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Old 01-04-2019, 06:39 PM   #1
Seth U
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Newbie question about shorter spearguns

Hello,

I've been a lobster hunter for over 20 years and over the past couple years I've slowly taken up spearfishing. I'm still a fairly new fish to the sport.

I have 2 main spearguns I use, a 115 Cressi Geranimo Elite and a 115 Rob Allen with a Mantis Roller muzzle.

A week or so back, I was out at Isthmus Cove on Catalina hunting for some Sheephead. I'd really like to land a good sized male, and so far it seems they are pretty good at keeping their distance. Or I'm just not skilled enough yet to close the distance.

I went out that same night for lobster (without my speargun) and wouldn't you know it... I found two, not huge, but very large, Sheephead snoozing under a rock. I kicked myself for not having a gun ready... but then I hate to bring the gun when I'm focusing on lobster hunting.

So, I'm convinced that if I had a short speargun clipped to my belt, it may not be too cumbersome while bug hunting and allow me to take advantage of opportunities like that.

My question is, will a shorty (less than 60cm) speargun have enough power to penetrate and land a decent sized Sheephead (about 24"-30")?
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Old 01-04-2019, 08:19 PM   #2
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Re: Newbie question about shorter spearguns

I have taken a speargun and it is relatively cumbersome. Best method I had was running a floatline to a float (staying out of kelp) so I could drop it whenever I wanted to and not worry about losing it. Now I pretty much always take a polespear. Have gotten sheepshead (15 ish lb) with it. They are pretty sleepy and dumb at night so with a polespear or 60cm you should be able to get close and stick one. Also like to run a small float line off my pole so I can ditch it to mark spots or explore a cave unencumbered.


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Old 01-04-2019, 11:37 PM   #3
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Re: Newbie question about shorter spearguns

Some guys up in my neck of the woods (Monterey/Carmel) regularly shoot big sheephead with smaller guns, mostly in the 70-80cm range. You just have to close the distance. If you can force it to hole up, that will help significantly.

I think think the better solution is what the previous poster recommended, though. Run a float line inline with your gun and leave it on the bottom if you find bugs. If you're bugging at night, put some glow sticks or small lights on your float line. Having anything clipped to you is going to suck when you're trying to crawl under a ledge, and at the end of the day the bigger gun will give you more confidence when the sheeps hang just out of range. Even with a 60-70cm gun, I'd much rather run a float line than clip it to my body.

FWIW, rigging a gun inline is par for the course abalone hunting up north. Back when the fishery was still open, I'd take my gun along even if I didn't plan on shooting fish, because it makes a good hole marker if I find a good crack at the end of a breath hold and want to find it again in shitty viz.
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Old 01-05-2019, 02:55 AM   #4
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Re: Newbie question about shorter spearguns

Larger sheepshead are pretty strong..I always used a double-winged tip for holding power. Large sheepshead and halibut often will spin on the end of your shaft and twist off the spear tip, losing the fish and tip...tthe solution is to put Lock-tite thread sealant on the threads to prevent a spin-off....(available at hardware stores)...I don't recommend polespears unless you have a slip tip and cable on it...otherwise, there is a strong chance of the fish ripping off and wasting a valuable resource..
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Old 01-05-2019, 09:51 AM   #5
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Re: Newbie question about shorter spearguns

I shot the cobia in my avatar with a 60 cm MAKO Predator Gun. As others have mentioned, getting close before you pull the trigger is a big advantage.

https://www.makospearguns.com/Predat...n-p/mpp3gr.htm

dive safe!

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Old 01-05-2019, 06:43 PM   #6
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Re: Newbie question about shorter spearguns

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Ballew View Post
Larger sheepshead are pretty strong..I always used a double-winged tip for holding power. Large sheepshead and halibut often will spin on the end of your shaft and twist off the spear tip, losing the fish and tip...tthe solution is to put Lock-tite thread sealant on the threads to prevent a spin-off....(available at hardware stores)...I don't recommend polespears unless you have a slip tip and cable on it...otherwise, there is a strong chance of the fish ripping off and wasting a valuable resource..


What bob said I always use slip tip on pole spear although no cable. Havenít lost a fish yet not saying it wonít happen but Iím about 20/20 with it.


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Old 01-06-2019, 11:57 AM   #7
Seth U
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Re: Newbie question about shorter spearguns

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish-out-a-wata View Post
I have taken a speargun and it is relatively cumbersome. Best method I had was running a floatline to a float (staying out of kelp) so I could drop it whenever I wanted to and not worry about losing it. Now I pretty much always take a polespear. Have gotten sheepshead (15 ish lb) with it. They are pretty sleepy and dumb at night so with a polespear or 60cm you should be able to get close and stick one. Also like to run a small float line off my pole so I can ditch it to mark spots or explore a cave unencumbered.


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I haven't yet used a floatline and float for anything other than hanging my ab iron on the end of one to mark Abalone locations. In my mind, the idea of carrying anything other than a flashlight in my hand and towing around a float just seems undesirable in most of what I've done so far. Perhaps it's something I should try out and experience.

I like the pole spear idea. Do you have a float on the end of the floatline or just the floatline itself?

Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it.

-Seth-
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:01 PM   #8
Seth U
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Re: Newbie question about shorter spearguns

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew37 View Post
Some guys up in my neck of the woods (Monterey/Carmel) regularly shoot big sheephead with smaller guns, mostly in the 70-80cm range. You just have to close the distance. If you can force it to hole up, that will help significantly.

