Dogtooth Tuna are some of the most prized fish in spearfishing, mostly because of their brute strength and the challenges that come with landing them. Alchemy spearo Robert John (aka Bad Boy), shares his tips on how to land a doggie and get it out of the water in one piece.

Gear Up

When targeting dogtooth tuna you'll need a very strong gun, that can send an 8  to 10 millimeter shaft, connected to cable for shooting line, on a breakaway system. A Hotrod spear gun, it shoots an eight millimeter shaft, i rig it up for breakaway and  attach it to two of these bad boys right here. A 120 liter Evolve diving float, at 66 feet can generate a hundred pounds of lift. So first and foremost you're  going to need to find them.

Find Them

Finding dogtooth can be pretty tricky, you need to understand the  moon, its tides, current and temperature of the places that you're hunting. Dogtooth are more commonly  found on underwater volcanoes, sea mounds, places we call banks and places where the current creates  an upwell of nutrients from the cooler and deeper water.


Once you find them, there are a couple techniques you can use to hunt them. First and my favorite technique would be the disposable drop flasher. I call it the "disposable drop flasher" because what i do is i take a whole mackerel and  i drop it, just like i would drop a throw flasher and let it sink. The second technique we use is called the "phone a friend technique", with this technique what you want to do is shoot a nice sized rainbow or maybe a smaller dogtooth and let it dangle. If there's not too many sharks around, all that action that it's creating will attract the dogtooth tuna, oftentimes a bigger one and your partner can go down and get a shot off on it. And lastly i think the most reliable  technique would just be the good old-fashioned chum and flashers. Often times when you have your flashers hanging down at 30 to 40 feet in the right spot and you're chumming, chumming up a storm, that's when a big dogtooth will swim up to  the flashers and check out what's going on.

Taking The Shot

When you're going to take your shot, you do not want to take a Hail Mary shot. With Hail Mary shots often the shaft doesn't go all the way through or it ends up landing in a bad place on the fish,  so for dogtooth your target area on the fish would be through the head and out of the gill  plate or through the shoulder of the fish and out of the gill plate or anywhere where  it will exit on a hard part of the fish. They're so strong they will rip themselves to pieces, i've seen dogtooth where they've been shot in the middle of their body and they've ripped themselves in half lengthwise, just to get away. I usually tell my buddies or i tell the people that i'm guiding, that once you get close enough   once you feel like you're close enough, just get a little bit closer and then take your shot.

Now once you've taken a shot on a dog tooth this is where teamwork really comes into play. It's important to remember that in  shallow water the dogtooth can easily get down to the bottom and wreck all your gear and get  away, so you're going to want to have a teammate that's already pulling on the line and trying to  keep that doggy off the bottom as much as possible. Also after you've taken the shot 90% of  the time it's going to attract sharks. Now once you start getting the doggie closer to  you you're going to want to have a teammate that swims down with another gun and pokes away at  the sharks, try to keep them and fend them off of the fish. Then once you get the doggie into your arms, hold it tight, dispatch it, scream and give your partner a good high five because without them you probably wouldn't have landed it.

Avoid A Shark Attack When Spearfishing

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