Spearfishing Techniques: Ambush

The ambush is in my opinion one of the most noble and hardest to master spearfishing techniques

Ambush Spearfishing Technique

The idea is to glide silently along the bottom structure using the environment to conceal the approach and get close to unsuspecting fish. The ambush is mostly done on the bottom but can also be done from the surface or by slowly looking over an underwater ledge.


Fish Fact

As you may already know, besides great vision and hearing fish a special sensory system called the lateral line. It is a have a row of receptors along both sides of a fish’s body that helps them feel pressure waves of your sounds and movement. Again in addition to their inner ear they have the lateral lines. That’s two senses for sound! This is why being silent is important.

I Don’t Get It

Imagine that you can see the pressure waves you make come off of you like light. If you are mid water your light goes everywhere. If you swim with a lot of commotion your light gets brighter and travels further. All the fish will hear (feel) you and be long gone before you are in range to see them. Go on to page 2 to read about applying the Ambush Technique.

Spearfishing Ambush Technique

Ambush Applied

Here is a breakdown of how the Ambush method of spearfishing can be used.

  • Be silent/slow/deliberate – Make an effort to minimize sound. Check your equipment. For example on the weight belt, leave enough space between your weight so they don’t “clink”. A rubber weight belt is good so the weight doesn’t slide around. Keep your fins off the rocks and from touching each other. Stay “dim” by moving slow.
  • Use structure – Get to the bottom and allow the structure to block and deflect your light (pressure waves). Use large structure to conceal larger movements.
  • Plan your route – try to see what structure you are going to use to hide your progress to a given position.
  • Use the free hand – It is very difficult to swim close to the bottom and not touch it with the fins unless the free hand is used to pull oneself along. It’s a cool technique for getting really low on the bottom. If you are doing it right you will be so low that your elbow on your gun hand will have to be cocked to the side like the “A” for the YMCA song. 🙂

A speargun between 30″ and 36″ is ideal. Some length is needed to pull off a good shot if a fish detects the approach. The speargun is  short enough to move around and quickly adjust. When you come over a rock or ledge the fish may be right against the structure unaware or already in motion if it sensed you.

That’s All For Now

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