I think think the better solution is what the previous poster recommended, though. Run a float line inline with your gun and leave it on the bottom if you find bugs. If you're bugging at night, put some glow sticks or small lights on your float line. Having anything clipped to you is going to suck when you're trying to crawl under a ledge, and at the end of the day the bigger gun will give you more confidence when the sheeps hang just out of range. Even with a 60-70cm gun, I'd much rather run a float line than clip it to my body.

FWIW, rigging a gun inline is par for the course abalone hunting up north. Back when the fishery was still open, I'd take my gun along even if I didn't plan on shooting fish, because it makes a good hole marker if I find a good crack at the end of a breath hold and want to find it again in shitty viz.
Thank you Andrew. That's helpful.

-Seth-
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:33 PM   #9
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Re: Newbie question about shorter spearguns

Itís about preference. If itís not a shit float it should tow through the water easily. Just use a short floatline like 25ft. You can go without float and go just float line you just lose some of the visibility. Lousy viz and finding a float is easier than trying to refind just a line underwater if you get surged away from your spot. Try both see what happens.


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Old 01-06-2019, 02:57 PM   #10
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Re: Newbie question about shorter spearguns

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish-out-a-wata View Post
Itís about preference. If itís not a shit float it should tow through the water easily. Just use a short floatline like 25ft. You can go without float and go just float line you just lose some of the visibility. Lousy viz and finding a float is easier than trying to refind just a line underwater if you get surged away from your spot. Try both see what happens.


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To add on to this, if you decide to dive without a float (definitely my preference if iím going to be in and out of kelp) and youíre either weaving through kelp or diving in a current, youíll want a longer float line. Finding the right length is really about trial and error and the conditions on any given day. For a marker line without a float, though, I personally would get a line at least 25ft longer than the depth youíre diving. The length disappears quickly, because itís rarely ever sitting vertically in the water. I nearly lost my gun once in Monterey because I was weaving through thick kelp and my line went almost horizontal in the water. Nothing was left on the surface, and when I dove to find it, the line blended in with kelp stalks. I only found the line because I caught a swivel glistening in the light of my flashlight.

Also, if you do end up attaching glow sticks or lights to it at night, it will probably sink a smidge, and the added bouyancy from the extra line will help keep a big enough portion on the surface for you to find easily. But if youíre not going to be in kelp, a float solves all of those problems. You can run a shorter line and you donít have to add lights to it, because you can just put lights on the float. Really a float only because a problem when the kelp is in thick and youíre dropping in the middle of the kelp bed.
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Old 01-08-2019, 06:39 PM   #11
Seth U
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Re: Newbie question about shorter spearguns

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Originally Posted by Bob Ballew View Post
Larger sheepshead are pretty strong...
Let me ask ya Bob... is it even reasonable to expect to be able to land such a fish without the aid of a float line/float, or at least a reel?
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:27 PM   #12
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Re: Newbie question about shorter spearguns

Really, really short guns don't have much range/power/accuracy but a 7mm shaft and good sharp point will allow you to take pretty big/tough fish with a surprisingly short one.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:38 PM   #13
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Re: Newbie question about shorter spearguns

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth U View Post
Hello,

I've been a lobster hunter for over 20 years and over the past couple years I've slowly taken up spearfishing. I'm still a fairly new fish to the sport.

I have 2 main spearguns I use, a 115 Cressi Geranimo Elite and a 115 Rob Allen with a Mantis Roller muzzle.

A week or so back, I was out at Isthmus Cove on Catalina hunting for some Sheephead. I'd really like to land a good sized male, and so far it seems they are pretty good at keeping their distance. Or I'm just not skilled enough yet to close the distance.

I went out that same night for lobster (without my speargun) and wouldn't you know it... I found two, not huge, but very large, Sheephead snoozing under a rock. I kicked myself for not having a gun ready... but then I hate to bring the gun when I'm focusing on lobster hunting.

So, I'm convinced that if I had a short speargun clipped to my belt, it may not be too cumbersome while bug hunting and allow me to take advantage of opportunities like that.

My question is, will a shorty (less than 60cm) speargun have enough power to penetrate and land a decent sized Sheephead (about 24"-30")?
At night while the fish is holed up?

Yes, absolutely
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Old 01-09-2019, 11:02 PM   #14
Seth U
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Re: Newbie question about shorter spearguns

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At night while the fish is holed up?

Yes, absolutely
Exactly the scenario I'm talking about.

I bought a used JBL Mini Carbine, D5 or D6 I think. It seems fairly unobtrusive when it's clipped to my belt. Total gun length, spear tip to grip is right at 28". Barrel length is just over 40cm. Rubber is 14" x 1/2". I'll give it a try and see what happens.
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:27 PM   #15
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Re: Newbie question about shorter spearguns

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Originally Posted by Seth U View Post
Exactly the scenario I'm talking about.

I bought a used JBL Mini Carbine, D5 or D6 I think. It seems fairly unobtrusive when it's clipped to my belt. Total gun length, spear tip to grip is right at 28". Barrel length is just over 40cm. Rubber is 14" x 1/2". I'll give it a try and see what happens.
If you are going to shoot bigger sheep with a small gun in the dark, please make sure you are close enough to get good penetration. It will be hard to chase down an injured fish that pulls off in the dark. Also, go easy on them and don't shoot them all because you can. They are not a challenging fish to shoot, even the bigger ones, and it's cool seeing the 25 pounders cruising the reef.
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