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Old 08-10-2018, 10:09 AM   #1
tommymo
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NJ Spearfishing setup

Looking to get into some shore free diving, need some advice on gear.

I've been wreck diving NJ for the past 10 years and have been using a cressi sub sl, its been pretty good but hate loading it. Thinking about getting a Rob Allen Tuna 90, any thoughts or recommendations? Would a 70 or 80 be better for an all around scuba/free dive setup?

What about a wet suit? Currently have a 7m farmer jon that I use for diving, I run a little cold and would love to be able to dive from May to October. Any recommendations on suits/ manufactures?

Fins. I have scuba pro twin jets now. Could I get away with using these for now or are free diving fins absolutely necessary?

Dive computer? How many of you use an actual free dive computer? I was going to try and use my Sunnto Vytec for depth/time/surface interval.

Lastly, looks like finding a spot now a days in NJ is becoming near impossible with all of these towns imposing restrictions on access and BS ordinances. I have a 23 foot center console that I have dove off before, but find it to be a pain in the ass and would consider hitting up spots off from Deal down south. Are most of you guys hitting spots off of the shore or from a boat?

Thanks,

Tom
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Old 08-10-2018, 09:22 PM   #2
TriggerNJ
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Re: NJ Spearfishing setup

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Thinking about getting a Rob Allen Tuna 90, any thoughts or recommendations? Would a 70 or 80 be better for an all around scuba/free dive setup?
Ask yourself what species you would like to typically shoot, how bad of vis your willing to dive, and are you willing to buy a second gun? Bass is really the fish that changes gun selection drastically around here. They get big, have a stupid hard head, and pretty thick scales.

Most guys like myself who shoot rear-handle guns have more than one. You could do everything inshore around here with two guns if your shooting rear-handles. A 90cm and a smaller gun. I trade back and forth between a 90cm and 75cm almost 90% of the time around here. I use the smaller gun as a fluke gun mostly but I do shoot a little of everything with it in miserable vis. If you decide on one gun and dive the murk as well as the decent vis then I would say somewhere in the 80cm range with rear-handles would be the best compromise. However you will eventually recognize the compromise if you stick with it long enough.

The other option is mid-handle which is the best way to get the same or bigger power with less length in front of your hand than a rear-handle. Bad news is people tend to have more than one as well. The handle placement varies quite a bit on "Mid-Handles" so keep that in mind when sizing and estimating how much gun you want in front of your hand.

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What about a wet suit? Currently have a 7m farmer jon that I use for diving, I run a little cold and would love to be able to dive from May to October. Any recommendations on suits/ manufactures?
Get an open cell 5mm farmer john....Sweat it out during the dog days of midsummer but be comfortable for largest range of the season. Any of the well known brands as long as it fits well.

Quote:
Fins. I have scuba pro twin jets now. Could I get away with using these for now or are free diving fins absolutely necessary?
Long fins are not necessary for diving inlets but they are really way better. If you start to go beyond the inlets or are doing long swims/deeper drops they become mandatory at a point. If you plan on sticking with this get them now. They don't have to be expensive ones. I keep a pair of plastic cressi's gara's ($130) as my beaters. They are pretty indestructable and I have dove just about as deep in them as I ever really want to go in any fin. Before they wear out you will have gotten your moneys worth or bought fancy fins.

Quote:
Dive computer? How many of you use an actual free dive computer? I was going to try and use my Sunnto Vytec for depth/time/surface interval.
Very nice to have and an absolutely necessary safety tool once you start diving.(in my opinion) Most probably start without them even nowadays but it's pretty easy for most people to progress to a dangerous point quickly if they really get after it. More important is acquiring the basic knowledge of safe freediving. Really there's no excuse for just winging it anymore with all the resources available today.

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Lastly, looks like finding a spot now a days in NJ is becoming near impossible with all of these towns imposing restrictions on access and BS ordinances. I have a 23 foot center console that I have dove off before, but find it to be a pain in the ass and would consider hitting up spots off from Deal down south. Are most of you guys hitting spots off of the shore or from a boat?
Both

Unfortunately shorediving spots with the exception of inlets are becoming extinct in NJ for a ton of reasons. It's making it much harder to be a happy freediving spearo here...... good luck prying any info out of anyone on the last couple spots


Hopefully all that helps point you in the right direction a bit....there's a million ways to skin a cat though
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Old 08-11-2018, 10:13 AM   #3
SJ_Spearo
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Re: NJ Spearfishing setup

For dive gear, i cannot recommend MAKO Spearguns enough. They operate locally out of Virginia and they have really good prices on good gear. Definitely consider them for fins and a gun. I switch between a 70cm gun for inshore and a 100cm w/ reel for offshore/better vis days. If you have a boat, just look for clean water and structure. You can have a lot of fun just looking at a chart and targeting a bunch of buoys for trigger fish and other miscellaneous fish that come in. That's usually my game plan and it works well for filling a cooler.
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Old 08-11-2018, 11:55 AM   #4
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Re: NJ Spearfishing setup

Pretty solid info given. Also nothing wrong with sticking with the pneumatic for now and spending the money on a suit and fins. Gonna need a float with flag and floatline also. Get new gun later. I know lot of guys who use a 70cm pneumatic and kill any fish that swims inshore. I parked my pneumatic and my rear handle guns this season. Started useing a 38 inch midhandle. I think its the perfect dirty water gun for nj. Jmo. If you are dead set on buying a rob allen i'd go with 80cm like trigger nj said. Even that you will have to shoot from the hip on some dirty days.
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Old 08-11-2018, 12:06 PM   #5
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Re: NJ Spearfishing setup

Thanks TriggerNJ.

