SPEARFISHING IN THE KELP
Spearos from north Spain and North Atlantic countries known a lot about this. Dense kelp forests, creating a blanket over the bottom. Sometimes they are impenetrable. The change between the winter and summer is huge. From an area totally free of vegetation, to a layer that doesn’t allow us to see beyond its leaves.
It can seem an obstacle to not be able to find the caves we had marked. A lot of spots in which it is barely possible to fish because they are covered… But we are going to see that it is the opposite. The kelp alga gives us a lot of new options and possibilities.
For those who don’t know how is this fishing style, or how to get the best of it, we are going to explain some tricks and the technique to get good results. Spearfishing among the seaweed is, probably, the most effective fishing technique during the summer months, and it’s doable by any fishermen, regardless of its level.
The kelp starts to grow between early April and May. In the beginning we see small leaves close to the bottom. But its growth it’s extremely fast. In a couple of weeks they get big and cover everything. From this moment, the behavior of the fish changes completely.
A good example is the ballan wrasse, which starts to move over-confident between the weed, even when it is still short. As soon as it grows, they hide in the middle of the thick forests and the fishing gets a lot trickier.
Also the white sea bass and the white sea bream, the most desired species without any question. They love the kelp, it gives them an extra protection that they don’t have in other moments, and they get more confident under this conditions.
Usually, the spearfishing among the seaweed is practiced with the tide getting low, low and starting to go up. During the high tide, and the 2 or 3 hours before, the fish will be eating. And after eating, to do the digestion and rest, it is when it gets hidden among the kelp.
The technique is simple, we have to go in the middle of the seaweed, through the canals that get formed between it, walls of the pinnacles… and move very slowly to find the fish. The problem is that is difficult to see under these conditions. The light gets reduced, the fish gets perfectly camouflaged between leaves and stems… For this, we have to pay a lot of attention and stay very calmed. A good technique is a must, other way, they will run away even before we can see them and leave us without the chance of shooting.
We always have to look for canals, or the walls of any pinnacle, because in these spots the stems are less dense and we will be able to move among them. There is a space in which we can move. It’s important to not make any noise and to not move the stems. The technique has to be a perfect stalk, without showing ourselves. The fish, confident for feeling they are hidden, will stand if they don’t feel any rough sensation.
Usually, we will find the fish on the shade spots the seaweed creates, for example by the walls of a pinnacle. Due to this, it’s important to dive far away and reach the spot stalking through the bottom.
Other common locations are the canals. A sandy spot, surrounded by stones and some elevation. The seaweed will be attached on these rock points. We will be able to go across the clean place and the fish will be in the border with the seaweed.
Also the cracks between the rocks. Those that are clean and without life during the winter. During the summer, covered by seaweed, are an excellent refuge for white sea breams, wrasse or big sea bass. We have to reach them moving slowly and remaining hidden, and we will have them on shooting distance easily.
As we can see, it’s not difficult in the theory. But the practice is much more, because it’s needed a good technique and experience. Get the sight used to this kind of fishing to be able to see the fish. If not, we will just hear their swaying movement when they leave.
When the seaweed is growing, with thin stem and low height, it’s difficult. The best moments are when it is already big and when it starts to break at the end of the summer.
It is very effective to go over the shores, close to the break-zone. On those vertical walls where the seaweed area starts, we will find big white sea bream resting after eating and waiting for the next tide.
And of course, the waiting technique. In the edges of the kelp forests, sandy spots… If we think there is any white sea bass around it can be the best technique.
Although explaining just with words is a bit difficult, so nothing better than seeing some videos showing the technique:
As we can see, the method is always the same: do a dive, looking for a spot to move among the seaweed. Move slowly and paying attention to any fish.
A common problem is the inability to move the speargun from one side to the other, because of the seaweed. We should never rush, it is better to wait for the fish to get on our range, crossing our trajectory, or keep moving slowly, instead of trying to move the gun shacking the seaweed. If we do this, the fish will scape without giving us a shooting chance.
It is even better to let him go away slowly, without being scared. Because we will be able to look for it on a new dive. If it gets scared for our gun movement, we will not see it again.
For this fishing it’s recommendable a calm sea. If it’s wavy, it gets more difficult and the fish don’t go to rest between the seaweed as much.
– Look for canals to move among them.
– Pinnacles or underwater crests, with vertical walls, to go across them. The fish will be on the shade spots, under the algae. Or inside the cracks and canals that go inside.
– Drops on the shore, where withe sea breams and white sea bass rest after the high tide.
– Areas with big rocks, that we know from other seasons and they are now covered with seaweed. Very good spots for big white sea bass and white sea bream.
– Wait on the seaweed area edge, specially if there is sand. This is a white sea bass spot. Or if we see movement, before getting inside the seaweed forest, try to get some in the open waters.
– We have to take in mind that it is impossible for this fishing to carry the buoy with us. We have to anchor it. The best choice, mark with it the close to the spot we are going to be fishing on. Never let the weight fall in the good areas (the fish can get scared).
– It’s very important to have a perfect weighting. We can not fall to the bottom (we would make too much noise) or have positive buoyancy (we would need to be grabbing the seaweed). Perfect neutral buoyancy.
And there are no more secrets. Know your spots and get some experience.