Jacopo Giandominici and Tiziana Martinelli,

are both fipsas instructors and great deep spearfishers. They are a couple in and out of the water and they fell in love with the Giglio island so they will take us in journey among great dentex, amberjacks and groupers...



What is your spearfishing philosophy?

We both love speafishing the big ones in open waters. We both live this passion as a real lifestyle rather than as a sport, we don’t like to call it that way, and we don’t like the competition environment either as it tends to keep the challenge spirit among men. The real essence of this activity instead is diving in to the water to be part of something bigger.

Where are your usual fishing spots?

We live in Umbria away from the sea, only 110km away is the Adriatic sea but the fishes we like to spear cannot be found in that portion of sea so we need to face a week-end out to get to the gorgeous Giglio island in Tuscany.

There we have a small house on rent, a small dinghy that we share with another friend and all the equipment we need to catch big snappers.

Which techniques do you prefer?

We are used to spear fish with crawling and waiting technique either in shallow or deep waters.

What kind of sea bottoms can we find around that Island?

Mostly granitic ones ranging from falls of rocks going deeper than 30mt to enormous rocks lying on the sand or some shoals off the coasts.

You can also find some seaweed prairies in which you can see red snappers schools or some big brown groupers.

Is the water often clear or there is usually a low visibility?

It depends on the period f the year, it is generally clear but in spring it might get to “only” 3-4mt if there is abundant rain. Then during the summer the visibility improves until it gets to 30mt in autumn. After the first winter disturbances it worsen again.

Are there any currents or other things limiting the practice of this activity?

Very often there are strong currents and it is wise to properly evaluate their intensity to dive safely.

However the most important aspect is the wind: if a strong gregale or sirocco blows there is no way to leave the port with the dinghy but because of the varied morphology of the coast it is always easy to find a place to enter into the water by feet.

What kind of weather should we expert there and what season is best to spearfish?

Here you can find a Mediterranean weather, even if lately Seasons have changed irregularly. Generally from June to October you can fish wearing a 5mm wetsuit as the surface water temperature ranges from 16-17 to 24 degrees; This is also the best period to find all the kinds of fishes living in our sea.

What kind of preys are more common over there?

The most coveted one is certainly the red snapper but you can also find groupers, amberjacks and barracudas beyond white breams and corbs, you can find instead more rarely gilthead breams and sea basses.

What habits do they have?

According to the season, the water temp and many other factors our common preys can be find at different depths.

The rocky coast slopes rapidly down almost all around the island so many fishes find their own shelter very deep or in inaccessible places.

Generally white breams, mullets and some barracuda can be found no deeper than 8-10mt instead for all the others it is requested to dive deeper to at least 15-18mt.

In regards to the common dentex they usually live beyond 20mt and you need a perfect technique to catch them.

The best period to fish them is spring and autumn when the sun is not too high on the horizon. They can be found also in the summer but the massive traffic on the surface and the great thermal excursion in the water influence their behaviour.

We under stand you are not scared of depth, how deep do you spearfish?

Jacopo:depth is a matter that must be faced gradually, with the help o fan expert. After some years of practice and training I can dive beyond 30mt, however my catches are mostly made between 18 and 26mt.

Tell us about the shoals around the Island

The pignocchi shoal togheter with the isolotti delle scole are the easier spots to reach even whithout a dinghy. We often go over there and it is not rare finding amberjacks and common dentex.

In both places it is also easy to find strong currents, moreover the bottom slopes rapidly to depth so you’d better avoid going there alone.

Another great spot to meet the big ones is the shoal called la Secca della Croce that is 600mt off the coast and the top of it is at 7mt depth (the 7 mt point is really small). To reach such a place you need a boat and you also need to know the area in order to properly anchor. Because of the depth and the currents it is a very challenging spot but if you know the place you can dive and try catching dentex, amberjacks and barracudas within 15mt.

On the west coast we can find a large bay called Cala del corvo where there is a shoal from which start several rocky crests at different depths.

The scoglio di Pietrabona is also very interesting. On the open sea side it slopes to the bottom with a rocky “tongue” and after it has reached a canal it gives birth a little shoal where there is a strong current and a sedentary school of white breams.

Are there any spearfishing restrictions in your area?

Sure as in the rest of Italy you can catch up to 5Kg of fishes or a fish bigger than that and molluscs like octopuses and cuttlefishes instead shellfishes are forbidden. You can take also the sea urchins that are really good to season the pasta.

Would you suggest anything to anybody wishing to spear in you area?

Yes, do not go on your own but with someone that already knows the area.

Tell us about your instructor activity

We want to give something to all those who try to dive and spear without a guide and because of their incorrect beliefs they risk their own lives. Our sport is very dangerous if it is practiced without being aware of what you do.

So encouraged by some friends of ours we have attended a fipsas course. We have already organised our first 2months course but we plan also shorter ones (a week end long) right on the island and in Città di Castello near PERUGIA. For further info you can send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call +39 349-600-11-43.

Tell us a spearfishing story of yours

Tiziana:Me and Jacopo we are leaving the port on the dinghy and I’m already focused, I feel I’m going to get my best catch. I start rocking in the dinghy and I close my eyes breathing deeply. Jacopo is heading to my preferred shoal and we agreed that the first dives will be mine.

We are finally there, I get in the water without hesitation and I swim to the best spot. I make a short dive and to better fit the suit I let air get out of it.

There we are, Jacopo is next to me giving me the last advice, I’m completely relaxed and focused at the same time; I dive.

Once on the bottom I see the blue damselfishes grouped as a wall on the left, I’m waiting for the ghosts…there they are on the right swimming at the limit of my visibility.

A big barracuda passes over my head but I do not care, the dentex disappear for a moment and suddenly they come back really aggressively. My heart starts pumping faster making holding the breath very difficult. At first I do not know whether to shoot or not but I want to be sure so I wait. I cannot hold the breath any longer; since I first saw them I focused on one specimen in particular, I did not know why but I knew It would have been the first to approach…and so it comes! I shoot it on the head and I go straight to the surface and before I breath again I shout: “gotcha!” After a while we where both on the dinghy admiring the beautiful prey.

Jacopo:Me Tiziana and my brother Niccolò we left the port  with our dinghy in the early afternoon. After a few hours of spearfishing the sea was getting nasty because of strong sirocco so we decided to get back to the port but in my head I had the only idea to try a dive in a very well-known spot with those extreme conditions.

I asked my mates to assist me in this last dive and they accept to stay on the dinghy among waves increasing in size. I soon realized I could sea the bottom from the surface.

I dive few meters to locate myself in relation to the bottom then I relax and dive down. Once I get on the bottom I soon see a big dentex on the left so I aim at it but it disappears. After few seconds another big specimen is coming toward me from another direction. It is alone So I turn the speargun keeping it down on the rocks while it hides behind a rock.

I know from my experience that when it shows up from the other side of the rock for some instants it will head to me so I decide to forestall its move. I leave my shelter and I move a couple of meters ahead and it works!

I shoot it and it furiously swims away but I decide to force the surfacing to avoid any problem. I see the happiness in the sight of my mates when I raise a 7 kilos dentex out of the water!




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