View Full Version : Run-ins with spearfishers

03-10-2014, 10:39 PM
Not sure whether to post this in Tailswimming or Freediving.

The lakes where I will go tailswimming and freediving this summer has a local shop selling spearfishing equipment.
They advertise with "buy it here, and try it out right away in the lake!! :D".

Nevermind spearfishing is illegal in this country :rolleyes:
something the shop guys obviously fail to mention, as I see often clueless people crop up in diving forums asking which lakes are best to spearfish in Germany :doh:

In other words, there is a good chance for me to run into some trigger-happy gunwielder somewhere down below, where it's probably dark and murky, looking for the biggest fish he can find.
And if he happens to spot my tail first...:p
(spearos manage to shoot normal divers on a regular basis already.
just like the "hunters" who shoot a dog on its leash right beside its owner, is an almost daily occurance somewhere.
So much for being "pro" and "stewards of the forest/ocean" )

I've had some unfortunate run-ins with anglers already (line and hook thrown one inch farther, and I'd be an eye and half a face short), so my confidence in the competence of these guys is fairly low.

Any ideas and tips regarding this issue? (other than not diving at all, that is)

03-10-2014, 10:59 PM
Oh goodness, that is a problem. Let me guess... spearfishing is probably illegal, but selling the gear is perfectly fine. I'm not sure about the rules in Germany, but in the USA divers (including spearfishers) are supposed to have a flag on a buoy or boat to alert other that divers are underwater. When I was little, I used to go snorkeling with my dad when he would go spearfishing. He always made me wear a bright yellow swim suit so that he could see me easily. I think that your main defense is going to be visibility. Perhaps you could tie a brightly colored ribbon around the tail?

I sense that fishing (and spearfishing in particular) may be a sore subject for you and possibly other mers. Just so everyone knows, we always eat what we catch. Nothing goes to waste. Even the inedible parts are used as garden fertilizer.

Mermaid Isabel(:
03-10-2014, 11:01 PM
Maybe wear something neon bright? If possible stay away from the boats as much as possible. I'm just throwing out ideas I honestly know nothin about this. I hope you can figure out a way to safely swim!

03-11-2014, 01:37 AM
Let me guess... spearfishing is probably illegal, but selling the gear is perfectly fine.
it doesn't make much sense to me, but it probably will tempt people to try out their purchases illegally (in case they even realize it's illegal).

I will of course try to steer clear of any boats, diver buoys, and the like, but I'm not sure how crowded it's going to be.
I've read several million people visit the lakes during summer alone :jawdrop:
so meh.

At least my tail is white.
Hopefully they'll not mistake me for an albino catfish.

That all this could be a problem came to me after I stumbled across a diver forum with people saying stuff like "I've speared anything from sardine to 2,50 tuna!!" or "if I see something larger than 1m coming into view, I instantly nail it and never let go" etc.

The view in most lakes here is around 1-5 metres usually, so there's a good chance they only see your tailend and fluke.

(we should found a society which hunts spearfishers/anglers for sport.
totally adhering to humane guidelines of course :p
how about spearing them only through the head? coz braincells don't feel pain ya know.)

03-11-2014, 09:03 AM
Well on a funny note Caltuna if they caught you that would be one hell of catch of the day LOL.

But with that your tail being white I really don't think that they are that stupid or maybe they are. Be safe.

03-11-2014, 09:54 AM
Could you just use a cellphone to report any spear fishers before you go into the water? If a particular lake is known for the police showing up often then people will be less likely to go there.

Gem Stone
03-11-2014, 03:17 PM
Hmm, Ive been worried about this myself. my best consolation is that they tend to look for and aim for gills. the best place to hit a fish is the spine close to the gills. which hopefully means they will watch you long enough to realize you don't have any. besides that, make it obvious you have arms. also, swim with a buddy.

03-11-2014, 04:02 PM
I had honestly never even considered this as a problem, but it makes sense. Your white tail should help, but be careful. I agree with the advice above on calling the police.

03-11-2014, 06:16 PM
Don't want to make anyone paranoid, but




I would recommend reporting the activites at the lake to the police, Caltuna. Ask if they will keep you anonymous. Hopefully they can shut this thing down before something goes wrong.

Mermaid Karina
03-11-2014, 08:14 PM
Stick a sign on the shoreline with big, bold letters spelling out "MERMAID IN WATERS--WHITE TAIL. FISHERS USE CAUTION!" Or something like that?? :P Scary but funny post, though!

03-11-2014, 09:33 PM
Well on a funny note Caltuna if they caught you that would be one hell of catch of the day LOL.

ye, in before http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7egXRU_A9Y :rolleyes:

It's not necessarily being mistaken for a fish that worries me, but some of the guys (probably inexperienced, eager to try their new purchases out, and nervous as heck in case they realize they are poaching) fires on accident when something he doesn't expect (like a large thing not looking like a diver at first glance) startles him :/

guess my best bet is trying to go into the most secluded spot, and notifying the police in case I see someone with a harpoon.

I wonder how you mers deal in countries where this stuff is allowed :p

03-11-2014, 11:19 PM
The lake where I live is 26 miles wide. It's really easy to have your own space.

Gem Stone
04-04-2014, 02:45 PM
the water I swim in is pretty clear, and we have dive flags up. plus, most people are too scared to shoot a fish my size because a fish my size would drag them for an hour