This type of spearfishing is practiced by many people (experts and beginners) but in my opinion often without the necessary consciousness of what it entails. This article aims at providing all those who are starting to approach this kind of activity with a list of helpful tips and tricks to solve different problems that usually occur. Some suggestions may seem obvious and make you smile but bear in mind two fundamental laws of the sea :


• A simple thing on the ground can turn into a quite complicated one  in the  water (tie or untie a knot, put a fin , etc.).

• Even the most insignificant thing , in the water can cause very serious problems so it is wise to pay close attention to everything , especially to every detail of our equipment .


After this due preamble let’s go to the practice :


1 . The buoy is a mandatory and the flag on the aquascooter air intake tube cannot take over the use of the buoy. I've seen people, fishing without buoy, who anchored directly the aquascooter that miserably flooded because it was not designed to float when subjected to the traction exerted by the current on the anchor line. The buoy ( better if a torpedo) gets the traction when used and also represents an irreplaceable support in case you get tired ... and it happens.


2 . The buoy must be connected to the aquascooter with a thick rope no shorter than 1.5 / 2 metres for a very simple reason , if the rope is shorter than that your fins will tend to hit the buoy or the spearguns handles during navigation making you rub your heels. This can make you lose your fins ... that sink .


3 . If you need to get close to you the aquascooter do not pull the rope that connects it to the buoy because it tends to unbalance . Choose rather to get near it by fins or pull it with great circumspection.


4 . Everybody fits the GPS device on the air intake tube with an elastic band at about half the height, but if you do not use the water aerobics sausage around the aquascooter it would be appropriate to lower the GPS towards the base every time you dive because the presence of the device at the center of the tube strongly affects the its center of gravity, and consequently it dangerously inclines towards the water in case of a stiff breeze .


5 . Once the desired spot is reached you can anchor with no probs, because you have to dispel the myth that a small object sliding towards the bottom scares the fishes . In many cases the opposite is true .


6 . The length of the anchor line must be proportionate to the strength of the current. If you are fishing at a depth of 18 meters it is clear that you should unroll 18 metres, but in the case of strong current you’d better unroll 22/23 meters so that it is harder for the buoy to slide away.


7 . Several things may be used as lines for the safety buoy , a thick nylon or the reel line, in each case it would be appropriate to install at the end one meter of a thicker rope to cope with normal abrasions. In order to reduce the tension in the case of strong current you could use some elastic rope if you are not provided with those bungee strings recently put on the market and able to stretch to 300%.


8 . Three things in my opinion you should always take with you as they solve many problems:


a) The Dyneema obus: if the guns we carry are equipped with them, you should always take them with you;

b ) A mask strap: it is a part of the equipment subjected to continuous stress and finding yourself off the coast or even worse on the shoreline ready  to dive with an unusable mask is particularly mortifying ;

c ) An extra anchor: you can opt for a smaller one (up to 500gr) to facilitate transportation but it is really and always useful because if you lose for any reason the original one, you are obliged either to use a belt lead ( with obvious disadvantages ) or sadly go back home.


9 . Once you anchor the buoy , the latter must be used as point of reference to find again the spots on the bottoms from the surface. In other words you will have to dive moving along an imaginary circle having the buoy as its center and you will thus avoid having to move away in one direction only.


10 . If you find a good hole, once you have shot your prey you may leave the shaft on the bottom and unroll the line in the reel to the surface. This is to allow you to pick up the buoy and bring it right on top of the hole and subsequently mark the spot with the GPS device for the next time . Otherwise you can think of to getting the same result by counting the fin kicks from the emersion point to the buoy in order to be able to make the journey back but it is not an accurate method and it is particularly ineffective in the presence of current .


11 . If for any reason you leave the shaft on the bottom, in the next dive try to reach the bottom without ever touching the line, maintaining eye contact with the latter about a meter away. You cannot imagine how easy it is to get the fins or worse the belt leads caught in the line if you go down as a professional deep freediver along the cable (one hand over the other pulling you down or up). In the presence of current then try to keep the line to your left or right.