I mostly plan on shooting bottom fish, not the biggest fan of Stripers. Thinking I will take your advice and look in that 80cm range.

Yeah, definitely not looking to pry any information on any honey holes, been bow and duck hunting NJ for most of my adult life. Once you find a spot you tend to guard it with your life, I don't even tell my wife LOL. I have however met some great guys in some of those holes. It just seems like boat diving is the ticket to get to most if not all of the spots that used to be easy to get to by taking a drive.

I can't believe how $$$ a free dive computer is, been reading alot about SWB and its a little scary to tell you the truth, I'm sure a computer will help mitigate some of the risk. What computer do you dive? Do you dive solo? How deep do you dive and how long are your holds?

SJ Spero,

Will take a look at Makos. Yea hitting up buoys offshore is usually what we do when we try to save a trip if we cant hit any Tuna. Some days those mahi and triggers have lock jaw, a spear is an answer for sure. lol

Last edited by tommymo; 08-11-2018 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 08-11-2018, 01:55 PM   #6
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Re: NJ Spearfishing setup

No problem

I completely forgot to mention the float/flag and floatline like mudsniper mentioned. Your going to want that right away before you get started. I typically even use it while boat diving or put it out as an extra precaution. You would be surprised how many people want to zoom in pretty close to mark the bottom your diving.

Quote:
Yeah, definitely not looking to pry any information on any honey holes, been bow and duck hunting NJ for most of my adult life. Once you find a spot you tend to guard it with your life, I don't even tell my wife LOL. I have however met some great guys in some of those holes. It just seems like boat diving is the ticket to get to most if not all of the spots that used to be easy to get to by taking a drive.
A shore dive spot is now as fragile as a tiny puddle of a wood duck hole Wifes and girlfriends with loose lips are not to be trusted with sensitive hunting and fishing info!!

Unfortunately lots of the better spots were destroyed during beach replenishment if your thinking of shore dive spots in the area you mentioned. There's still some but it's nowhere like it was even couple years ago. A boat will get you to all of them and opens up your opportunities big time once you start gaining some experience and ability.

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I can't believe how $$$ a free dive computer is, been reading alot about SWB and its a little scary to tell you the truth, I'm sure a computer will help mitigate some of the risk. What computer do you dive? Do you dive solo? How deep do you dive and how long are your holds?
Yeah, they are ton of money for not a ton of features compared to scuba computers. I use the Mares Smart Apnea now because I had issues with the Aris F10 or whatever generations I had. Idk if it will be different with this one but so far so good. Looks suspiciously like the same computer in different housing but I don't know. The new D4 freedivers only computer is maybe what I would get if mine broke on me. My buddy has had an old D4 for like a decade thats still going and he treats it like absolute hell.

The computer helps once you start getting enough experience to become a danger to yourself. Like I said it can happen relatively quickly these days with access to info, good gear, and what people are doing. By "what people are doing" I mean dive times, depths etc. Don't focus on them at all. You don't need to have a long breath hold or be a deep diver to kill any of what people here consider full on trophy fish. In fact anything a bit deeper than what is considered super shallow in the rest of country and you will probably be doing it just for practice or in order to tune up for a trip where things aren't as shallow. Unless you go further than whats needed for NJ spearing then surface time/dive time/ depth is all you will ever need. I use depth mostly to tell me where I am on a piece to locate the areas I want to be in more often than for any other reason.

Diving solo, individual risk/reward tolerances, buddy diving methods for terrible conditions, what methods actually work best in terrible conditions and so on is a whole thread within itself and a very contentious one at that. A quick search will probably get you a books worth of material to read.
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Old 08-13-2018, 06:22 AM   #7
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Re: NJ Spearfishing setup

Tommy, my approach is a bit different from TNJs....you already have literally all the gear you need to get into this (assuming you have float). Go dive, see what you like/dont like, and only then change gear as you see the need.
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Old 08-13-2018, 10:42 AM   #8
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Re: NJ Spearfishing setup

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Tommy, my approach is a bit different from TNJs....you already have literally all the gear you need to get into this (assuming you have float). Go dive, see what you like/dont like, and only then change gear as you see the need.
The best advice you have gotten so far
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Old 09-06-2018, 01:49 AM   #9
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Re: NJ Spearfishing setup

Hey guys, not trying to highjack the thread but I have a couple of related questions. I am a spearo over in Michigan and have never even been to NJ but it's only a 10hr drive and my buddies and I are interested in starting to make some trips over there to fish. I have been doing a bunch of reading and am overwhelmed and horrified by the amount of red tape it seems you guys are fighting. We were hoping that shore diving would be an option for us but the more I read the more it seems like it very well may not. First question is, someone mentioned shore spots are nearly extincted with the exception of inlets. Are there still some of these that are fair game?

