PNW Spear Fishing Education...

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scubnewb
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PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by scubnewb » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:20 pm

So I know there are some serious animal lovers here and I respect that :notworthy: . I love to look at critters as well but I also enjoy catching my own food :burntchef: so please respect that as well :highfive: .

One of the reasons I wanted to learn to dive was to learn to spearfish but havent found alot of people who are into it (or at least not publically :smt064 ) and cant find to much info on it locally as well.

So does anyone want to give me the break down on when, where to, where not to, how, licensing, leagalities and anything else someone who has never done this might want to know... Equiptment reccomendations as well are important to me as well.


Also where I can find other like minded peoples :grouphug:


Thanks...
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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by CaptnJack » Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:12 pm

Legalities are here: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/

The rules change fairly frequently and the fines for violating them are steep. So you should really read up on the area and species you are interested in yourself. This is one issue you don't want to trust potentially out-of-date word of mouth.
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scubnewb
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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by scubnewb » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:46 pm

Thanks for the advice... Definitly aware the rules are always changing when it comes to the fisheries and wildlife department lol... Dont want to be the guy who bags a animal that would of been fine last year but kicks you in the ass the next year, I have seen that happen with hunting before.

CaptnJack wrote:Legalities are here: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/

The rules change fairly frequently and the fines for violating them are steep. So you should really read up on the area and species you are interested in yourself. This is one issue you don't want to trust potentially out-of-date word of mouth.
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do."
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renoun
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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by renoun » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:55 pm

The synopsis is that there may be more spear fishing going on that people discuss online because it tends to be somewhat controversial in the diving community. As a practical matter the regulations aren't particularly friendly for spear fishing, the Ling Cod season is typically about three weeks, there are many places where it wouldn't be healthy to eat bottom fish on a regular basis, you can't take rockfish except on the coast and western straits, one's shore diving options are very limited, and you usually need a boat to get to the places were it would be appropriate to harvest Cabazon which is the most appealing fish that is usually open. There are also opportunities for divers to legally take crab and scallops which can be appetizing.
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scubnewb
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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by scubnewb » Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:25 pm

Oh trust me I know its a "controversal" topic among the "diving community" but I have never been the type to not ask about something, or state something because its PC to do or not to do something. In the great words of the greatest Hockey coach to ever live, Freddy "The Fog" Shero...

If you don't want to be criticized, say nothing, do nothing, and be nothing...

With that said the whole reason I am asking is to find out (and maybe open a can of worms) where I should be looking to do this type of fishing and where I can find other individuals who are involved in it as well. With 36 plus views and a whopping 2 ppl actually commenting it tells me that there are either alot of people who dont want people knowing they are speros lol... Or there are alot of people who dont have anything positive to add and politely are respecting the fact that I amchosing to try this and are respectfully keeping the negative comments to themselves (THANK YOU).

Obviously I am not looking to go spear fishing off cove 2 or any other park or popular dive site that we all enjoy diving weekly or even daily here in our area, that would just be a dick move on anyone part, plus I wouldnt eat anything that lives in the more populated ares and city, toxic 2 headed babies for sure lol. And I am not looking to go spear abunch of fish and leave em on the beach for the joy of just killing for fun, that is also a dick move.

Occassionally I like to head out with friends, do some fishing, crabbing or what have you, and catch enough to eat, cook it right there on the spot and enjoy some buttery crab, or great fish with some cold suds and shoot the shit. Im not looking to catch more than I can eat that day, so if I have the choice of spearing that cod I saw at EUP (THIS GUY WAS HUGE, WISH I HAD A CAM) that was as big as my couch or spearing a cod that is as big as my arm. Im gonna go with the arm sized fella cuz I cant eat a couch sized cod in one sitting lol...

