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Fish ID and Tactics

One of the great things about spearfishing is that it can be as challenging as you want it to be.  If you're just after a quick feed you can jump in off the rocks almost anywhere around New Zealand and it shouldn't take you too long to shoot yourself a butterfish dinner but chasing that elusive 30lb snapper might be your life's work.

As a new diver working through the nationals fish list can be a great way to earn your stripes.  Each fish will be found in a different sort of environment and require different tactics to find and land.

In this section we go through most of the fish targeted in New Zealand and outline how to find, identify and shoot them.

Good Luck!
Karls Snapper 773(copy)(copy)REEF SPECIES

The reefs provide the greatest variety of fish to the diver. From the best eating, like john dory, to those providing the greatest challenge, like snapper, the reef will always provide a feed.

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Kingy Thumb 300PELAGICS

These hard-fighting gamefish test divers and their gear to their limits. 

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JD Thumb 300WEEDLINE SPECIES

Weedlines are the cross-over point between the two main fish habitats, the reef and open water. Almost any fish can at times be found here, from snapper and butterfish to kingies and sharks. The following species are those found almost exclusively on weedlines. 

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cRAYFISH tHUMB 300MOLLUSC AND CRUSTACEAN SPECIES

All those tasty little hard shelled treats.

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Trout thumb 300TROPICAL SPECIES

The clear, blue waters of the tropics are home to the world's most diverse eco-systems. Free of cold and poor visibility a diver may truly extend and test themselves against the most challenging species on the planet. 

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Fresh Water Thumb 300FRESH WATER SPECIES

All spearfishing doesn't happen in the sea.  Our lakes and fresh waterways are host to a number of species for the spearo to target.

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Non Target Thumb 300NON-TARGET SPECIES

Here are some fish not usually targeted because of their poor eating qualities or conservation.

This is not to say that you aren't allowed to shoot them (with exceptions) or that they are poisonous, it merely reflects what most spearos will shoot. 

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