Second question is if we were to bring out a boat we would most likely be limited to a 12 foot aluminum deep V with a 20 horse on it. I do have a 16 foot bass boat with a 110 but I'm not wild about trailering it all that distance. Would this be sufficient to get us to some more protected inshore type spots in good weather? Also in most of the areas that don't allow diving or spearfishing from Shore or Jetties Etc would we be legal to still dive near these areas as long as we are entering and leaving by boat? I know it is a bit of a long shot but if by chance anyone would be willing to give me some vocation pointers on areas that we might be able to try and target from Shore or with a small boat it would be greatly appreciated. Also if there is any chance that any of you local guys would ever be interested and meeting up to show us around a bit or taking on two or three Riders if you have a big enough rig, we would be more than happy to pay for gas beer and what not as well as reciprocating if you ever happen to be in our neck of the woods. We will be happy with anything we shoot, obviously We're Dreaming of plugging a big striper but more than anything we just want to find a place closer to home then Florida that we can get out to occasionally and do some saltwater spearing.

Last question is about a dive watch. I have been spearfishing for a long time but I am just now starting to try and become a bit more advanced free diver, I am mostly interested in tracking depth surface and dive times so I believe I could get by with an older more simplistic one seeing as I only have what I would consider a limited use for it right now and don't want to invest a lot of money at this time. I'm just wondering what other applications you guys find the more Advanced Computers to be useful for as well as what the big difference between a basic scuba watch and actual freedive watch are. I don't do much scuba diving or have a watch at this time but if I were going to invest a bit more I would be more inclined to buy a scuba watch so I could use it for both applications, any thoughts on this?

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Old 09-06-2018, 05:40 PM   #10
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Re: NJ Spearfishing setup

Buddy nj has horrible vis 75% of the time and i'm not saying that as a joke. If you were gonna take a long drive to dive on east coast i'd drive to rhode island where the vis is good most of the time. Take a spear charter to block island or something. You could drive 10hrs to nj to see 3ft. Not to mention weather and tide. Its a long ride for poop vis. I gotta drive to detroit on the 17th i will drop you off some fish lol. Dive watch i use a oceanic f10. Mainly just for surface times vs bottom. Not many cheap watches that i know of. Pyle makes cheap one but might as well wear a reg watch at that point. Pyle gives depth, temp and bottom time only and they dont last.
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Old 09-06-2018, 08:16 PM   #11
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Re: NJ Spearfishing setup

The above is the best advice. Rhode Island would be where I would head if I was making that drive. Vis can be terrible there too but its much more consistent then here. You stand a way better chance of getting diveable vis there and having a good time.

The red tape isn't actually so bad here it's the lack of structure to dive in large areas of the state that's a problem. In the northern part of the state there has always been more opportunities for freedivers but it's not much anymore. The shore diving has got incredibly more difficult because of beach replenishment. It's covered almost all of the structure right on the beach and most of what is in reasonable swimming distance. What little is left isn't very exciting.

The 12' foot aluminum is to small for anything in the ocean here and there really isn't any diving to be had in any of our bays. A sit on top kayak launched from the beach close to a dive spot, zodiac etc. would be better but they would have to be launched from an unguarded beach or after hours. Forget about weekends its a zoo. Once your in the ocean you can dive just about anything but let common sense be your guide and stay out of channels. Inlets have regulations but they are pretty straightforward and easy to understand.

Most free dive watches in the $350 price range these days do very similar things because it's a pretty short list of functions that freedivers are looking for. I don't use it for much other than what you described and once in a blue moon I will set a depth alarm. The biggest thing is having all the free dive info you want while diving on one screen so you can just glance at it. The layout of functions on combined scuba free dive computers has generally been annoying in the older ones. I'm sure that has changed by now but you will likely have to pay much more for them than one thats just a straight free dive computer.

Any questions just ask or PM me and I'll try and help you out a bit but you would really be much better off aiming further north.


Please tell us about Michigan diving. Fish you chase, conditions, etc. After all it's only a 10hr drive for us
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Old 09-07-2018, 08:14 AM   #12
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Re: NJ Spearfishing setup

What they ^ said, plus I'll add that NJ/NY shorediving is world class (where else can you regularly get a meter long fish 30 yards from shore?), IF, and thats a hhuuge IF, the vis is good. Mid July is about the only reliable time for vis and fishyness. You can also try October blackfish season in NY. If there are no storms for a week or so, you'll have the 5' vis you need to get 4 fat blackfish.
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