At this point I have found some very informational post from Greatful Diver regarding spear fishing in some old post on some boards other then this one. But those were from 2007 and umm... I am looking for something a little fresher. <--- no pun intended :smt064

Anyhow PM me if you dont want to be public, I can keep a secret. I just want to know where some nice hot spots are to get some good catch, who I can go with or invite, and when a good time to do so is where the fish are plenty and the beers are pouring. Honestly the quicker I can get my catch dinner, get to the grill and pour some beers while shooting the shit with my buddies the better the fishing trip was for me.

renoun wrote:The synopsis is that there may be more spear fishing going on that people discuss online because it tends to be somewhat controversial in the diving community. As a practical matter the regulations aren't particularly friendly for spear fishing, the Ling Cod season is typically about three weeks, there are many places where it wouldn't be healthy to eat bottom fish on a regular basis, you can't take rockfish except on the coast and western straits, one's shore diving options are very limited, and you usually need a boat to get to the places were it would be appropriate to harvest Cabazon which is the most appealing fish that is usually open. There are also opportunities for divers to legally take crab and scallops which can be appetizing.
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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by loanwolf » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:24 am

I would not eat anything south of Seattle. That seams to be the big cutoff. Like the others have said the best sites are for the most part boat dives. however Whidbey and Camano Island has lots of areas that you can get in the water and find something to eat. Camano Island has a few areas that you can get in from shore. The best area for shore with a spear is the peninsula. The west side of Whidbey, the fingers, west point reef, their are several parks and boat launches with kelp beads that lay 100 or so yards off shore. A scooter is a big help. Admirably Head is a great spot, but you need to stay north of the harbor and south of the preserve up around the corner. The wall is usually very productive. that is until the power plant goes in there if they do that project. Boat dives their are tones of places to go and get food.
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eliseaboo
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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by eliseaboo » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:50 am

As for the views thing, I'm pretty sure there are hits on threads from lots of sources. If you look at ANY thread on here there are many, many more views that replies.

As for spearing, I don't spear myself but I've always found the people who do spear around here to be good, responsible divers. I don't mind diving with them at all, as long as they aren't spearing the thing I'm taking a photo of ;) Or me. Please don't spear me, my muscles are all stringy anyway. And I move slow, so you can bet I'm not scaring anything away :thumb3d:

I went with some people who were collecting scallops in Deception Pass from a boat a few years ago, and that was actually quite interesting. Nothing like dozens of scallops fluttering around you as some guys are trying to grab them and keep them in bags! Maybe someday I'll do that myself, they're so tasty...but I got side tracked, the main thing here is we had a boat. Boats are best for spearing, they let you get to less popular sites which is better for everyone.

I'm sure you'll get some more replies too, it's only been like nine hours. I'd chime in with advice, but really I have little else relating to spearing...so in the interest of advising something...let's see..."the early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!"

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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by Novice » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:45 am

Scubanewb, in term of the regs, taking fish with a spear is covered in the WDFW rules. That is the ONLY source for licensing, and legalities information. If you would like to take some fish now the only legal fish that would be remotely edible are flounder, perch, and kelp greenlings. The lingcod season is has not been set yet but will likely be about 3 weeks in May. 2012-2013 regs come out in April so pick up one or look online around that time (WDFW website has a pdf download option).

You are going to have to get creative in terms of where you dive to ethically take fish. When I say ethically I mean not taking fish from popular dive areas. Sites that have lots of fish that are easily accessible from shore are usually though of as good shore diving spots, hence the problem. There are a couple ways to solve this problem. 1. get a boat (he he) 2. get a sit on top kayak 3. I would suggest getting one of the hook and line fishing guides that are out there "fish 'n maps" etc... locate productive spots that you think you could get to from shores and that are safe low current etc sites within your depth envelope. This will likely require you to drive a long way, possibly pack your gear down a long hill or other barriers that keep folks from diving there frequently.

One thing that I have thought about that would be fun would be to target flatfish (flounder and sole) (fyi yet to try this myself). They are really quite tasty, live on boring mud bottoms that divers are not really into, Most flatfish populations in the sound are quite healthy so you don't have to feel guilty, and other than getting lost those boring sand/mud bottoms enjoyed by flounder are usually current free and shallow so you are not going to have to make unsafe dives just to get a fish you could buy at the store for 15$. Have fun....

Oh yeah, if you go after a ling this year, PLEASE target on the small side, the giant ones are ALWAYS females and nothing will bum you out more than gutting a ling and seeing millions of little ling eggs inside....

