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Old 08-23-2012, 04:44 AM   #1
insinuasian
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Newbie to Spearfishing in the Monterey area

Hello all,
My name is Darek. I have been lurking around this board for a while now. I finally decided to take the leap and give spearfishing a try. I enjoy fishing the coast here in Monterey/PG/Carmel, but now I figured I would like to try something new. More then a few times I got skunked fishing from the kayak or from the shore, only to find a spear fisher with a stringer full of fish.

So far I just want to get into the water and take a look around before I go down with a spear. I picked up a cheap medium 6.5 farmer john deep see wetsuit. It was used, but it was cheap enough for me to try the sport out without breaking the bank and later upgrading if I fully get into the sport.

I am also going to use a decent mask/snorkel/fin combination that I had from our vacations to hawaii and snorkling there. Again, there are better choices out there, but I think this would be adequate to get me into the water and taking a look around to see if I want to go further and upgrade later.

I figure I need to get a hood, gloves, weights/belt, and something for my feet. A speargun (JBL 38special) was suggested to me if I wanted to go that route. Anyone have any idea what thickness for a hood I should go with for going out in the monterey bay? What about something for my feet? I notice that there are socks (with traction rubber) and some that are more like shoes. Which would be more appropriate? Lastly how much weight would I need? It was suggested for me to get 10% of my body weight plus 2 pounds due to my suit. Does this sound correct? This means I need about 18lbs, perhaps 19.

Also any other tips for going out into Monterey bay? I figure that I will gather all the gear and mess around off lovers point just to make sure everything works ok and I am not freezing or baking (no spear/fishing/etc since its not legal on the northern side)

Thanks
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:06 AM   #2
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Re: Newbie to Spearfishing in the Monterey area

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Originally Posted by insinuasian View Post
Hello all,
My name is Darek. I have been lurking around this board for a while now. I finally decided to take the leap and give spearfishing a try. I enjoy fishing the coast here in Monterey/PG/Carmel, but now I figured I would like to try something new. More then a few times I got skunked fishing from the kayak or from the shore, only to find a spear fisher with a stringer full of fish.

So far I just want to get into the water and take a look around before I go down with a spear. I picked up a cheap medium 6.5 farmer john deep see wetsuit. It was used, but it was cheap enough for me to try the sport out without breaking the bank and later upgrading if I fully get into the sport.

I am also going to use a decent mask/snorkel/fin combination that I had from our vacations to hawaii and snorkling there. Again, there are better choices out there, but I think this would be adequate to get me into the water and taking a look around to see if I want to go further and upgrade later.

I figure I need to get a hood, gloves, weights/belt, and something for my feet. A speargun (JBL 38special) was suggested to me if I wanted to go that route. Anyone have any idea what thickness for a hood I should go with for going out in the monterey bay? What about something for my feet? I notice that there are socks (with traction rubber) and some that are more like shoes. Which would be more appropriate? Lastly how much weight would I need? It was suggested for me to get 10% of my body weight plus 2 pounds due to my suit. Does this sound correct? This means I need about 18lbs, perhaps 19.

Also any other tips for going out into Monterey bay? I figure that I will gather all the gear and mess around off lovers point just to make sure everything works ok and I am not freezing or baking (no spear/fishing/etc since its not legal on the northern side)

Thanks

As you might have already seen, the area is densely covered in kelp these days. So make sure that you are not trying to swim on the kelp but move around under the kelp beds, in other words, move around underwater-inside the kelp forests- and go to the surface to rest/breathe.

From what I know, north of LoversPoint is OK to spearfish, ie. otter cove. There is a small parking area near otter cove and I usually park my car there and climb down to dive. But it all depends on how good of a swimmer you are. If you dive to see how things are behaving in the water, Lovers Point beach is ideal. Anyone can hold his/her breath; important thing is to exercise the breath-holding techniques to improve and increase the time spent underwater and go to the pool to swim regularly to build confidence and ease your entry/exit to the water.

About the gear, the wetsuit you described sounds like it may be enough, but note that the bonding between the particles will loosen as you dive deeper and deeper with neoprene. So if your wetsuit was used by a scuba diver under greater pressure for longer time than that of a freediver's wetsuit, it would still feel to the hand like a 6.5mm, but it will not keep you as warm. Also, if you are wearing open-heel fins, be careful not to get tangled on the kelp. The belt behind my open heel fins kept getting tangled during my first dives, so I switched to a closed heel freediving fins.

