For me, it’s taken me 6 months of recovery and I still hold shots when I should pull triggers. Almost everyone I spearfish with pulls more triggers and lands more fish. I’m still trophy hunting, no matter how hard I try to spearfish for dinner…
It’s a massive relearning of every technique I’ve used thus far. It’s also different equipment – better to use smaller and more maneuverable spearguns. Two bands is enough, and often overkill. A 110 cm speargun is enough. A 130 cm speargun is usually too much. In holes in the reef, 80 cm is about right. Thin shafts fly faster and you don’t need heavy shafts for smaller fish.
This kind of hunting can be alot of fun, though. Smaller guns, faster reloading, more pulling of triggers. All of that adds up to something really fun, when you get the hang of it. Of course, we don’t get to post pictures of us with massive fish. And we always stop after we have enough for a couple of meals. There are a couple exceptions to the “enough for dinner” rule: when we can share fish with friends, when we are spearfishing with locals, and when we can trade fish for other stuff (like alcohol or produce). Providing fresh fish to others brings with it quite a bit of good will. I enjoy that.
One of the interesting things about the “enough for dinner” rule is that if we shoot a big fish, or a bunch of small fish – we don’t get to spearfish the next day. Or we eat fish three meals a day, so we can go and spearfish again. Not a big problem, but it certainly makes you think about shooting those large-but-not-quite-trophy fish. Those fish are tempting, but one of those and all the spearfishing is over for a bit.
The good news is that I have a dedicated freezer onboard. It’s sole purpose is to keep meat frozen on long passages. So, if I really do bump into a trophy fish (not a large-but-not-quite-trophy) – I can put it into the boat without feeling guilty. It just means that we’ll be eating fish three times a day for a month, and freediving armed with cameras rather than spearguns.
There are worse punishments, me thinks.