Recent discussion and debate on social media has raised the question, “what makes a good spearo?” with different points of view coming from a range of sources. Asking 10 spearos about what makes a good spearo will probably elicit 10 different answers, but some central concepts will be present in most definitions. Below I’ve shared a list of what (in my experience) makes a good spearo.
Respect comes at the top of my list. Respecting the ocean, practising sustainable methods and respecting other divers is a critical component in the future of spearfishing. The more we can encourage new spearos to respect, the brighter the future will be in terms of access and acceptability. If a spearo is happy to just chase fish in the shallows, catch a feed and show respect to what is going on around them, then in my books they are on the right track.
Experience teaches a spearo when and where to find fish, what the best gear is for a situation and how to approach certain fish in certain situations. Experience grows with time in the water and can be accelerated by learning from other divers (of all skill levels). Observing the techniques used by other spearos helps to build knowledge of the underwater world. Experience diving in different conditions, different climates and different countries not only helps to improve fish sense but also reinforces a respect for the ocean.
Spearing fish to eat is a obviously a key component of spearfishing. A good spearo learns how to select fish to spear and eat. Whether that fish is a 10kg snapper or a 500 gram bream, a good spearo will consider the situation and only take what they need. Knowing when you have enough fish and showing the restraint to put the speargun away is definitely a trait of a good spearo. Some species are vulnerable to spearfishing and good divers know how to spread their take across a range of species and a range of locations.
Can a young spearo be a good spearo or is it reserved only for divers with 20+ years in the water?
I think that there are some incredibly skilled and respectful young spearos that are building a promising future for spearfishing. If a spearo can display the qualities listed above, I would afford them respect regardless of age. Sharing stories and experiences is a big part of the spearo community and some great yarns are spun by young spearos too.
No fish, or gun, or rig, is ever worth risking blackout by diving too deep for too long.
Add your thoughts?
Let me know what you think makes a good spearo and I’ll update the post accordingly.