Spearfishing is becoming increasingly popular in many parts of the world. Humans once used spearfishing for survival but now it has become a unique underwater sport, thanks to human persistence and technological advancements.
However, spearfishing successfully is still no easy feat, especially if you are a beginner.
That’s where this guide comes into place...
Here we’ll discuss everything you need to know to get into spearfishing that will help you catch your first fish.
How To Get Into Spearfishing
The following list of steps will help you get started with spearfishing in the shortest possible time.
Step 1: Acquire Training
The first and the most important step to getting into spearfishing is to acquire spearfishing and diving training. If you’re already an experienced scuba or free diver, you’ll still need to understand the right techniques for using spearfishing weapons to hunt fish.
If you’re serious about spearfishing and want to take it up as a sport or hobby, you should opt for a spearfishing course. Not only will a spearfishing course teach you the right hunting techniques but it’ll also include basic free diving training.
It’ll also teach you about spearfishing equipment, location safety, diving safety, hunting ethics, and catch management to help you become a well-rounded spearfisherman. Depending on your location, you might also need your own fish catching license and a spearfishing course can help you with that as well.
Step 2: Gather Basic Gear
Unless you are interested in scuba-diving, you won’t need a ton of equipment for spearfishing and the following will suffice.
Mask & Snorkel
Visibility and comfort are the most important factors that you need to consider while choosing a snorkel and mask. Select the one that offers great visibility at all angles and sits firmly and comfortably on your face.
Additionally, it’s also important to go with a low-profile mask to deal with underwater pressure differences effectively.
Other than durability and comfort(and camo pattern), the most important factor to consider while buying a spearfishing wetsuit is its thickness.
You’ll want a thicker wetsuit for deep dives in cold water and vice versa. For example, a 1.5mm thick wetsuit will be enough for short dives in warm and shallow water.
A pair of flexible, high-quality, sturdy gloves are also important for spearfishing. It’ll protect your hands from sharp rocks, fish spines and help you handle your weapon easily.
While spearfishing fins allow you to get around quickly and easily without exerting too much effort. A standard pair of high-quality plastic fins will be enough for shallow water with reefs to hunt small reef fish.
The main purpose of a weight belt is to offset your buoyancy. A wetsuit increases your buoyancy and the weight belt helps you stay submerged in water. It’s an important part of spearfishing gear you should always have.
While spearfishing, you can get your fins stuck in fishing lines, ropes, and weeds. You can use a knife to free yourself from such situations.
Additionally, a spearfishing knife will also help you spare a fish quickly from suffering if you couldn’t kill it on your first try with a well placed shot.
A float is usually inflatable and it’s critical for spearfishing. It informs nearby boaters about your underwater presence.
Plus, you can attach the float to your spear with a float line. It’ll help you reach the surface quickly, without needing to grab your spear, after spearing a fish.
Step 3: Choose Spearfishing Weapon
Depending on your budget, location of spearfishing, and the fish species you want to catch, there are three types of weapons you can buy from a local dive shop. It includes a spear gun, a Hawaiian sling, and a pole spear.
Many people confuse pole spears with Hawaiian slings but both are different weapons. A Hawaiian sling is a simple weapon and it works similar to a bow and arrow.
It comes with a shaft holder, spear shaft, and rubber sling attached to it. You need to use the shaft holder to aim the spear. Then pull the sling with your dominant hand to release the spear in order to kill your target.
A pole spear is a four to 10 feet long spearfishing weapon that comes with a threaded top where you mount the spear tip. You can use different types of spear tips such as single-pronged Tahitian shaft and three-pronged paralyzer.
Additionally, there is an elastic band attached to the butt end of the spear. You need to pull it away from the butt with your thumb to release the spear.
A spear gun features a barrel, spear, and handle with a trigger. There are two types of spear guns you can use - band and pneumatic guns.
It’s important to note that a spear gun has a powerful recoil and you need to learn to aim and shoot without leaning into the weapon.
Never load or fire a speargun on dry land!!
Step 4: Dive with an Experienced Hunter
You should never go spearfishing alone, and definitely not if it’s your first time. Consider contacting local spearfishing clubs and organizations, which recruit new divers, to dive with experienced spearfishermen.
A dive buddy will inform you of the fish species that you can hunt safely without breaking any law. Additionally, it’ll help you dive safely and avoid shallow water blackout, a condition that can be fatal.
Step 5: Learn Spearfishing Techniques
Basically, there are three different ways to spearfish, including scuba dive spearfishing, freedive spearfishing, and shallow water spearfishing.
Scuba Dive Spearfishing
If you want to catch bigger fish, you’ll need to invest in scuba gear, including an oxygen tank, to dive in deep water. Your dives will be longer in this type of spearfishing because of the availability of oxygen.
But you’ll need to find out whether or not it’s allowed in your area as it’s illegal in many countries.
In order to become a good spearo, you first need to become a good diver. It’s important to get comfortable to hold your breath for a decent amount of time to increase your chances of catching fish.
If you’re interested in free dive spearfishing, you should start with shallow water dives and look for small fish. It’ll help you get comfortable in the water and improve your breath holding time and accuracy.
You’ll also need to learn to be stealthy and conserve your energy to increase your underwater time. Keep in mind that you can never out-swim any fish, which means you’ll need to make as natural and slight movements as possible.
Shallow Water Spearfishing
Shallow water spearfishing is the technique for catching fish from just under the water line or above it. In terms of required gear and fish catching techniques, this is the simplest way of spearfishing. You can perform this type of spearfishing from the shore, a boat, or a kayak.
Step 6: Store Fish Properly
It’s easy to store fish in a bucket placed in a boat after catching a fish above water. However, while spearfishing, you’ll need to hook fish to a fish stringer. It’ll keep you from the hassle of going to the shore after catching each fish.
You can use a stringer or float for this purpose. However, if you’re spearfishing in water with shark activity, you should avoid using a stringer as it can attract those apex predators. A float boat or Creek cooler is highly recommended in these situations.
Spearfishing isn’t an easy sport but you can master it using the right approach. We hope the steps listed in this guide will help you get into this exciting and thrilling underwater sport.
It requires patience and practice but with constant effort, you’ll be able to spear your first fish. With time you’ll be able to dive deeper, stay underwater for a longer time, and eventually land that dream fish.