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Diving Safety, Accidents and Incidents Post here to discuss accidents, incidents, ideas, gear, or anything else to improve spearfishing safety. Memorials and condolences threads should be placed in that separate forum.

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Old 08-27-2012, 11:25 AM   #1
Gator.Lynch
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How big of deal are sharks?

SO let me start by saying I am not the one worrying about sharks. I understand they are there and I am going to encounter them, I understand that. They don't bother me; my friend on the other hand is constantly worried about sharks whenever I take him out with me. That is the only thing he is ever worried about and no matter how much I tell him he is still convinced they are going to eat him. I quote "I could careless about everything else, sharks just freak me out". I was hoping you could shed some light on how big of a deal sharks really are.
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:00 PM   #2
apexpredator
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Re: How big of deal are sharks?

Sharks are only a big deal when they start trying to chew on you. When I dove Miami and the Keys almost exclusively I thought folks were shark wusses. I dove regularly with a string type stringer attached to a d-ring on my weight belt or simply stuffed my diveskin full of dead and sometimes not so dead fish to avoid repeated trips to the boat. Swimming all day with basically a mess of dead & dying fish attached to my body most of the day.

Then I started diving the Palm Beaches and thought...there may be something to this shark "worry". Loosing fish to bull sharks and having to poke more than the occasional requiem shark off made me think hanging a chum block to my waistline might be a bad idea.

In 2006 I moved to the treasure coast and then this entire shark 'paranoia' thing changed for good. I have not only experienced a higher number of shark sightings but these experiences include several close calls and many hair raising encounters. Add to this that visibility of 15-20ft is very good and anything better is considered outstanding then you see the wisdom in swimming every fish back to the boat and checking your six with more regularity.

Now do I let such things scare me out of the water for good....no..I actually enjoy seeing sharks and diving with them is part of the reality of diving here (anywhere north of Jupiter all the way to Ft Pierce). There are times of the year when we actually get very excited to see bulls as we know they are likely to have cobia in tow and we target them when they are. We understand the necessity of watching each others back and the importance of having someone driving the boat who is prepared to come to aid a cornered freediver by buzzing in and plucking you out of a sticky situation. We warn others (invited newcomers) of how bad it can get and of the importance of depositing every speared fish into the boat ASAP to avoid causing unwanted attention of the toothy greysuit kind.

While some say we push it we also know when enough is enough and we call it quits when a pair turns into a gang or a bull turns into a bully....particularly in poor visibility situations. An exploratory 'nibble' from a 10ft 800+LB bull will likely kill you and none of us are ready to tempt our fates for just one more big sheepshead, fat grover or copperbelly gag. Let your spidey senses tell you when it is time to quit...good luck and Happy Hunting
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:23 PM   #3
kmoose
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Re: How big of deal are sharks?

Sharks are much less dangerous than sharing the road with teenage drivers holding cell phones.....
Dealing with sharks is part of competeing for the same prey as all the rest of the apex preds your in the water with. I truely think it's one of the better parts of the harvest activity that keeps our method more exclusive. Enjoy learning about them and how to keep safe.
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Old 08-29-2012, 09:49 PM   #4
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Re: How big of deal are sharks?

sharks dont kill you , its the large loss of blood that does that trick
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