Have you ever thought about learning what you need to know about spearfishing for beginners?
If not and you like fishing and the sea, then you definitely should.
I did, with Spearo Leo and the Spearfishing Today crew.
I’m not even the best swimmer and have never been diving, so it definitely proved to be a new and exciting experience for me.
Here’s what you can expect when you go spearfishing in Mexico for the first time.
Spearfishing for Beginners
I think the first thing to point out is what spearfishing is all about.
You may think that you just remain calm in the water while fish swim by that you then try to shoot with your spear.
Or that you simply go swimming and wait for fish to come up to you and your gun so that it’s an effortless affair.
No, amigo. Like anything in life, you are going to have to work for it.
You’re going to have to swim, dive, hold your breath, equalize, and be patient.
Let’s look at the most important aspects of practicing this sport with Spearfishing Today in Mexico.
#1 You’ll Be Freediving
Are you familiar wth the term freediving? Not everyone is. Also called apnea, and not of the snoring variety, it’s basically the art of holding your breath below water. The trick is to learn and practice how to do so. As a beginner, it may take you some time to get accustomed to it, especially if you’ve never been diving.
One of the aspects of freediving that you’ll have to learn is how to equalize. For those unfamiliar with the term, equalizing is a diving concept that involves regulating the pressure in your middle ear.
The technique is fairly simple and straightforward, especially if you’ve ever flown on an airplane and started to feel that pressure building up in your ears.
What do you do?
Close your nose and blow gently until you feel a popping sensation. Just be careful not to blow too hard as you can cause damage to your ear drums.
When in doubt, ask your Spearfishing Today guide for further tips.
Why not just use tanks you ask?
Because you’re not allowed to spearfish with tanks in Mexico, which is a good thing.
#2 You’ll Need to Hold Your Breathe to Dive for Fish
As mentioned above, this isn’t simply a case where the fish comes to you.
As fish tend to be when they’re in the sea, they’re free to go wherever they want and generally tend to avoid people like you with big pointy objects.
Many of the fish will be located near the seabed, meaning that you will have to practice that equalizing technique first to see what type of fish it is and if you can hunt it (more on that later), and second in order to get within shooting range with your fancy speargun.
Once you think you just may catch that fish and are ready to pull the trigger, remember this: fish are like dogs. They sense it when you’re nervous. Relax, be natural, flow with the water in a zen-like manner, then zaaaaz! You’ve just speared your first fish (or missed and need to try again).
Keep it up!
Leo, the founder of Spearfishing Today, likens it to pursuing a girl on a date: don’t be so obvious about your intentions and act as if you’re uninterested.
#3 You Need to Always Follow Your Guide’s Instructions
There are not a lot of dangers associated with this sport, at least for us humans. That said, however, there are some basic safety rules that are essential that you follow in order to avoid any unfortunate incidents.
First and foremost, always, always, always stay close to your guide and follow his or her’s instructions. In large part, this because the art of freediving or practicing apnea can lead to a person blacking out underwater. Therefore, all activities are performed with a buddy system and in the near proximity of your guide.
Secondly, you really should be careful about how you hold your speargun underwater. You know that sharp end? It can hurt you or your fellow spearfishing mates (called spearos once you officially practice the sport). That’s why you always keep the speargun facedown in the water, and not pointed at the feet or bum of the person in front of you.
Finally, never ever lose sight of the people around you, especially when someone is hunting a fish. Always be aware and maintain a say distance between your fellow spearos and that day’s lunch.
#4 From Sea to Table
Speaking of lunch, a large part of what this is all about has to do with food and where it comes from.
In today’s modern and mass-processed world of fast food and instant gratification, we’ve lost the appreciation for the food we eat and the natural cycle of putting food on the table.
Much like the slow food movement, which favors locally sourced products that are prepared in a loving and conscientious way, we at Spearfishing Today firmly believes in the need to create and be a part of a slow fish movement.
The concept of slow fish is both sustainable and respectful of the environment. We still fish and we still use what we catch for our sustenance, but we do so with the understanding that we eat what we catch, and that spearfishing is a sport but one with the consciousness of going from sea to table.
#5 What Spearfishing Isn’t or Shouldn’t Be About
Even though I’m a newbie to the sport, and still have a long way to go in terms of learning how to freedive properly, I am learning more and more about the concept and what it is and isn’t about. While some, of course, will disagree and follow other practices, I’m happy to know and work for a company that has and follows other principles.
That sounds good but what does it mean?
Put simply, at Spearfishing Today we don’t fish in restricted areas, we never fish anything that is out of season or endangered, and we eat what we catch.
It will still take some time before I can call myself a spearo, but it’s on my bucket list of things I have to do in order to inform you the reader about my trials and tribulations of spearfishing in Cozumel, Holbox, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Cancun.
Yes, I have to combine these beautiful destinations with some time at sea learning how to catch my own fish.