eat to live, contrary to cartoons you may have seen there are not underwater stop and shops where sharks can jut hit the frozen food isle. Besides sharks don't qualify for credit cards. Tried spearfishing once just like I tried hunting once. It was exciting right up until the kill, then I was left with looking at this dead animal that was so much more remarkable when alive.

In the end spearfishing just like hunting is for nothing other than bragging rights, with the added bonus of a meal. And for for that reason anyone who would even consider killing a creature that has every right to exist and take advantage of a meal gets no quarter from me.

I am sure that there will be flames for my post, because this will touch some macho nerves out there. But if it was not about some emotional driven activity then most of the spearfishers would not be so proud of posting photos of thier "kills" as their avatars or other boastful pictures.

Look at me the great white hunter!

Come on here and say that you would rather fight hand to hand to keep your kill and then maybe I'll believe you are.

meesier42
10-26-2007, 21:57
I've lost a couple of fish to sharks, but I only fish with a Hawaiian Sling (aka polespear) with a trident tip, its about 9foot long with the tip and I always keep it well away from me with a fish on. I think they were whitetips and galopogos sharks, but I never really spent a lot of time trying to figure out which they were. Never really had a problem with them, they saw the fish and well... they took it. I guess it only really happened 3-4 times.

fire diver
10-26-2007, 22:19
In the end spearfishing just like hunting is for nothing other than bragging rights, with the added bonus of a meal. And for for that reason anyone who would even consider killing a creature that has every right to exist and take advantage of a meal gets no quarter from me.

I am sure that there will be flames for my post, because this will touch some macho nerves out there. But if it was not about some emotional driven activity then most of the spearfishers would not be so proud of posting photos of thier "kills" as their avatars or other boastful pictures.

Look at me the great white hunter!

Come on here and say that you would rather fight hand to hand to keep your kill and then maybe I'll believe you are.

You have obviously lived a VERY sheltered life.

You are so far removed from the experience of "living" that you can't even understand.

Do you grow your own fruits and vegetables or do you let others do it for you? You obviously don't hunt your own meat. Why do you think purchasing foods stuffed with hormones, pesticides, chemicals, that someone else killed is better? Are you too good to get your hands dirty? Or must other serfs do all your work?

There's an entire world outside of your house, your car, and walmart. You should try to live it some time.

moosicman
10-26-2007, 22:28
Thank you pnevai....myself, i wish we (they) would all develop a sensitvity and cease to spearfish. i suppose they get some thrill out of it. i don't see it. they do have a right to, but that doesn't mean they are right in doing so, the same way that movie stars have a right to spout off politically, but it doesn't mean they should do so...LOL...they usually just end up sounding like idiots with an agenda and way too much ill-conceived logic...

i was really tempted to say that if you are a spearfisherman and you get bitten or killed by a shark, it serves you right, as you were kinda asking for it...but i dont' wish death or injury on them...BUT at the same time i truly wish they would see how barbaric it is to bangstick some animal to death because you were taking part in an activity that happend to coinside with their "regularly scheduled program" if you catch my drift...(did you guys get all the humor and puns i put into that last sentance)...LOL...if you take part in certain activities the assume the risks...there really is no need, it is just sport....but one that we could do without...but get out your flame retardent umbrella penvai...its about to all come crashing down on us...i don't imagine they can resist...

Puffer Fish
10-26-2007, 22:28
Sorry, any reason for not dropping a catch is just an excuse. Personally I feel that if you go spearfishing it should be against the law to carry a bangstick. If you are going to compete against an apex predator for food then hey, it should be on even terms, want your catch be prepared to fight it out man to shark. You have brains the shark has teeth, fair enough. You either admit defeat or just have at it.

Back in the day when man had to hunt to eat and eat to survive, back then it iwas a diffferent story. Hey you had to eat, and well in order to do that you had to compete. But in this days world when the local supermarket is just a short ways away, there is no rational excuse that can justify killing another animal for food. And since there is absolutely no justifyable need, to be spearing your own fish, by extension there it is inexcuseable killing an apex predator just to keep the fish you have speared. The shark has every right in the world to that fish, see he needs to eat it to survive, not to fulfill some ego pumping urge. Sharks have no ego's they eat to live, contrary to cartoons you may have seen there are not underwater stop and shops where sharks can jut hit the frozen food isle. Besides sharks don't qualify for credit cards. Tried spearfishing once just like I tried hunting once. It was exciting right up until the kill, then I was left with looking at this dead animal that was so much more remarkable when alive.

In the end spearfishing just like hunting is for nothing other than bragging rights, with the added bonus of a meal. And for for that reason anyone who would even consider killing a creature that has every right to exist and take advantage of a meal gets no quarter from me.

I am sure that there will be flames for my post, because this will touch some macho nerves out there. But if it was not about some emotional driven activity then most of the spearfishers would not be so proud of posting photos of thier "kills" as their avatars or other boastful pictures.

Look at me the great white hunter!

Come on here and say that you would rather fight hand to hand to keep your kill and then maybe I'll believe you are.

Ouch! I don't carry a power head.. don't plan on carrying one. And I would fight to keep a fish (and have). I also don't have any pictures of fish I shot (not in the last 25 years), and I only shoot things I like to eat. And I use a pole spear more than any other gun.

And I spend a lot more time taking pictures than shooting things.

