Spearfishing Tips, Basics, and Safety - All You Need To Know

We are here to help you learn everything you need to know about spearfishing. It's an exciting sport, but there is a lot you need to know before you get good at it. So whether you are a beginner or an advanced fisherman, you will be able to learn something from our tips and information. We will start off with the basics and then move on to safety, tips, equipment recommendations, and additional resources. We recommend that you review our safety tips carefully because having a safe, enjoyable fishing outing should always be the main goal.

Spearfishing Basics and Safety

Spearfishing goes back centuries, and it was one the earliest known forms of fishing. Basically it's fishing with a spear, and it can be done by either snorkeling, free diving, or using scuba diving gear. Instead of using a fishing rod, you use a speargun- a device that fires off a spear at the fish. These devices have evolved over the years and they are now more accurate than ever. This makes it all the more fun and rewarding. The main advantages of spearfishing is that it's relaxing, and you never need to worry about bait.

As far as safety goes, you want to first make sure that you are in good physical shape. You want to be a strong swimmer and have the ability to hold your breath underwater for at least a minute. In addition, you always want to be aware of your surroundings- you should know if there are any underwater currents or if there is any dangerous marine life lurking in the water. And lastly, never go into the water unprepared. Make sure your speargun is fully functioning and remember to bring a knife. A diving knife can be used to finish off a fish that wasn't completely killed by a spear, and it's also good in emergency situations if you have to cut yourself or your partner loose.

Spearfishing Tips, Tricks, and Tactics

Spearfishing is a skill that takes time to master, but doing so will be highly rewarding. If you make sure to implement the tips below, as well as other safety precautions, you’re guaranteed to love your next spearfishing outing.

  • Master Your Technique - Being subtle and stealthy is an art that takes time to master. It requires being patient and not chasing when a fish is out of reach. Over time you’ll pick up on these nuances, but when starting out don’t be hasty and uncalculated.
  • Understand Buoyancy - Because spearfishing requires such finesse and accuracy, you must take into consideration your buoyancy, that is, how much you float. This can change based on your size and the type of water so be prepared for changes in different environments. It’s a good idea to use a weighted belt which will help you easily submerge and stay there without having to fight your way down.
  • Only Use What You Need - One of the joys of spearfishing is the simplicity of the sport. People love being able to swim through the ocean, without being bogged down by heavy, bulky gear. Additionally, you can have all the best gear in the world, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to have the best trips you can. In fact, more is not better when it comes to spearfishing. Carrying loads of gear that you don’t need is only going to slow you down and hamper your success.
  • Keep in Shape - Even if spearfishing is only an activity you do periodically, you want to be prepared for your outings. While spearfishing isn’t exactly like running a marathon, you do need to have the endurance and to participate. It will not only make spearfishing easier, but it will also make it more enjoyable so that you can a.) Freedive for longer periods of time b.) Move quicker and c.) Avoid having to stop early because you’re out of breath.
  • Be Mindful of Your Environment - It’s easy to get caught up in the hunt when spearfishing. This unfortunately can lead people astray. Be cognizant of the distance of your target, including the distance and depth, how much air it will take to get there, and what type of objects are in the area. You may even want to research your dives ahead of time and know what to expect. And most importantly, watch out for other people!
  • Maintain your Equipment - You often hear the term ‘Dive in headfirst’. Well, this definitely should not apply to spearfishing. Instead of just going for it, take some time to always test your equipment before plunging in. Caring for your gun is of the utmost importance, so make sure to clean it and store it properly.
  • Fully Understand the Speargun - Remember: A speargun is a weapon. It is designed to kill fish, and with the capability comes a lot of potential danger. Always keep that in mind. This means going the extra mile to ensure safety when around the speargun. This includes: Always having the safety on except when preparing to fire underwater, only discharging your gun underwater, and never modifying the gun.

Spearfishing Tackle and Equipment

Spearfishing is definitely not a cheap hobby. If you truly want to immerse yourself in this amazing activity, then you’re going to need to spend some money on gear. And not just any gear--- great gear. Using high-quality gear not only enhances your experience, but the gear is built to last and you won’t have to worry about wear and tear. And when it comes to spearguns, they’re not something you want breaking down. Below is a list of essential equipment with links to the brands we recommend.

Note: The links below are Amazon affiliate links. If you make a purchase, then I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. » Speargun » Wet Suit » Low Volume Mask » Snorkel » Freediving Fins » Stringer » Weight Belt and Weights » Knife

Additional Resources on Spearfishing

Spearboard Forum - This is a good discussion forum where you can talk about anything spearfishing related, and you can also meet up with other local fishermen.

About The Author
Pete Danylewycz