How to Aim Different Types of Spearguns
There are three techniques for aiming spearguns that I have used over the years. Depending on the type of speargun or the environment you are hunting in, all play a major part in your preferred method.
For smaller and pipe spearguns
Point spear tip at mid line of fish and bring the gun up until fully extended looking straight down the top of the muzzle. This is a common way that most beginners choose. Nothing much more to explain here other than keeping the tip on the fish and be sure to lock out your elbow.
First, not extending your arm fully will cause high shots. This is because not all handles are created equal. The “rake” or downward angle that some handles have don’t have enough of an angle in order for you make a well placed shot. One way to check on this is to take the handle off of your speargun or one like it and aim at point as if you were going to shoot it. Did you notice if your aim was too high/low? Sometimes your arm may not be fully extended or that the handle rake will cause your aim to be high by about 10 degrees. Be aware of this so you can adjust for it When you are aiming.
The second issue is aiming with your arm fully extended for too long. This can cause a couple of problems. The first is that it can cause the muzzle to swing around as you try to wait for a perfect time to pull the trigger. The other problem with this is that this action can push or keep weary fish out of range. A good tip is to keep the gun back until the fish is in range and you have a good shot. This way you simply bring it up, fully extended, and fire without too much delay.
For smaller to mid size spearguns
Basically, see and shoot. Focus on the target and immediately and shoot without even aiming or with your speargun fully extended all the way. Oftentimes this turns into shooting from the hip. It’s really more of a reflex than a technique, however it is still good to get into a pool and practice this style. This style is ideal for complex terrain areas where fish can come out from anywhere. It is also good for low visibility environments where your speargun stays back in order to not spook a fish that is in close range.
Believe it or not, firing without aiming causes problems 🤷♂️. Depending on the way you are holding the speargun, your shot could be high, low, right or left. I am finding that my shots tend to be high when I shoot this way so I adjust as best as I can in the moment. As mentioned above, one way to fix this problem is to get in the pool and practice.
For larger multiple band spearguns
Place the spear tip on lateral line looking down the side of the gun. Line up the top edge of the gun so that it’s perpendicular with the lateral line of the fish. This works well with bigger wooden guns where looking straight down the top of the muzzle is difficult due to multiple bands, heavy kick, or other reasons.
If you do not have you speargun in a level perpendicular alignment where the lateral line of the fish continues straight along the top edge of the muzzle. Your shot will be too high or too low. As strange as it seems, I haven’t experienced many missed shots to the right or left. This was the first way I learned when shooting my log of a speargun with 5 bands years ago.
Perhaps the best advice I could give about aiming is to be consistent. Shooting the same speargun in a way that works for you is key. Being comfortable with and confident in your equipment will improve your success rate of hitting what you are aiming at more than than anything.