Shot Placement part 3- Shooting rocked/wrecked up fish
One of the biggest fish I’ve ever shot was a blind shot into a cave. It was “blind” in the sense that I couldn’t see the fish with my eyes due to the amount of sand and muck kicked up by the large grouper. The trick that I used to “see” the fish was to gently poke my spear into and around the hole to determine where the fish was and then take a high percentage holding shot near its head. As I poked around the inside of the hole with my shaft, I could feel rock and then I could feel the fish’s soft flesh. I gently poked the outline of the fish until I had a mental picture of where the fish was laying up in the hole. Fortunately, when I took the shot, it hit bone and I was able to drag the massive grouper out of the hole.
Oftentimes you can see the fish in a hole but it’s extremely important to take a high percentage shot or the fish can tear off, dust up the hole until you can't see, or dig its way deeper into the structure.
Remember from shot placement parts one and two that we are trying to destroy Central Nervous System (CNS). In other words, we want to smash skull bone and/or spine bone.
Sometimes… we can see the broadside of the fish in which case we want to take a shot just behind the fish’s eye (Pic 1). Don’t shoot the fish in the gill plate or you will just piss the fish off and send it into a panic! If it’s a really big fish be careful that the fish doesn’t charge out of the hole into you or stab you with the end of your own shaft!
The second shot I often see is the “top-down” shot where the fish is down between the rocks or wreckage. Again, shoot just behind the eyes as close to the center of the fish as possible. (Pic 2 with Maria)
One last thing to keep in mind is don’t take point blank shots at fish that are rocked up. The shaft needs to generate some speed and momentum or it will often times bounce off. Shoot far enough away that the shaft is close to exiting the gun or slightly beyond the end of the gun particularly if you have an enclosed track gun.