What's good: It's a good time to learn to spearfish because fish of all varieties are abundant in shallow water. Successful spearfishing comes down to three aspects: seeing fish, shooting fish and securing fish.
Tips: Seeing fish requires knowing shapes and textures because color filters out underwater. For great fish illustrations go to myfwc.com and search "Fish Identification." Knowing fish behavior and swimming patterns will also help. Slow down or stop and watch. Shooting fish takes hand-eye coordination, which can only be developed by shooting a speargun, sling or pole spear over and over. Lines on spearguns prohibit easy repetition, so free-shafting is the fast track to accuracy, and spear alignment is key. Securing a fish is not easy, because even small fish are powerful and slippery. Pinning the fish quickly is the best tactic. Grab the throat or gills with a gloved hand and string the fish on a steel stringer before removing the spear. A stiletto knife works well to finish off a struggling fish and reduce predator attraction.
Chad Carney teaches scuba, free diving and spearfishing at Mac's Sports in the Tampa Bay area. Visit his Web site at floridaskindiver.com or call 727-423-7775.