GISLAIS Jean-Yves,

52 years old and 30 years experience in spearfishing. Specialty: sea bass spearfishing with waiting technique.

Spearfishing spots: Quiberon South Britain - France.


In 30 years practice, I specialized in spearing basses with the waiting technique. I mainly spear in south Britain, off the Morbihan coasts and more rarely in the channel.
I dive off the coasts of Quiberon peninsula, in front of Hoédic, Houat and Belle Ile islands,  (see map).  
The sea bottoms range from 2 to 25mt according to the area. At Hoédic they go from 2 to 22mt, at Houat from 2 to 28mt and at Belle Ile from 2 to 35mt. Belle ile and Houat however are characterized by strong currents instead Hoédic that is 25km away from Quiberon, has weaker ones.
The sea bottoms here vary also in type, sand and rocks, rocky platforms covered in sargassos, shoals covered in mussels and pouces-pied (Atlantic crustaceans) and little isles.....
I do like also the warm clear waters of the Mediterranean sea and all its fishes like the snapper. Lately I have mounted a camera under my speargun to shoot and share with as many people as possible, my emotions and my passion. You can watch my videos by clicking HERE.

When do you spear and how is your fishing season?
Since half march to usually the end of November, but the beginning of the season is not so rich in basses. It’s for this reason that I take practice with breams. The latter in fact, contrary to the sea bass, can always be found all the year long, although the cold winter waters. In regards to the sea bass it disappears right because of the cold winter temperatures that in Britain can be reached.

It prefers, for its annual brooding the warmer waters it finds in greater depths, off the coasts of Belle Ile. (it’s ironic that right in this period the trawling is allowed, seriously threatening the resource)
During April, when the water temperature rises, we can see the first basses coming up to shallow waters from greater depths. This phenomena takes generally place with the best weather conditions.

After some warmer days, in the absence of wind the sea bass usually appears, a little nervous at the start and remains more regularly between 18 and 20mt until the end of May/half June according to the temperature of the water.

Below 12 degrees, we will see a few specimen but above 15 degrees there will be plenty of basses, especially in very shallow waters.


Weather conditions, the moon and tides certainly affect the presence of fishes and the depth at which we find them. Off the coasts of Quiberon, since June, we can find the fishes at any depth even in shallow waters.
The big ones love swimming in 2 metres water among the strips of sand warmed by the sun or among the sargassos.

I prefer spearing basses in deeper waters between 12 and 22mt, July is generally the best month while August is poorer in fishes because of the traffic below and above the surface…so the touristic season obliges to go deeper.
To find again the bass on regular basis in shallow waters you need to wait until the end of august.


By the way the return of the gilthead bream among the mussel breeding installations, occurs in the same period and it is a moment many local spearos long for.
However in September and October the weather is usually unpredictable and the Atlantic here is not like the Mediterranean sea.
If falli s nice and the water temperature is high, great schools of basses do tend to remain few days longer in the area of Quiberon, as they say you need to be in the right place …
In November there might be strong winds, in some years, and this might clearly lomit the practice of our sport …in addition finding fishes might mean diving deep even if some big specimen might stay longer in their shallow shelters among the rocks.


Which technique and which equipement do you use for your kind of fishing?

I usually spear with the waiting technique and I also use that particular technique that implies the use of a drift pulled by the boat that allows you to explore a wider area with low efforts and in very discrete way.

This technique considerably increases the chances to stay in touch with the fish for most of its way. In case it goes in a hole I avoid shooting into it but I use the crawling technique and I wait until it gets out again in order to preserve the hole as shelter for the fishes.

For this kind of fishing I use a 100cm railgun equipped with a shaft 115cm long and 6.5mm wide, long barb and reel (can’t spear without) with 35mt of line. I use this configuration as it allows me to spear either in clear waters or in muddy ones! This is the evident advantage of a short shaft that allows you to shoot even in the holes…
In Britain there are not only basses but also mullets, gilthead breams, cods, vieilles and other local species that you will find in all you dives here. 


Gislais Jean Yves

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