12 .Before getting into the water always precisely locate some good points to get easily out of the water in case of emergency because in such an event you should not waste time to find them. The good points are clearly small coves sheltered from the wind or stretches of beach that are not preceded by several meters of very shallow waters (in case of rough sea, waves grow taller right there) . These points should also be associated to points of reference such as buildings , trees or structures in order to be easily identifiable between the waves.


13 . When moving from one spot to another very often in order to save time during the navigation with the aquascooter you tend to keep the speargun under your arm instead to place it under the buoy . In this case try to not keep the speargun close to the propeller grid as its line can easily be sucked in and cause the immediate shutdown of the aquascooter , especially if the clutch is kept slow for obvious reasons of fishing .


14. Always fish against the current because if the vehicle lets you down in the sea (no fuel or other) it will be easier to go back to the shore. If you don’t do so you entrust your safety to the aquascooter, count instead on your strengths and your common sense.


15 . If after the first dive, 500 meters off the coast, anything happens to your aquascooter and it does not start again, do not waste time fishing especially if there is a lot of fishes around, because the hunting instinct will take you to commit your energies in fishing instead of in your safe wayback to the shore.


16 . Take into account the legal requirements regarding the maximum distance from the coast.


17. In any case, whether you hear an incoming boat or not, reach the surface turning around yourself and watching upwards, this will allow you to explore the surface from all directions .




18. Fishing with a buddy should be always encouraged of our own safety but keep in mind that especially in this type of fishing even this method has severe limitations in terms of safety if you do not dive with a single speargun alternately .


• From the moment you get the syncope (loss of consciousness )your heart beats in average for no longer than 8 minutes before it stops. At that stage the brain is no longer oxygenated and its cells begin to die after 3-4 minutes ;

• Under cold water this period can reach up to 10 minutes;

• However, the reanimation ( CPR ) can not take place in water and must be carried out in dry (cardiac massage can be performed only on a firm, level surface )

• Syncope is not a cause of death itself but the loss of consciousness causes the flooding of the lungs ( drowning). In some cases, however, there is a strong contraction of the jaw muscles clenching the mouth and preventing the flooding of the lungs. This gives a few minutes more in case of an accident whether the subject remains on the bottom or on the surface. (source " manual di apnea" pellizzari - Tovaglieri editions Mursia)


So imagine the scenario in which two people are fishing with aquascooter on a spot 700 meters off the coast and 50 meters away from each other ( as it often happens ) . If your mate gets a syncope you only have 12 minutes before he gets irreversible brain damage (or worse death) to:


a) realize what is happening;

b ) reach the point where the mate was fishing ( 50 mt );

c ) oxygenate trying to calm down;

d ) find him on the bottom;

e) bring him back up;

f ) fasten him as good as possible and bring him back to the shore, bearing in mind that on average an aquascooter with only one person to carry covers the distance of 700 meters in about 10 minutes;


You might say that maybe somebody on a boat passes by and helps us out but I guarantee that this never happens when you really need it and relying on the "possibility" that some casual and providential assistance arrives from nowhere is not a good premise for spearfishing off the coast . However, for the record, it should be noted that the same source mentions some cases in which fortuitous combinations made some people survive even after several dozen of minutes from the syncope so we must not give up and do our best to save the victim even after the time limit.


By this I mean that a fishing buddy is always a good thing and you should always have it in the sea but you have to realize that his ability to provide assistance is very limited when you are in open water with an aquascooter as sole mean of transportation. Therefore it is essential to be aware of what you do more than when you fish near the coast. You also have to consider that a prolonged apnea may paradoxically be risky for your buddy too. The latter in fact in the attempt to save you asap could forget the basic safety rules. The above-mentioned source therefore asks possible rescuer to act in a thoughtful and breath properly before diving again.

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