It may be ideal for you to carry a boogie board and store your catch on it. You may want to attach a stringer on the boogie board or a mesh bag to keep yourself afloat while getting to the spot you want to hunt at and consume less energy.
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:51 AM   #3
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Re: Newbie to Spearfishing in the Monterey area

good advice. Thank you
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:02 PM   #4
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Re: Newbie to Spearfishing in the Monterey area

I would highly recommend you join the Monterey Bay Tritons. Part of diving and spearfishing is of course, doing it safely, but also to be around friends who can be part of the success of your hunt. This network of people will give you a great resource to learn from and provide your own thoughts and education too.

We have a great club with a diverse experience level and I personally invite you to join our club dive and meeting on September 8th in Monterey. We will have a casual dive in the morning and then a meeting at 3pm at the Black Bear Diner. Amadeo will be there to show his paintings and offer us some great deals and we will be discussing a few kayak rigging options to make kayak diving more successful.

Secondly, our membership has a private forum within Spearboard where you can talk with members more openly about your experiences and get some good feed back about how to grow your diving skills and spearfishing levels.

You can see some details about our club at www.montereybaytritons.com

Thanks again and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:14 PM   #5
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Re: Newbie to Spearfishing in the Monterey area

If your new to the kelp, take a big stalk and bite it. You will be surprised at how easily it snaps. Whenever I've brought a new diver out they always have giant knives strapped to their legs, and when i ask them what for they say to cut out of kelp if they get tangled. Typically knives and fin straps are what get tangled so i just have a small knife almost exclusively for braining fish strapped to my inner forearm.
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:20 PM   #6
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Re: Newbie to Spearfishing in the Monterey area

^ What they all said.

For gear you can use scuba gear, but from what I've heard freedive gear totally changes the game. That said, I dive in a 7mm one pc scuba suit and use some old jet fins. Hardly ideal but it all still works. I'm using a 3mm hood, but I know some guys like 5mm for warmth, and my buddy doesn't like a hood. My booties have some grip on the bottom and it works for open-heel fins. But if you're going with closed heel fins (most all freediving fins are), I have no clue what works. With all that, I'm using about 12lbs of weight. For reference, I'm 5'5" and weigh about 170. It all depends and will take a few trips to dial it in unless you bring some weight on a float.

I'd highly recommend checking out the Tritons to get started. But if you really want, I've got a hood and some size 9 booties you can borrow if you want to join up with me on Saturday. I'm just checking out a spot or two in Monterey and would love some company.
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:40 AM   #7
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Re: Newbie to Spearfishing in the Monterey area

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But if you really want, I've got a hood and some size 9 booties you can borrow if you want to join up with me on Saturday. I'm just checking out a spot or two in Monterey and would love some company.
Thank you for the invite. I have a family party this weekend, plus I think it will be another week or so before I get my gear together. I live in pacific grove, so for future reference if you need a buddy, let me know. Maybe by next weekend (labor day) I should have gotten what I need to give everything a test run.
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:28 AM   #8
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Re: Newbie to Spearfishing in the Monterey area

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they always have giant knives strapped to their legs
100% agree, I ditched my knife a few dives ago after having it get tangled to everything.

If i want to brain a fish, I'll just bite its head too
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Old 08-24-2012, 07:36 PM   #9
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Re: Newbie to Spearfishing in the Monterey area

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Old 08-24-2012, 08:40 PM   #10
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Re: Newbie to Spearfishing in the Monterey area

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100% agree, I ditched my knife a few dives ago after having it get tangled to everything.

If i want to brain a fish, I'll just bite its head too
A couple of years ago I got snagged by some mono from H&L shore fisherman. Knife can be pretty helpful !! Another dive buddy had a fish hole up and while trying to remove it his shooting line wrapped around his flashlight lanyard and pinned him to a rock, sometimes a knife is pretty important. Just saying !!!
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:42 PM   #11
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Re: Newbie to Spearfishing in the Monterey area

well i have it on my belt now. not on my massive thigh
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:51 AM   #12
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Re: Newbie to Spearfishing in the Monterey area

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For gear you can use scuba gear,
Sorry I know the posting is kinda old but...... thats what we do and we have a great time underwater plus grab our guns just in case.


Hey the question I got is how does lovers point have a north and west side? to me it seems like east and west(right and left of the point). Last time we dove, we went down the steps right across from were sea palm/mermaid/ocean view meet. Is that considered the north side?
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:13 PM   #13
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Re: Newbie to Spearfishing in the Monterey area

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Sorry I know the posting is kinda old but...... thats what we do and we have a great time underwater plus grab our guns just in case.


Hey the question I got is how does lovers point have a north and west side? to me it seems like east and west(right and left of the point). Last time we dove, we went down the steps right across from were sea palm/mermaid/ocean view meet. Is that considered the north side?
The real diver dan?
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:03 AM   #14
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Re: Newbie to Spearfishing in the Monterey area

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The real diver dan?
Nope fake.... Btw thanks for your help
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