Last Updated on September 26, 2020
Spearfishing in winter: Frankly, not everyone likes winter. The constant cold and lack of sun are so depressing that by the end of February, you begin to hate this time of year. However, one has to endure. And, perhaps, the main thing, that at least somehow allows you to survive the dirty tricks of winter, is spearfishing.
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Winter Spearfishing is a Great Thing!
In general, of course, winter spearfishing is not necessarily snow and ice around. Probably, one can arbitrarily call “winter” spearfishing in very cold water during the period of seasonal “falling asleep” of nature.
In December, there may not be snow on the Lower Volga, and the water temperature will approach zero. Winter spearfishing is not only ice water but also a certain state of the underwater world, when flora and fauna, including fish, dramatically change their state and behavior.
And this requires a completely different approach to spearfishing both in terms of equipment and in terms of hunting methods.
But first, it’s probably worth talking about what still makes some representatives of the glorious cohort of underwater hunters in a cold, snow, and morning darkness drags themselves to hell. He knows where to get into the icy water. There are several reasons for this. Someone is dominated by one, but someone is moved all at once.
Many, for example, simply cannot live without spearfishing – an irresistible force pulls them into a pond. Moreover, nothing, including the weather, can be a serious obstacle. By the way, in addition to the general thrill of staying in the underwater world, diving has an excellent effect on health.
He drove him to hunt, climbed into ice water, changed clothes on the frost – he removes all ailments and depressions as if by hand (but it’s important not to overdo it). So you can consider spearfishing in general, and in winter especially as a potent medicine, a kind of multivitamin.
Someone is attracted by the fact that it is often easier to find fish, including large fish, in a pond in winter. And in some reservoirs, in general, it is only possible in winter, and you can hunt like a human: in the summer they are cloudy, and frosts clear the water. And sometimes it’s great, anyway, like any hunt, new observations, and skills, excellent training, finally.
However, winter spearfishing is quite specific. It usually requires special equipment and certain physical preparation and special hunting skills. The development and acquisition of this need desire, time, and money.
As we have already agreed, the term “winter” is conditional, and in the Volga delta, it combines the period from late November to early March. Nature, of course, makes its own adjustments. Long autumn rains dramatically worsen the transparency of the water, and until dry, frosty weather sets in, even very cold water cannot be transparent enough for a good hunt.
Moreover, in recent years, as you yourself probably noticed, it is impossible to predict how the cranes will be turned there in the heavenly office. And in December, on New Year’s Eve, it rains. In January, of course, nature takes its toll, and by February, the water “freezes” to maximum transparency.
In general, if the ice does not rise, it is most pleasant to hunt in February, especially from the second half, when the day has already increased, and the sun begins to warm, and the fish becomes more cheerful.
Let’s start with a wet suit. It is obvious that wet hot-water in operation is simpler than dry, and it is more convenient to move in water in it. Putting it on and taking it off is easier, however, to a certain outdoor temperature.
Of course, it must be moistened with soapy water, which can be a problem in the cold. To make it more pleasant, take hot water with you in plastic bottles or cans. The containers can be placed in a cooler bag (now it will keep warm) or wrapped in a quilted jacket or (and) a blanket. On the shore, I splashed “boiling water” in a suit with shampoo, put it on – it’s warm, good!
By the way, it’s good to use polyurethane foam mats for dressing and undressing – it’s warm for your legs and equipment, so it’s better to drop it on it so as not to tear it away from snow and ice. Someone puts up special tent-shelters, etc.
These are the water procedures. This will seem difficult to some, but simply unacceptable to some. We will not agitate anyone. About the thickness of neoprene: on the one hand, it is clear that the thicker, the warmer.
At least 7 mm, then what you get. However, problems increase with increasing thickness. The first problem is cargo. When swimming in the “top ten”, about 22 kg of cargo may be needed, 13 kg is needed for 7 mm. Agree, there is a difference.
On the other hand, the head usually does not freeze at all. The reason is that the vessels of the scalp, unlike other parts of the body, cannot narrow, i.e., the flow of blood and heat to the surface of the skull always remains large.
This is understandable: the body protects the brain. However, the heat loss through the head will also be decent. Therefore, you do not need to think that the helmet of a suit can be thin: the heat will go to the detriment of the rest of the body. But the vessels of the hands and feet are compressed very hard in the cold, so the hands and feet freeze in the first place.