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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by H20doctor » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:24 am

Me and others here on the board spearfish.. I can show you how its done, as I was taught by the best, pensacola.. You need a gun !!!
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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by CaptnJack » Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:48 am

I would spearfish south of Seattle, that's not really a good demarcation between where its prudent from a contamination perspective or not. Areas along the Key Peninsula (ie Case and Carr Inlets) are quite clean and used as sediment reference sites for instance. These could be decent flouder/sole fishing areas. And there are a few state parks for access. Not too much rocky habitat for lings or cabbies in these areas though.

You could catch flouder or sole with a pole spear, otherwise you need a good sized gun for lings or cabbies.
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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by Alexitt » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:07 pm

eliseaboo wrote:so in the interest of advising something...let's see..."the early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!"

New sig line... Thanks!!!!! :pirate: :pirate: :pirate:
-Alex-

"so in the interest of advising something...let's see..."the early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!" -Eliseaboo



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scubnewb
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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by scubnewb » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:15 pm

Thanks that was alot of good information, I been looking thru the guide of course but those dont give the clearest info sometimes, so I figured i would start asking here. Whidbey Island was one of the places I was definitly thinking would be a great place to go, when I was a kid we would go up there to the beach house and fish, go crabbing and digging for clams. I bet I could walk right in from the beach house and find me something if only we still had the beach house, but that went bye bye in the parents divorce :-( But alot of the other areas you all mentioned will probably be just as nice.

As far as getting to sites, I dont mind long drives, I dont mind long walks, I dont mind packing in my gear. Shoot I am just happy I am still young enough and physically able to be able to do those things at 34 lol... And getting a boat isnt that off for me, i have owned a boat pretty much at all times since I was 17 and I sold my last power boat a year or two ago as I moved into my new home which has no place to park one and I had been thinking about getting a sail boat and moving away from the power boats (this was me trying to be a grownup lol). But now I am diving so I dont know how well diving off a sailboat will do and am now thingking about powerboats again as I have been with out a boat way to dang long!!!! :angry:

Anyhow if anyone wants to plan a trip hit me up and let me know cuz I need to find the secret spearo club on this board, and i am not a spy :neener:

H20doctor yes please teach me! :notworthy: And yes I need a gun, who is selling one!
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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by coulterboy » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:14 pm

H20doctor wrote:Me and others here on the board spearfish.. I can show you how its done, as I was taught by the best, pensacola.. You need a gun !!!



Phillip,

I used to spear fish back in the '90's. But I have to admit, I lost interest because of the regulations getting stricter every year.

As for picking up crabs, come join H20doctor and myself, and we'll show you how it's done.
When was the last time you did something for the first time?

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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by scubnewb » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:17 pm

Isnt crabbing out of season right now unless we drive way out towards neah bay or the coast or somewheres? Lets do it!

coulterboy wrote:
H20doctor wrote:Me and others here on the board spearfish.. I can show you how its done, as I was taught by the best, pensacola.. You need a gun !!!



Phillip,

I used to spear fish back in the '90's. But I have to admit, I lost interest because of the regulations getting stricter every year.

As for picking up crabs, come join H20doctor and myself, and we'll show you how it's done.
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do."
-Confucius

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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by coulterboy » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:19 pm

scubnewb wrote:Isnt crabbing out of season right now unless we drive way out towards neah bay or the coast or somewheres? Lets do it!

coulterboy wrote:
H20doctor wrote:Me and others here on the board spearfish.. I can show you how its done, as I was taught by the best, pensacola.. You need a gun !!!



Phillip,

I used to spear fish back in the '90's. But I have to admit, I lost interest because of the regulations getting stricter every year.

As for picking up crabs, come join H20doctor and myself, and we'll show you how it's done.


You're right. But when the season kicks in again, come join us.
When was the last time you did something for the first time?

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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by eliseaboo » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:45 pm

coulterboy wrote:
scubnewb wrote:Isnt crabbing out of season right now unless we drive way out towards neah bay or the coast or somewheres? Lets do it!

coulterboy wrote:
H20doctor wrote:Me and others here on the board spearfish.. I can show you how its done, as I was taught by the best, pensacola.. You need a gun !!!



Phillip,

I used to spear fish back in the '90's. But I have to admit, I lost interest because of the regulations getting stricter every year.

As for picking up crabs, come join H20doctor and myself, and we'll show you how it's done.