Some of your points obviously have truth in them, and I have seen divers that will shoot anything and as much as they can, but I don't think that represents the majority.

One thing I would take issue with is that the distinction between shooting something yourself versus going to a store and buying it, is only that you can somehow feel better, because you did not kill it. I'm betting the fish did not see that difference.

Krakenn
10-27-2007, 01:21
Some humble experience;

I enjoy spearfishing and in August I came back from a Spearfishing liveaboard from two weeks on the Abrolhos IS off of Western Australia huntng mainly Coral Trout and Groper.

I also have a Sharksheild Freedom 4

Now the first thing about the Shark Sheild is that it will give you a Shock and that of your buddy, and its quite a whallop if you get get hit in the head with a direct contact you'll feel all your metal fillings I assure you and it can be a pain in the BS when your going for lobster but its a nice reassurance when you up up the surface and you have that 50m swim back to the boat with your catch bag full.

Now I was always told by divers more experienced than I that when you are diving with sharks and spearfishing assume they are like a dog, that is it will charge you and you should hold you ground and if possible you should move aggressively towards the shark. Now that is easier said than done when you see a shark moving at attack speed i can assure you, especially if your not on air.

Anyways that aside you will find that most people attacked are mouthed which is a natural process for sharks when feeding in a frenzy as they bite (nip) each other when competing for food. It is just we are softer than shark skin and you have all seen the bite marks on tv. If you look at the capability of the shark that had done the attack, had it been seriously chewing down on the diver swimmer they wouldnt be here or the wound more aggressive.

Now Id humbly recommend that if you are challenged by a shark for your catch and its of a size over 1 metre drop your catch and cancel the dive, though alot of my buddies like to push off sharks, Im too much the coward. Now dont get me wrong here people Ill hold my catch if the shark is just sniffing around but when the pec fins go down and he/she arches the back and starts moving at speed, I hope you will do what I do and drop your catch and head off of for the day. I'd rather have you as a dive buddt tomorrow.

Where I dove in the Abrohols a skipper was cut in half the previous year by a 6m white and off of the coast where I regularly dive a lobster diver was badly bitten on the leg by a white attacking from under him while he was on assent the only thing that saved him was his leg gun a mares sten that disharged in the Whites mouth when it bit down. This was also last year the guy lived btw.

Now what Im trying to say here is that if you spearfish know that you will have the highest chance of all of seeing the overcoat brigade and you could easily go a long time without even seeing a shark if you dont spearfish.

The other advice is if you go into this enviroment and spearfish then recognise that you have the greatest propensity to meet your maker but be careful and dont be a hero.

Now thats my advice from a different country where the 90% of sharks remaining in the world have come to reside (sorry moon had to have a dig)

Enjoy the sport but know the risks. Of all the sharks in the world the one I worry about the most is the wobbygong or carpet shark.

See you down there guys.

Kraks

moosicman
10-27-2007, 09:49
Kraks!...if i may borrow from your mother tongue....thats spot on, and your a sport, mate!! and well said...quite a balanced veiw and i have 100% agreement with it!...thanks for the info on using shark shield too...would love to hear more!... and another thing...why the wobbygong?? would love to hear your experiences!! and again, you probably said what i wanted to but couldn't get across:).....once again, many thanks!!!

bversteegh
10-28-2007, 00:14
Some humble experience;

Enjoy the sport but know the risks. Of all the sharks in the world the one I worry about the most is the wobbygong or carpet shark.

See you down there guys.

Kraks

I am also interested in the Wobbygong comment. I dove with a few in Raja Ampat last year, and they seemed quite placid - much like a nurse shark. Why do you consider them dangerous?

Charlotte Smith
10-29-2007, 00:06
Sorry guys you are making me laugh wayyyyyyy too hard....both have some good points though.....I am just glad there are no sharks in Arkansas to use the bangsticks on cause I am afraid I would carry one......

couped243
10-29-2007, 02:50
I don't really know where the original topic of this thread headed. This kind of became a spearfishermen bashing.LOL Anyway I've been spearfishing in Florida West Palm area and out at the Marquesas off of Key west for quite some time and never had an issue with sharks. I use a stringer clipped to my BC and I would probably poke the shark with my spear and try and keep my catch unless the shark kept coming. There are a lot of things we do in life that come with some risk, and If you enjoy doing these things than you are willing to take those risks. If you don't enjoy spearfishing than don't hate the man that does. But I will say that people here handle their debates with respect. Thanks

cheebaweebie
11-06-2007, 15:45
I agree mostly with Scott Zeagle on almost every point he makes. I too dive exclusively off of Tampabay and the surrounding areas in the Gulf Florida. I will always enter the water with a speargun and I do own a powerhead (same as bang stick but mine fires a 30/30 round) I have never used my powerhead as Scott stated, if a shark is circling, keep your eyes on him... if it tests you, poke him with the spear or the butt of your gun. If your getting charged then scream at the shark into your reg (told to me by Capt. Joyce of Narcosis Scuba). If at last resort, and you have to, kill the biatch. Don't drop your hard earned catch. You could start a feeding frenzy and I sure wouldn't want to be in the middle of a feeding frenzy. I clip my stringer on my BC and can remove it rather easily. I have also had a run in with a nasty Bull Shark as have many of the other scuba divers and free divers in the area. VERY FEW SHARK ATTACKS happen in this area. Mostly swimmers and people in the surf.