Today we have a new interview. Another of Todopescagalicia Team members: Pedro Veiga. Many of you will know him in Facebook and his awesome seabass captures. Today we are going to know him a bit better.
Hi Pedro, tells us something about yourself.
Hi! My name is Pedro Veiga, I am 41 years old and I am living in Malpica, a town in A Coruña (Galicia, Spain) and I started in spearfishing when I was 19 years old.
Why did you start doing spearfishing?
Since I was very young I was very closed relationship with the sea. I went very frequently with my father fishing Maragotas and Pintos (wrasse). Was these ones which motivated me to look for them in their environment (underwater) so I started doing spearfishing, by myself, with no previous knowledge. Only with the hope of finding big wrasse (pintos). This emotion is what I tried to show in my first spearfishing video (You can find it in the todopescagalicia.es videos section or in his youtube channel). In Spain the wrasse is a highly appreciated fish, just explain this as in some countries it is not, and big wrasse are not easy to catch.
Which are your favourite places for Spearfishing?
I use to go to Costa da Morte (Galicia) and I try to adapt to all kind of situations. But I prefer spots with big caves where fish look for shelter. Time ago I used to look for big channels where I found big wrasse or in caves catching white breams. Know I enjoy doing ambush in the kelp or in the shore with big waves looking for big seabass.
So, which one is your favourite catch?
I started looking for wrasse but I must say that, nowadays, my favourite fish is the big seabass. Everyday I focus on this specie. In the different seasons on the year I look for them in different places and techniques. That is why it is so special for me. And it can reach big sizes too.
I have very good memories on a lot of different big wrasse, but big seabasses are the ones. Apart from the big sholas of seabass that sometimes I could find I will say that the best one is a big seabass. It was more than 6kg on the foam (waves braking on the shore). I was doing an ambush in a very good situation under the foam, so the seabass passed by my side, confident and offering an easy shot. And I could record it in a video so I can watch it again and again. You can watch it in one of my videos.
You talked about changing the techniques depending on the season or the spots. Which is your favourite season on the year?
It is very important adapt your technique to the different seasons to be successful, being all of them completely different. I like most of them but the end of the summer is one of my favourites. The water warmer and the kelp forests that we have in Galicia makes this part of the year one of the best to find big size fish.
Equipment is very important in our sport. That is why I like to try new models looking for the best for me. I always used lined wetsuits finding in Epsealon brand a warm, comfortable and great quality neoprene. I tried many carbon fins too, all of them carbon fins, and I must say that the TTN Pure Strait are the ones I am using now. They are perfect for me. About spearguns is more personal. I use a wooden gun, made by myself. It is a 85cm long, adapted specific for my technique and with a set up that consist in a 120cm and 6.5mm shaft, short wishbone and one 17.5mm rubber band. The trigger mechanism is an inverted trigger so I can have a few more cm.
I am not a competitive spearo. I don´t like compete. I must say that the interests hided on the competitions do not make them attractive to me. But I like meetings with other spearos, I enjoy them sometimes.
What is your opinion about the spearfishing nowadays? And what future do you think we can expect.
Future?… I would like to think that spearfishing has a future, but it is an uncertain future. Spearfishing is known by the spearos, but a big majority see us as a menace, like people who wipe everything they see at the bottom, not understanding that spearfishing is the most selective way of fishing.
We should not avoid our faults and say that the bad ones are the others who talk or think bad about spearfishing. Most of us exceeded the bag limit sometimes, and nowadays due to social media is easy show pictures that shouldn´t be shown. It is easy to understand that some people do not like pictures that we can see sometimes in social media and some people, groups of people… do not like them. And must be said that because of some spearos that they do not respect anything all of us are being pointed and the whole spearfishing community is being punished with a bad name and more restrictive regulations.
How do you think we can make our reputation better?
In my opinion there is only one way to do it, and it is work all the spearos together. We must respect the regulations. And the administration must take care of us and respect our rights. All together we could show the people that spearfishing is the most sustainable fishing.
I use to be very prudent regarding safety or taking risks. I could say some encounter with dolphins or big moon fish that use to scare you when you first see them not expecting them. Or the usual problems with big waves, currents or fog that makes hard coming back to the boat or to the shore. Probably the biggest problem was one day, at 14m, when a fin got trapped in a cave. I couldn´t release it, and finally I must take it out and com to the surface with one fin. I reached the surface a bit tight.
Why do you think there are so many dead, year after year, in spearfishing?
Spearfishing is a dangerous sport as we are doing it an environment that is not our usual. But if we do it properly it shouldn´t be more dangerous that driving a car, for example. Inexperience in spearos who are starting (or people who was doing it for many years but are not experienced) or the excess of confidence in experienced spearos could be the main cause. It is very important know what we are doing at anytime and know our body and we can or can´t do. It is key for safety. A good course with an experienced instructor would help us. No fish worth our live so it is better do not risk.
It is hard finding people who can help you or take with them to teach you. That is why to improve your level in this sport you need as many hours of water as you can. All that I have learnt I did it by myself, in all my dives with Diego, Victor and Lolo. We are diving together for more than 20 years. This last years I learnt to test equipment and analyse my dives together with Pedro or Juan, always trying to improve my level. But there is one spearo who shown me the way, Alex. Was in 2013 when I discovered Alexargo and his videos spearfishing seabass. Was there when I started to takes notes. Check his movements under the water, how the bottom was, depth, kelp, techniques… With my experience and watching him I improved my level.
It is hard to explain. I don´t have any goal, I just feel good doing it. I don’t like catching too many fish but catch the desired capture, improve myself… I suppose that is something that I have inside since I was a kid and I don´t want to loose it.
Spearfishing from shore or from boat?
Spearfishing from shore is better to explore spots, you can check it deeply and you can find all the possibilities of this spot, because you must focus on it all your dive. If you choose the right spot and the good day it can be great. But I prefer boat. It is more relaxed and you have much more options as you can look for fish in many different spots on the same day. Allows you to move from one to another spot on the same day, looking for the best ones. And I find it safier.
Spearfishing always with buddyes, never alone. I don´t understand this sport without the good moments with your friends. It is important having someone by your side who gives you safety, having a second opinion to solve a problem or where and how find fish. It is true that spearfishing alone you can do it different, you can fish the spot your way and having no one close to interfere, but you need to be an experienced spearo to it that way. But in my opinion, spearfishing must be always with other spearos.
Thank you very much for yourtime Pedro, and I hope we can go diving together very soon!