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Breakaway Step 5(copy)WHEN TO USE A BREAKAWAY RIG

This time of the year lots of guys start gearing up to head off to the tropics.  This inevitably means a lot of gnashing around and looking at new gear and the different rigging systems that are available for targeting tropical gamefish.  I've had a lot of questions in the last couple of weeks about breakaway rigs so I thought I'd put together a few thoughts on when and how to use them and how to fit one if you decide it is the right option for you...  READ ON...

A year ago I was sitting in my office talking to a mate about tropical destinations.  I identified Fiji as somewhere I really wanted to go and he mentioned that another mate had said that Cameron Kirkconnel, the current dog tooth tuna record holder, had told him that Kadavu off the South coast of Fiji was the best spot he’d seen for big doggies, Spanish mackerel and wahoo.  As is so often the case these little games of Chinese whispers sowed the seeds of what was turn into a great adventure...  READ ON...

Without a doubt, the pinnacle fish for NZ spearos is the snapper. These wily targets are incredibly hard to get close to and to land that elusive 20lber is one of the greatest achievements of most divers’ careers. The main way we target the snapper is by snooping. This involves silently stalking the shallows carefully checking for big mooching snapper snoozing under some kelp or quietly finning into the current. This is a hard way to get fish though and when you’re starting out (or want to do better in comps) it’s best to learn how to ground bait for snapper first... READ ON...

For me when it comes to speargun selection there are only really two choices to be made; alloy or carbon; and what length and rubber set-up. That it’s going to be a Rob Allen is a given. Why?
Well, the short answer is because they’re the best. The long answer is going to take a while so best put the jug on first...  READ ON
Barrier Biteys Thumb 300GREAT BARRIER BITEYS

Despite assurances from the met service of a nil swell, as we rounded the headland into ‘THE’ bay, it was obvious there was a fair bit of lift coming in. Normally that would be that, but this was THE bay, my (and the skippers) favourite 1500m of snapper snooping ground anywhere. Moreover, it was November, prime snapper season and it was late evening. In other words, swell aside, everything was perfect. So I’d accept what lift there was and trust in THE bay to produce the goods...  READ ON...
Tom UW 1 400(copy)HOW TO AIM A RAILGUN

Aiming a speargun differs from person to person. Many old divers have had a problem trying to get used to railguns. I put this down to the way they were used to aiming the old non-rail type gun. A common method is to look at the tip of the spear, put this on the spot you want to aim at and then lift the handle up. As the tip disappears from sight, pull the trigger...  READ ON
Disappearing Act 300THE DISAPPEARING ACT

My favorite trick is the ‘disappearing act’ and my favorite two fish to hunt, the mu and the job fish fall for it all the time. It is not uncommon to spot either of these fish from the surface but if you’re not already hiding under a rock when they swim past it is very, very hard to get close. The disappearing act is one of the only ways I’ve found to consistently get close to either of these fish when you see them from the surface. Once you’ve spotted the fish you need to look for some structure with a bit of sand and/or rubble nearby. From there you need to make a slow controlled descent...  READ ON
Kelp Thumb 300KELP DIVING

One of the main features of the New Zealand coastline is our abundance of kelp. Like most temperate waters large, brown kelps dominate our shallows and provide the foundation of our reef eco-systems. The kelp provides food for all sorts of little critters that are predated on by larger fish and even some pretty good table fish like butterfish eat it as well. It provides shelter and protection for small fish and hunting grounds for larger ones...  READ ON

Once upon a time in a land far, far away lived a speargun called 83. When 83 was born, he was sent to live with a great man, indeed the king of all the lands, King Gazza the Great...  READ ON

One of the least targeted fish in NZ waters is the mighty bull-nosed catfish.  Its lack of appeal is very easy to understand with its poor eating quality, modest size and fighting characteristics that would bore even the least ambitious coarse fisherman.  For the sixty odd spearos who converge on Lake Taupo’s southern bays every year through the ugly little critters provide the perfect excuse to catch up, have a dive and a beer and slay a whole pile of them at the annual Catfish Cull...  READ ON
IMG 0267(copy)(copy)TO REEL OR NOT TO REEL

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been slowly converted to the joys of a reel gun. It has been a gradual transition but I now have reels mounted on all but one of my guns and I find it hard to consider using anything else.

The main benefit you get from going to a reel is freedom from the drag of a floatline and floats and the associated tangles. Using a reel does have some major disadvantages over the traditional set-up which will be discussed later but for me at least the benefits far outweigh the extra hassles... READ ON
Queensland Grouper(copy)A BIG FISH STORY

Every summer as the blue water makes it way down our northern coasts, fishermen eagerly dust off their big gear in anticipation of the game fish it carries. This water carries with it more than just big game though; unseen and unnoticed come the larvae of untold tropical species, most doomed to a short existence in New Zealand’s more temperate seas. Some species’ larvae survive and grow through the summer only to have their precarious foothold dashed by winters cold. Others, just cold tolerant enough, settle on islands and headlands where the water is just that fraction warmer than inshore areas and here they survive as isolated individuals or small populations... READ ON
Camo or Cover 400(copy)CAMO OR COVER

One of the most common questions I get from new divers is ‘does a camouflage suit really make a difference?’  The short answer is yes, millions of hunters and soldiers and virtually every other predator in the world can’t be wrong – camouflaging yourself makes it harder for your prey to see you and allows you to get closer to them.
The long answer isn’t so simple though...  READ ON
G10 Review pic MATT LIND

One of the most crucial bits of gear for keeping yourself comfortable in the water is a good pair of gloves.  The right pair will keep your hands warm and protected from the variety of sharp things that’ll cut soft, wet fingers in the water. Being as how we’re kiwis though, there’s really only one sharp thing in the water we care about. The Crayfish. I remember my first summer holiday...  READ ON


Over the next three months we’ll see the best spearfishing of the year.  Not because of good weather or good water conditions but because of the number of snapper and where they move to.  Sometime during October the water temperature is going to begin ramping up and when it gets to about 18 degrees a major change will take place...  READ ON
look after your catch

As spearos we spend so much time and money in our pursuit of fresh fish. The gear, the fuel, the boat, the charter, the search and the dive all add up. There are many joys along the way, however, the fundamental goal of spearfishing is to take quality seafood home to eat. It can be a bit of a pain to look after your fish and process it all after a long day spearing. However, selective, sustainable seafood of a high quality is what we are all about and time needs to be spent to ensure the quality of the product... READ ON