View Full Version : Gloves, Gun Sizes, and Floats
02-26-2005, 10:29 AM
I'm getting ready for my 2nd season of spearfishing (on scuba) in southern New England. My first season I used a 75cm Omer Dragon and 70cm Sporasub pneumatic with a muzzy point. I got very good taking tautog (5-9 lbs), and had no problem taking an 11-pound striper on the 2nd notch with the Omer (the first time I tried the gun, I had it loaded on the 1st notch and hit a 14 lbs striper behind the gills, but it didn't penetrate-- my partner was able to grab the fish and get him on the stringer, however).
Three questions: Is that Omer 75 going to be a good enough gun to take a larger striper-- say in the 15-22 lbs range? I'm assuming that shore diving that most of my stripers are gonna be in the 10-20 lbs range, is that a valid assumption? Second, on scuba, do I have to worry about a 20 lbs stiper ripping the gun out of my hands? Should I have my line attached to a float for a fish like that? Finally, I'm thinking my 4 mm neoprene gloves are not enough if had to worry about subduing a larger fish (gill points, fin points, my knife point)-- should I be wearing kevlar? I need the thermal protection, so does anyone have a recommendation for gloves that offer both penetration protection and thermal protection?
02-27-2005, 01:22 AM
At a range of 3-4 feet from the tip of my 75cm euro gun I have fully penetrated Striper to 31 pounds. A 75 is very easy to load and it sounds like you are after the biggest fish you see so, there is no reason to use the first notch. Always load to the second. Look at the 1st notch only as a rest notch. With your pneumatic (if it has a power selector) always use the highest power setting. The low power setting was only designed for cave hunting.
I consider bass in the 20 pound range to be the most dangerous as they literally explode with energy after speared. They are so quick that if you don't have a grip on the gun it may very well disappear. If you don't want to lose your gun... hold on to it. Problem solved. No Striped Bass is going to pull you so hard that it drags you about the ocean. I've had the unfortunate experience 3 times of reel tangles / failures. The first time it was a 42 pounder pulling me down when I urgently needed a breath. I decided... I won... dead fish on the boat. Another time it was a 31 pounder in 60 feet. Although, I suggest you let go of the gear if you are not 150% sure you can safely make it to the surface. No fish is worth your life.
On your 75cm Omer use only one wrap of line. It does not matter if you put 3 bands on it... there is sipmly not enough mass to a 6mm or 6.5mm shaft (for a 75cm gun) to reliably take fish at 2 lengths. You will end up losing just as many fish as you land with 2 wraps on a 75cm euro with a thin shaft. Using the philosophy of one wrap of line, a 6.5mm shaft, and the strongest single band you can load to the second notch... you can consistently take bass to 25 pounds. There is no reason to lose a fish, just take an ethical shot.
Grab the bass by the eyes. Squeeze until its mouth opens wide. With your other hand grab it by the gills. Carefully and quickly pithe the bass with a slender knife. Your going to get poked by the spines from time to time. Get used to it.
I've brought SCUBA divers with me a few times. I have yet to find a better way to scare all the bass away than putting a SCUBA diver in the water. They have tried suicidal skip breating and such to prevent their magical talent of being able to make bass disappear. I learned my lesson, no more SCUBA divers if I'm after Bass. Make's you almost want to freedive now?? :D
P.S. -I've seen 30 pounders in knee deep water.
02-27-2005, 05:27 AM
CT-- thanks for the very helptufl reply! Yeah, after that first shot that did't penetrate the striper with the band on the first notch, I learned my lesson; it's now just my rest notch, and I always take it back to the 2nd. Ditto for the pneumatic-- it's always on high power. It was acutally the first time I had ever used the gun-- my very first shot on a 33" striper!
There are a lot of good freedivers around here-- including some that are well known outside the area, like John Warnuck. And I agree 100% with you-- that scuba and bass don't go together well. I had done enough talking with local divers to know that bass were easily spooked, so when I started this sport on scuba I had resigned myself to being a tautog hunter. That's still the primary fish I take; however, every 5th or 6th dive I'll run into a bunch of schoolies (which I don't shoot, of course; but it's fun to be in the middle of them), and maybe every seventh or eighth dive, seemgingly out of nowhere, a good-sized striper or two will show up, and I'll have a decent shot. What happened 3 or 4 times last season, very frustratingly, was I'd shoot a taugtog and be in the middle of dispatching it and putting it my my stringer when a legal-sized striper (28"+) would show up-- I guess out of curiosity.
So, you wouldn't worry about getting some tougher gloves? (Kevlar.) And, second, I don't drysuit dive, so when do you think I can get back in the water? The line fishermen tell me that the stripers arrive in mid-April, but the NODC Coastal Water Temperature Guide says the water won't hit 50 degrees around here until early May.
On a lark on Christmas day ('cause the sun was shining and slack tide was at 1:00 p.m.), I pulled out the wetsuit and dove one of my favorite hunting spots. My last dive had been mid-November, with the water temp. around 48, and I had decided that below 50 degrees was too cold and that that would be my bottom limit. Anyway, the water temp was 43. I was cold, but not miserable in a 7/5mm wetsuit, 7mm hood and boots, and a 5mm core chest warmer (just my hands got really cold with my 4mm gloves). But the shocker was that there was NOT A SINGLE fish around-- not even a choggie (just some blue crabs and lobster). So I'm figuring the fish season must be mid-April to mid-November around here.
Thanks again for your helpful post.
03-09-2005, 08:27 AM
I think I found the right gloves: The Pinnacle Aquatics Karbonflex 4mm's, with wool-lining and kevlar palms and fingers. The dive shop owner at Scuba Too in North Kingstown, RI says the wool lining gives them the thermal protection of a 5mm glove, while still giving the greater flexibility of a 4mm. I'll let you know how they work when the water is still cold this spring. Following CT's advice, I'm going to stick with my 75cm Omer, and I will also try out an 85cm Sporasub pneumatic. We'll see how those slender shafts do with a 15 to 20 pound striper. My 2005 spearfishing season will start when the Narragansett Bay hits 48 degrees and the line fishermen say they've seen the stripped bass coming back up the Narrow River-- most likely during the last week of April
03-09-2005, 10:19 AM
if you need a dive partner let me know...
03-09-2005, 04:12 PM
Akona makes a good Kevlar glove too. Not wool lined though!!
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