Good Socks and Gloves Are a Must
Otherwise, the finger will not be able to pull the trigger, and in the literal sense of the feet, you don’t feel when you go ashore. Socks should be at least 7 mm, and gloves 5 mm. Then everything depends on abilities. Seven-millimeter gloves are already turning into three-fingered gloves. Otherwise, your fingers will stick out. Socks and gloves should sit tight in order to minimize the penetration of water to the members, but do not squeeze much. Otherwise, blood circulation will be disturbed.
It is highly desirable to have special obturation on the mouths of gloves and socks, according to which the cuff of the sleeves and pants of the suit “stick” to them. Then the water practically does not get inside. It is clear that thick socks, especially 9-10 mm thick, require large fins.
People with a large foot can even find it difficult to find suitable fins with a closed heel and have to use short fins with straps. It is highly desirable to have special obturation on the mouths of gloves and socks, according to which the cuff of the sleeves and pants of the suit “stick” to them. Then the water practically does not get inside.
It is clear that thick socks, especially 9-10 mm thick, require large fins. People with a bigfoot can even find it difficult to find suitable fins with a closed heel and have to use short fins with straps. It is highly desirable to have special obturation on the mouths of gloves and socks, according to which the cuff of the sleeves and pants of the suit “stick” to them.
Then the water practically does not get inside. It is clear that thick socks, especially 9-10 mm thick, require large fins. People with a large foot can even find it difficult to find suitable fins with a closed heel and have to use short fins with straps.
Of course, the cold seriously affects the performance of the guns. From the school course of physics, everyone knows that with decreasing temperature, pressure in a closed volume drops sharply. Naturally, falling from heat into ice-cold water, an air rifle is great at losing the power of a shot. Therefore, it is necessary, roughly speaking, to pump it over (naturally, if we are engaged in preparing the gun at home, and not in the cold), and then the pressure in the water “will return to normal.”
The Situation is Worse With Crossbows
The elasticity of rubber also deteriorates sharply in ice water, and it is more difficult to deal with this disaster. In my opinion, it is more advisable to use pneumatics in winter. Moreover, the fish usually becomes less mobile. It allows you to get closer to yourself and get into it easier.
The Advantages of Dry Suits Are Obvious
Wearing enough warm clothes. You can feel comfortable in icy water and the cold, which, of course, is very important. But on this, all the advantages end.
a quite significant drawback of imported dry suits is the impressive price. But not only that. Such costumes greatly hamper the movement. Compression neoprene is quite cruel, and long stiff folds form on the membrane after bleeding air.
Drysuits, so that it is easy to fit in and put on a large amount of warm linen, are not made exactly according to the figure, so before entering the water, they have a large amount of air. Well, the puddle, of course, also contains air in the material. If this “excess” air is not bleed, then, firstly, there will be very large positive buoyancy.
the air will move around the suit and prevent you from diving. He turned upside down – everything went to his feet, and they became like two balloons. For venting in dry suits, there are special valves.
True, at first, it’s not possible to set a lot of air, and then it comes out at depth when the suit is strong compresses. However, after this, the buoyancy changes greatly, and when diving back, it does not recover, as in a wet suit. Therefore, you must immediately load up very accurately. However, after this, the buoyancy changes greatly, and when diving back, it does not recover, as in a wet suit.
Therefore, you must immediately load up very accurately. However, after this, the buoyancy changes greatly, and when diving back, it does not recover, as in a wet suit. Therefore, you must immediately load up very accurately.
As mentioned above, with a decrease in water temperature, the behavior of fish changes significantly. Its activity drops sharply, many species of fish go astray in large schools. They accumulate in certain places, and very often, it is easier to find prey and shoot it than in summer.
Those who sailed in the Lower Volga (and not only there) in winter or early spring must have observed accumulations of healthy carp and catfishes, which sometimes do not need to be shot – you can “take them with your bare hands.” Here, of course, it all depends on the person who is engaged in hunting. And I want all of us to enjoy the process to a greater extent than the result and engage in meaningless destruction of fish, especially to replenish our wallet.
What Can Be Said in the Conclusion?
Yes, it is much more difficult to physically and technically engage in spearfishing in winter. However, over time, inconveniences and troubles are forgotten. But it’s nice to remember the clear dark water under the blue February sky, and the fringe of the snow-covered branches of bushes hanging over the sparkling river in the sun, and, of course, a cook with bright fish on white snow. Sometimes it turns out to be more important than everything else in life.
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