You're right. But when the season kicks in again, come join us.


I like crab.

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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by Alexitt » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:11 pm

Yummy-crabz.jpg
-Alex-

"so in the interest of advising something...let's see..."the early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!" -Eliseaboo



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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by bucknaked » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:14 pm

Crab is tasty with butter. But then everything is better with butter.

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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by scubnewb » Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:22 pm

That is so what I am talking about, with a couple fillets of some fresh fish and a cold fat tire/dead guys ale! :partyman:



Alexitt wrote:
Yummy-crabz.jpg
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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by bucknaked » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:56 am

Like shopping at a grocery store but underwater

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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by CaptnJack » Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:02 am

bucknaked wrote:Like shopping at a grocery store but underwater


Shrimp are cheaper at the grocery store than on scuba :BDub:
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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by Novice » Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:57 am

And crabs are WAAAAAAY easier to catch with pots than with your fingers as they scurry around. I would rather set pots, dive, retrieve pots, eat crab.

However, I do feel like kind of a jerk for giving you a internet list serve style lecture about regs (in my earlier post) instead of just inviting you to go kill fish fish with me. I try not to do that. The ling opener I will be fishing hook and line with my family but I am thinking of doing a ling spear dive from my boat after that. I will keep you posted.

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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by April » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:49 pm

Novice wrote:Oh yeah, if you go after a ling this year, PLEASE target on the small side, the giant ones are ALWAYS females and nothing will bum you out more than gutting a ling and seeing millions of little ling eggs inside....


That's actually not true.... females get larger than males earlier in their life, but males also get huge. Take, for example, every ling you see guarding eggs. Male lings guard eggs, not females and I've seen plenty of oversized (above the max limit in the puget sound) lings on eggs in the sound.

To the OP, all you need to get started spearing is a speargun (two bands is enough for cabbies and ling, one is enough for rockfish if you plan on going to the coast), a stringer, and a set of regs. For crab all you need is a goody bag and the ability to "sneak up" on those quick bastards. Third gear on my Sierra is barely faster than those buggers!

If you need a little motivation....

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12932&hilit=neah+bay+part+II
April

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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by pensacoladiver » Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:50 pm

Chris, you are making me blush with your post. Thank you. Although I could hold my own up there, down here, I have met many. many who put me to shame.

If I recall correctly, Cory whopped my ass at Neah Bay during my last trip out there in 2010... and he has the $100 to prove it. You may want to ask him to share some tips... albeit you will have to do it via another forum. :stir:

As far as a gun, I would recommend something in the 75 to 90 CM range for that area. I also HIGHLY recommend shark fin tabs on the shaft. I have used the shafts with the notches for some time now and have the scars on my hands to prove it. The metal wishbones hurt like hell and tear skin off when they slip out of the notches on the shaft. You dont have that problem with shark fins AND you can use kevlar wishbones... which don't hurt if they slip.

I did very little hunting from shore there and what little I did was only enough to taste a few of the fish I shot from shore diving to realize they were just a bit too mushy for me. For example, I shot several perch at Langley as there were what seemed like a million there. Ate them but didnt really like them. Same with Greenling, I just dont like how mushy they are.

I am not sure if you can access it from the shore but the Hat island barges are within jumping distance from the shore over there. You would have to ride the ferry over, but there are always Lings and Cabby there. I doubt many if any people shore dive it, so I doubt many would complain.

You can also pull an H20 Doctor and shore dive the jetty at Neah Bay. there are always Ling there and last I checked, the season was a lot longer out there... although its been 2 years since I have been there. Its also a long walk and a good crawl over the rocks... but H20 did it and he is not exactly a tough guy... HAHAHA.

Deception Pass always also has some Ling stacked up there. Of course diving it requires the srats to line up correctly, but I doubt you would catch much slack from anyone for taking a Ling there... of course I have been wrong before.

Other than that, if you get a boat, the areas up around Whidbey Island are pretty much wide open to get Ling, Cabby and of course Pink Scallops.

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Re: PNW Spear Fishing Education...

Post by Mateo1147 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:29 pm

Like Tom said, crabbing is a blast! It might be more relaxing with pots but filling a goody bag is damn fun!
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