CRAY­FISH

With­out a doubt the most re­quested con­tri­bu­tion to any Christ­mas ta­ble is the cray­fish. Their hefty price tag make them a lux­ury out of reach for most ki­wis, but their abun­dance along the coast­line means they’re rel­a­tively easy pickings for any­one with a

New Zealand Fishing World - - Spearfishing -

Cray­fish are a great in­tro­duc­tion into un­der­wa­ter hunt­ing. Here are my top five ways of sup­ply­ing the ta­ble cen­tre­piece:

1

DED­I­CA­TION

I once heard the say­ing “you can’t ride two horses with one arse” and it ap­plies per­fectly to spearfish­ing and cray­fish­ing. While you might luck onto the odd cray while you’re snoop­ing, if you’re se­ri­ous about find­ing some crays you’re best off to ditch the gun for a while and con­cen­trate all your en­ergy on do­ing just that.

2

TAKE YOUR TIME

It takes a few mo­ments for your eyes to ad­just look­ing into a dark hole so don’t rush past. When you do find a cray don’t lunge straight in. They’re sel­dom alone and a good diver can grab two or three on a breath if they work in the right or­der. Look at where a cray might be able to es­cape to and plan your as­sault in ad­vance.

3

JUST SMASH ‘EM

Once you do de­cide to grab, the best strat­egy is hard and fast. As soon as you touch those feel­ers the cray is go­ing to flick back real quick so you need to be quicker. Aim to ei­ther get your hand over the top of its back or un­der the base of its horns. If you have to hit it from the side, fine but you’ll prob­a­bly knock some legs off. Aim for a few inches be­hind the cray to al­low for its at­tempt to get away.

4 KEEP YOUR SNORKEL IN YOUR MOUTH

While Spearfish­ing it’s best to spit your snorkel out (less noise and lower chance of in­hal­ing wa­ter while re­cov­er­ing from a black­out) but while cray­fish­ing that’s definitely not the case. Sur­fac­ing from a cray dive you might have a cray in each hand pre­vent­ing you from putting your snorkel back in. An­other clas­sic is hav­ing a fin­ger pinched and cough­ing and splut­ter­ing on the sur­face with no snorkel while you bat­tle to get him to release you.

5 SPEND MOST OF YOUR TIME ON THE BOT­TOM

You sim­ply will not spot crays from the sur­face. You need to get right down to the bot­tom and stick your head through kelp and un­der rocks. It is a very ac­tive form of div­ing and I’ll gen­er­ally spend 20-30 sec­onds un­der wa­ter with about 10-20 sec­onds on the sur­face when I’m on a good spot.

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