A combination of dirty water and the closure of Gag Grouper season have many spearfishermen wondering what to do. The best thing to do this time of year is get your spearing gear tuned up and ready for the next dive trip. All your connections on your speargun should be checked for wear and replaced. Look for nicks in the line that connects the spear shaft. Look for crimps that show corrosion or age. Replace all crimps and lines with new ones. Replace your latex band material. The bands lose strength with age. The latex starts to deteriorate as soon as it is made. Most spearfishermen replace their latex bands a couple times a year. Don’t wait until you see cracks starting to appear – that’s way too late. Most of the strength of a band that has visible cracks has long, long passed. The best spearfishermen all know that accuracy is the key to quality spearing and keeping fresh bands on your gun will insure accurate shooting.
Check your spearshafts to make sure they are all straight. Hold each spear up towards the sky and put your eye close to the spear. Slowly turn the spear and look for a bend. There should be a slight bend in the downward direction, due to the weight of the steel. Look for a bend in any other direction. Then switch ends and repeat. Some bends can be bent back to straight, but most need to be scrapped. A bent shaft can ruin all your shots on your next dive trip.
Capt. Bill Hardman teaches classes and runs trips for Scuba, Spearfishing, Technical & Freediving courses at Aquatic Obsessions, 6193 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33710. You can reach Capt. Hardman at (727) 344-3483 (DIVE) or CaptainBillHardman@gmail.com