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Old 04-15-2019, 08:07 AM   #16
grey2112
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Re: Video Highlights from Sunday, April 7th, 2019

Well said. Excellent summary and advice.
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:51 AM   #17
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Re: Video Highlights from Sunday, April 7th, 2019

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that's a difficult situation for sure. every part of your brain wants to be either out of the situation or killing that aggressive animal. that wasn't a bad shark it just felt like it. over time you will be much more relaxed in that situation. not being able to put your powerhead on shows how nervous you were. i used to be there. only after hundreds of encounters and dozens of bad ones can i look at a sharks body language and know exactly what kind of situation i'm in. that shark wanted fish not you and there is no way to satiate his appetite so the best thing to do is either have your dive buddy do shark patrol while you shoot fish or move on to the next spot. that little sandbar is what we refer to as a purse snatcher not a cold blooded killer. it's hard to realize that in the moment. i rarely kill a shark anymore just because i realized you don't need to most of the time. you did great and have some cool video and a story to tell. now you will be better prepared for the next encounter. if you think it was sharky this trip wait till next month!
Thanks for the post.

Yes, in the moment it felt more aggressive. After reviewing the video I realized it wasn't as jacked up as I thought, but it certainly was not afraid of me and keep in mind I didn't have any fish. I literally got to the bottom, turned my head and it was coming at me.

I've been spearfishing now since April 2016. Maybe a couple trips late 2015. Basically about 2 seasons, as last year I didn't have many dives with the passing of my dad. So I've had less than a handful of encounters, none where a shark came directly at me on the bottom. Most have just been cruising by and once I had one buzzing me from below while on the surface. I expect with each encounter, and the experience gained, I will be better prepared.

Next month? I'm wondering how many new bulls were produced over the winter that are preparing to move in late summer.
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:11 AM   #18
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Re: Video Highlights from Sunday, April 7th, 2019

It is good see people offer honest advice and also see the recipients respond without attacks and name calling or other juvenile responses.

If it is one moderately sized shark like that I might try to chase it off. Just because he approached directly and quickly when you don’t have any fish is not that big of a deal. He was curious and definitively checking you out, but it is relevant to look at his subsequent behaviors. Does he keep darting into your comfort zone, is he actively circling, does he have his pecs down, is he amped up and swimming fast?? Those would all be things that would be more concerning compared to an initial inquisitive approach.

I don’t like sharks and have refused to pull the trigger on fish many times and will bail early- especially if I am alone. I’ve only shot one shark and it was probably justified and I have been in a few situations where I should have or would have shot if I had been quick enough. The video does show that Powerheads aren’t always so easy.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:17 AM   #19
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Re: Video Highlights from Sunday, April 7th, 2019

generally if the situation is so bad that you think you need a powerhead you won't have time to load a powerhead. i have found that my powerhead is usually just my safety blanket.

99.9% of the time i use a powerhead on an unexpected commercial cobia or commercial amberjack. show aggression to each shark you encounter. they can read your body language too!

i'll have a video up soon from friday with an example of how i treated a sandbar shark before he got amped up.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:36 PM   #20
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Re: Video Highlights from Sunday, April 7th, 2019

Dealing with a Sandbar

swim at them and give them a hard jab when possible. another great aggressive move is bounce a shaft off of them to establish that you are hunting them. this is a way to set the tone of the dive. i don't like to kill anything that i can't eat but if i feel like my life is in danger i will take action.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:29 PM   #21
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Re: Video Highlights from Sunday, April 7th, 2019

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Originally Posted by jfjf View Post
It is good see people offer honest advice and also see the recipients respond without attacks and name calling or other juvenile responses.

If it is one moderately sized shark like that I might try to chase it off. Just because he approached directly and quickly when you donít have any fish is not that big of a deal. He was curious and definitively checking you out, but it is relevant to look at his subsequent behaviors. Does he keep darting into your comfort zone, is he actively circling, does he have his pecs down, is he amped up and swimming fast?? Those would all be things that would be more concerning compared to an initial inquisitive approach.

I donít like sharks and have refused to pull the trigger on fish many times and will bail early- especially if I am alone. Iíve only shot one shark and it was probably justified and I have been in a few situations where I should have or would have shot if I had been quick enough. The video does show that Powerheads arenít always so easy.
I'm always willing to learn. Sharing mistakes and having respectful productive conversation is the only way to do.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:36 PM   #22
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Re: Video Highlights from Sunday, April 7th, 2019

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Dealing with a Sandbar

swim at them and give them a hard jab when possible. another great aggressive move is bounce a shaft off of them to establish that you are hunting them. this is a way to set the tone of the dive. i don't like to kill anything that i can't eat but if i feel like my life is in danger i will take action.
Interesting to see that shark swam right over that speared hogfish.

Thanks for sharing your video. My only contention with that interaction is if the shark got pissed and turned on you. You would be defenseless.

Kind of like this guy.


I've been taught to establish dominance by swimming at them. Which in my video I held my ground as I was loading the powerhead, but I did not swim toward him. And secondly, I've been taught there should not be a third pass in your space.

I'd certainly enjoy seeing others interactions.
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:18 AM   #23
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Re: Video Highlights from Sunday, April 7th, 2019

i would like to see the entire video and see how long they had been working that spot. were they chumming? did they injure a fish and was it bleeding out on the bottom? did they ignore the shark when it first showed up? sometimes shark are territorial during mating season or when they are about to drop their pups so there is always the chance you find yourself in the presence one that is unreasonable.

you can see in my video i didn't hold my ground i pursued the shark. yes if that shark decided to turn on me i wouldn't stand a chance. that will always be the case. if you are on the bottom and a shark shows up there is no possible way to safely return to the surface and get back into the boat if that shark wants to eat you. what you can to do in every circumstance is establish dominance. i believe that all fish including sharks can sense your emotions and intentions to some degree. a perfect example is when grouper are closed and you have no impulse to shoot one it is then very easy to swim right up to them.

while shooting fish i try to be a sea turtle, when a shark shows up i try to be the bully. this is part of the adventure. there is nothing safe about going offshore, jumping in the water and shooting a fish. all we can do is mitigate the dangers while we face the dragon.
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:26 AM   #24
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Re: Video Highlights from Sunday, April 7th, 2019

I take a very similar approach. I've had a LOT of shark encounters and once I started confronting them they kept their distance even while I was shooting fish. The worst encounter was the 10' bull at Bulkshaft. I knew he was there but ignored him and didn't establish dominance. So it was no surprise when he attacked me after I shot and was stringing the fish. Luckily I still had the shaft in my hand.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:21 AM   #25
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Re: Video Highlights from Sunday, April 7th, 2019

Ill tell you something I do. I always carrey a light. When I see a shark I swim toward it and shine the light at it. They always, so far turn and bolt away. At night with a light I never see a shark even with a bunch of flounder dragging along. I do every few minutes shine the led light behind me at night.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:27 AM   #26
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Re: Video Highlights from Sunday, April 7th, 2019

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At night with a light I never see a shark even with a bunch of flounder dragging along. I do every few minutes shine the led light behind me at night.
I've dove a lot around the Sunshine Skyway in extremely low vis. I've never seen a shark either. Out of sight, out of mind.
Yea, my response to that frisky sandbar would've been to immediately swim at it and try to poke it if I could. Trying this after they've taken a fish and amp'd up isn't very effective.
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