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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Freshwater spearfishing? #13923599 03/15/21 04:05 PM
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Lonestar Angling Offline OP
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I know that spearing non-game fish is legal, but I haven't seen anything about it on TFF. I know of a place with very clear, decently deep water and plenty of non-game fish that I'm thinking about visiting once the summer heat hits. So I guess my question is, do any of you have any experience spearfishing in freshwater? As a sidenote, I have also seen catfish swimming around in the same area that look big enough to hand fish/noodle if you could find them holed up, if you have any tips on noodling they would also be greatly appreciated!

Re: Freshwater spearfishing? [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13923635 03/15/21 04:45 PM
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TXMulti-Species Offline
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I know a guy down in San Antonio that does - he goes after Freshwater Drum for the table.


Catch and release. The dream - to catch one of every species of Freshwater fish in our great state! If only I can resist Carp...
https://txmultispecies.imgur.com/
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Re: Freshwater spearfishing? [Re: TXMulti-Species] #13923840 03/15/21 07:37 PM
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It definitely sounds like a good way to consistently put food on the table! I was thinking that it could be a more interesting way to catch bait too-- there are a lot of shad at the spot I'm thinking of that are 12+ inches, I'm just not sure if they would get spooked from too far away for me to target them.

Re: Freshwater spearfishing? [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13924338 03/16/21 03:07 AM
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Make sure to check the rules for the specific lake you want to spearfish in. Some lakes are rod and reel only. One of my favorite lakes is very clear and I was going to spearfish there until I found out it was prohibited by the organization managing the lake. bang

Re: Freshwater spearfishing? [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13924426 03/16/21 08:39 AM
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Definitely a good precaution to take, Barry! Where I have in mind is on the Brazos river in a section of very clear water, just below Possum Kingdom Lake. I'm almost certain that the area has no restrictions but I'll be sure to ask around before I do any spearing. Assuming that all goes as planned, I'll be posting some videos here showing how it goes once a good heatwave hits!

Re: Freshwater spearfishing? [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13924541 03/16/21 12:22 PM
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Looking forward


If it's legal ain't no way in hell it's catch and release, it's CATCH & GREASE, except ROUGH (TRASH) Fish
Re: Freshwater spearfishing? [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13927308 03/18/21 01:21 PM
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There's a spear fishing contest in the San Marcos, in non pandemic years, catching tilapia and the invasive plecostamus. It's good fun and good for the environment. Highly recommend.

I was also doing a bit of snorkeling and spear fishing during the hot months last year, but can't say I caught anything. Definitely had my spear bounce off the scales of a few carp though.


Last Cast Podcast: Fishing, food, and crass one-upmanship.
Re: Freshwater spearfishing? [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13927467 03/18/21 03:21 PM
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From TPWD website:
Spear Gun
Any hand operated device designed and used for propelling a spear, but does not include the crossbow.

May be used to take nongame fish only. Not a legal means to take fish in a Community Fishing Lake.

I'm curious, when you shoot the carp or any other non game fish with the spear, what do you intend to do with them? Tilapia and gaspergoo are good table fair, but carp not so much.

Re: Freshwater spearfishing? [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13927702 03/18/21 05:46 PM
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A decent set of snorkel, fins and mask and a Hawaiian sling is a cheap way to get into spearfishing. As far as technique, I imagine you'll probably want to start off shallow, less than 8' and learn to clear your ears and be efficient with your kicks so you can stay underwater longer. Lining up shots is fairly straightforward and will generally land where you think it will. The exhilaration is on par with shooting a game animal IMO. If you do shoot something big, just be prepared for that especially when you get the sensation of being dragged under. And it's not a bad idea to use a dive flag if you think there's going to be any boat traffic nearby.

I don't use a suit but I would recommend wearing gloves because of those pesky zebra mussels. At least I didn't have to worry about attracting sharks. :-)

Re: Freshwater spearfishing? [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13927731 03/18/21 06:09 PM
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I have a buddy who is really in to scuba.
He likes to take frozen mixed veggies with him under water. He says that when you release them in the water, they have a very slow sink and just kind of hang around.
He says the fish will eat the veggies right in front of him.

Maybe something you can try to bring the fish in closer to you?


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Re: Freshwater spearfishing? [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13927793 03/18/21 06:57 PM
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Ingvar, a spearfishing contest sounds like a lot of fun. Whenever you went was spooking the carp an issue? It sounds like you had them get closer to you than other species.

JJ4MEL, I only plan on harvesting what I'll eat or use as bait. I haven't tried carp but plan on cooking one eventually, I've eaten and enjoyed every other rough fish I can think of. While spearing game fish is illegal, I think it'll be awesome to get to join them swimming underwater. Maybe I can pick up on some feeding mannerisms or something else that I wouldn't see from the surface.

Ricochetrabbit, thank you for the recommendations! I was definitely thinking hawaiian sling to start, I have snorkeled and used fins in the ocean a couple of times but am by no means experienced. I have swam my whole life though and used to hold my breath for 60+sec swimming as a kid.. but haven't tried in years roflmao

Holzer, thank you for the recommendation on the frozen veg, that sounds like a great idea. I will absolutely try this whenever I get out there. While I won't have as long to hang around the veg I can definitely use it to keep the fish around between dives, and possibly distracted when I'm nearby.

Re: Freshwater spearfishing? [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13928919 03/19/21 05:33 PM
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@LonestarAngling -- sorry, I would have included the link to the spearfishing contest earlier, but I was on my phone:
https://www.atlasenvironmentaltx.com/tournaments
I missed the one in January, but there should be one in the fall. This contest is the only legal way to spear in downtown San Marcos. Normally it's filled to the brim with tubers and apparently there were clashes in the past. It definitely is fun, and the guy Nick who runs the contest is genuinely passionate about the river and one of the nicest human beings I've met. He'll announce the contest on Facebook first, and it fills up pretty quickly. Not sure if I'll do it this year, since the traffic is so awful, but if anyone signs up and I'm on the ball enough to check my PMs I'd be happy to give insights.

The carp definitely got spooky after I tried to kill them a few times. One of the nice side effects of snorkeling around in the summer was I got an intimate understanding of the area's depth and structures, and where the fish hang out, so that directly lead to me catching fish in the fall.

@JJ4MEL -- I've said this on the forum before, to much disbelief, but it bears repeating, if you prepare carp right it's perfectly lovely. My fiance has forbidden me to bring home anymore catfish, but she'll take seconds of fried carp-cake. I don't think I'll ever throw a carp back again. Also, it's good for cutbait for gar!


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Re: Freshwater spearfishing? [Re: Lonestar Angling] #13929011 03/19/21 06:46 PM
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Thank you for the link, Ingvar! Assuming I get to be any good at spearfishing I may end up going in the fall, if the event happens.

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