How to Spear Fish

If you are looking to learn that how to spear fish then you have landed on the right page. I have just covered all the basic to advance level techniques required for spearfishing.

Spearfishing is an amazing underwater sport which is loved and played by various people around the globe. If you are a swimmer who is interested in fishing then this sports may excite you. It is definitely not an easy thing to do; however, our Spearfishing guide is going to help you achieve decent Spearfishing level.

How to Spearfish

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1- Take a Course on Spearfishing

You might be finding it absurd that “why do you need a course for getting into a water and start shooting fish?”

However, it is not as simple as it seems even if you are diver or swimmer. You are supposed to learn techniques and skills of using weapons and catching prey.

You need to learn techniques of spear fishing safely and efficiently.

2- Acquire Fishing License

Getting yourself into a legal trouble is the last thing you want to do. Therefore, it is better to acquire a fishing license and enjoy the sports legally.

You need to go through the rules and regulations of spearfishing before getting into it. You can seek a legal counsel on this matter.

3- Search and Join Spearfishing Organizations

If you are already the part of diving school organizations then there are chances that those organizations may have spearfishing clubs as well. Most of the vacations spots near to water bodies are also likely to have lots of underwater hunting spots.

By joining those clubs, you may connect with like-minded people and learn some basics about spear fishing. You can learn about gears, types of fish, and bodies of water you will be spear fishing in.

4 – Mentor – A good way to progress!

If you are just starting up with spear fishing then it is always suggested to have a mentor for yourself. You will definitely require tips and tricks for efficiently spearfishing. A fellow “spearo” is going to give you a first hand knowledge about the hunt and water.

If you can’t find a kind a mentor on your own then you may join a fishing club and get one from there for sure.

5- Discuss about Hunt Area with your Mentor

It is always good to know about the area of hunt with your mentor and get his experience about the area. Your mentor can tell you the challenges you may face while spear fishing, he may tell you about the gears required for particular area.

6- Gather all necessary Gears

Now you need to gather all the necessary gears, as suggested by your mentor or necessary for spearfishing. Some of the stuffs are similar to under water diving or snorkeling. In addition to that you will need hunting gears.

Requirement of gears may be different depending on your condition. Some of the basic gears which you may require; a speargun in low-visibility area, a small reef fish for hunting which is around 75cm to 100cm – you may start with 55cm.

You may also start with single-band speargun for small to medium size fish. Moreover, when you gain experience and ready to fish bigger fish then you will need longer multi-band gun or an air-powered (pneumatic) speargun.

If you are complete beginner spear fisher then you may start practicing with stick or look for a basic speargun.

You may also require the following gears as well;

  • Wetsuit
  • Snorkel
  • Mask
  • Fins
  • Floats
  • License

7- Understand your Gears

This is another important thing you need to do that is understanding your gears.

Let’s first talk about the speargun…

When you think that you are ready to use speargun then you need to make sure that you know how to load, aim and shoot before going into the water.

There are various more weapons that are used in spearfishing like pole spears, Hawaiian slings, and band or pneumatic spearguns.

Pole Spears are pretty straight-forward and easy to use; however, Hawaiian slings and band spearguns require knowledge to operate them. You need to learn about the loading, rigging, aiming, and shooting of those weapons.

8- Practice in Shallow Water

Before starting spearfishing, it is very important for you to get comfortable with the sports and for that you may need to start practicing in shallow water. Use proper spearfishing techniques that you have learned in the shallow water.

First start practicing the stalking technique which require you to stay above the water and hunt the fish which is just under the surface. You need to stand in the water or on the rock and swiftly pierce the fish which you saw just under the surface. By doing that, you will get to know about the behavior of different types of fish.

Ones you are comfortable spearfishing on the surface then start doing it under the surface. You may start testing your speargun into slight deeper water.

9- Practice Aiming

You need to practice aiming and shooting with the method which works best for you.

Always aim the head – release the safety lock of your speargun, point your gun at your prey, stabilize yourself and pull the trigger. You need to practice this few times to get it right.

Remember one thing that you don’t want to hurt the fish as it may be struggling to get away even after being caught. So make sure you aim it right for the first time and don’t have to puncture it with a knife.

10- Practice Freedive Spearfishing

Spear fishing can be done while freediving or scuba; however, in some countries Scuba spearfishing is prohibited; therefore, you should to spear fish while freediving.

Remember that spear fishing while freediving carries greater risk than Scuba. As far you practice good and follow all the necessary precautions and tricks then you are good to go.

11- Store Catch Properly

It is fairly easy to store your catch while you are spearfishing on the surface, but when you are inside a deep water then its difficult to properly store your catch. You need to store your fish to your fishing carrier and get used to it. You may use a bag or stringer to store your catch in the deep water. However, I won’t recommend you to use the stringer in water where there is a shark activity as you may end up attracting sharks.

Where to Spear Fish?

There might be many beginners who might be thinking that where to spear fish; therefore, I am adding this section for them.

Usually, Spearfishing is done in oceans but it can also be done into rivers and lakes. However, some of the lakes and rivers may not have required water clarity; therefore, it is suggested to check with the spearfishing clubs or relevant organizations.

In USA, popular places for spear fishing are found in the coastal waters around Florida, Hawaii and California. Inland states, like Michigan may also have spots for spearfishing.

Hawaii and Florida have size restrictions on certain species and seasonal restrictions on other species.

Florida has a lot of other restrictions with number of species that are prohibited which includes; billfish, manta rays, sharks, red drum, sturgeon, bonefish, tarpon and lobsters and many more.

These are some of the spearfishing locations around the globe.


What are the Advantages?

Let’s discuss about the advantages of Spear fishing;

Improved Physical Health

As you know that spearfishing require you to swim and dive and require a lot of physical activities thus improving physical health. It is definitely a good way of improving your physical health.

Eco-friendly Activity

Spear fishing is generally an eco-friendly activity that does not involve any motor or non-friendly equipment. It is a kind of natural way of catching a fish. Moreover, by spearfishing one usually catch less number of fish which has less impact on the underwater habitat.

Select your own prey

Rather than waiting for the fish to come, you may go behind the type of fish you want to catch. It gives you a liberty of choosing your own prey.

Relaxing Activity

While you are spearfishing under the water then it is a kind of relaxing activity where you are just focusing on yourself and fishing. All your land worries are left behind and you are just feeling and enjoying the underwater habitat.

What are the species of Fish that are hunted?

The type of fish that can be hunted vary depending on the location of spearfishing. The species that are invasive are good to hunt because there are no limitation or restriction on these non-native species

Some of these invasive specious include; lionfish, carp and northern snakehead.


In Hawaii, the invasive specious include; Roi and To’au, which have no limits on sizes. Other species include Uku, Awa, Umaumalei and Moano, all of which have minimum size restrictions.


Hogfish is popular fish to hunt in Florida and it is a good fish for beginners to hunt. Grouper is also a popular fish that be hunted with spearfishing.


In California, Yellowtail, halibut, and whitefish can be targeted with spearfishing.


Carp, Bowfish, Catfish, and many other are the fish that can be targeted through spearfishing. It is suggested to check with local authorities and make sure that any particular fish is allowed to target.

Sum up

I am sure that all your queries related to Spear Fishing has been answered in this extensive guide.

Always check with local authorities before going in for spearfishing. Don’t forget to share this guide with other friends.

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