Shot Placement part 2, "The Unicorn Shot"
The unicorn shot is when the fish is directly in front of you or facing you from below.
Remember from Shot Placement Part One (Spearfishing University- Shot Placement, Part 1 – Spear Gods) that the quickest way to land a fish is to stop the brain from sending signals to the fins through the central nervous system. To do this, we need to preferably smash some bone in the (brain/spinal cord) enough that it scrambles or shuts off the signals to the fins.
The "Unicorn Shot " is one of the more difficult and low percentage shots in spearfishing and it must be precise. Just like an army tank, most of the "armor" is in the front, or forehead. If you take this shot with a dull tip, from too far away, too low on the forehead, or too low an angle there is a very good chance the shaft will bounce right off his noggin' and you will be very lucky if you ever see that fish again. Especially if it's a big fish!
One of the easiest ways to remedy part of this dilemma is to keep your shaft tip as sharp as possible. Sharp tip tend to dig in the forehead rather than glance off the angular shape of the fish's forehead. Keeping a sharp tip also aids greatly on long distance shots since the sharp tip will grab/penetrate the skin while the momentum/inertia of the shaft penetrates. Dull tips only work on fish that are very close.
Taking the unicorn shot from too low of an angle means we have a LOT more bone to smash and will probably miss the brain and only rupture sinus cavities. Try to take the shot from a slightly elevated angle and aim slightly above and behind the eyes. Get as close as you can get before you feel the fish is about to bolt. NOTE: Keep an eye on his pectoral fins. When they start spinning quickly in reverse, he is about to bolt.
Ideally, we don't want the fish swimming like he has an arrow sticking out of his nose but rather an arrow sticking out of the top of his head. A few degrees of elevation when taking this shot can mean the difference between a fish story and a fish fry.