How to Spear Fish

If you’re a fishing enthusiast interested in learning spearfishing, you’re in the right place. In this post, I will cover basic and advanced techniques required for spearfishing.

Spearfishing is a thrilling underwater sport loved and played by various people worldwide. If you’re a swimmer interested in fishing, this sport may excite you. However, it’s not an easy activity, and our spearfishing guide will help you achieve a decent level.

How to Spearfish

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Here are ten basic steps to help you learn spearfishing:

1- Take a course on spearfishing

You may think it’s absurd to take a course for something as simple as shooting fish underwater. However, it’s not that simple, even if you’re an experienced diver or swimmer. You need to learn techniques and skills for using weapons and catching prey safely and efficiently.

2- Acquire a fishing license

Ensure you acquire a fishing license to avoid legal trouble. Go through the rules and regulations of spearfishing before getting into it, and seek legal counsel if necessary.

3- Join spearfishing organizations

If you’re already part of a diving school organization, there’s a chance that the organization has spearfishing clubs. Vacation spots near water bodies are also likely to have many underwater hunting spots. By joining these clubs, you can connect with like-minded people and learn some basics about spearfishing, including gears, types of fish, and bodies of water to fish.

4- Find a mentor

If you’re a beginner, it’s always advisable to have a mentor. You’ll need tips and tricks to spearfish efficiently, and a fellow “spearo” can give you firsthand knowledge about the hunt and water. If you can’t find a mentor on your own, you may join a fishing club and find one there.

Discuss the hunting area with your mentor It’s good to know about the hunting area with your mentor and their experience in that area. Your mentor can tell you the challenges you may face while spearfishing and the gears required for a particular area.

5- Gather all necessary gears

You need to gather all the necessary gears suggested by your mentor or necessary for spearfishing. Some gears are similar to underwater diving or snorkeling. In addition, you’ll need hunting gears, which may vary depending on your condition. Some basic gears include a speargun for low-visibility areas, a small reef fish for hunting, which is around 75cm to 100cm, and a single-band speargun for small to medium-sized fish. As you gain experience and are ready to fish bigger fish, you’ll need a longer multi-band gun or an air-powered (pneumatic) speargun. If you’re a complete beginner, you may start practicing with a stick or a basic speargun.

You may also require the following gears:

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

7- Understand your gears

Understanding your gears is crucial. For instance, if you think you’re ready to use a speargun, you need to know how to load, aim, and shoot before going into the water. Other weapons used in spearfishing include pole spears, Hawaiian slings, and band or pneumatic spearguns, which require knowledge to operate.

8- Practice in shallow water

Before spearfishing, it’s essential to get comfortable with the sport, which may require practicing in shallow water using proper spearfishing techniques that you’ve learned.

9- Practice aiming

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

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

Remember one important thing: you don’t want to hurt the fish unnecessarily, as it may struggle to get away even after being caught. So make sure you aim properly and don’t have to puncture it with a knife, which can cause unnecessary suffering for the fish.

Practice aiming at different distances and angles, and try to improve your accuracy with each shot. The more you practice, the better you will become at spearfishing.

10- Equipment Needed for Spearfishing

Spearfishing requires certain equipment to ensure the safety and success of the activity. One of the essential pieces of equipment for spearfishing is the weight belt. The weight belt is used to counteract the buoyancy of the wetsuit and the diver’s body, allowing the diver to descend into the water more easily. The weight belt can be adjusted to the diver’s needs and can be easily removed in case of emergency. It is important to choose a weight belt that is comfortable and fits well, as a poorly fitting belt can be a distraction during the dive.

Where to Spear Fish?

There might be many beginners who are wondering where to spearfish, so I’m adding this section for them.

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

In the USA, popular places for spearfishing 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 others.

Florida has a lot of other restrictions on the number of species that are prohibited, including billfish, manta rays, sharks, red drum, sturgeon, bonefish, tarpon, lobsters, and many more.

These are some of the spearfishing locations around the globe:


Advantages of Spearfishing

Let’s discuss the advantages of spearfishing:

Improved Physical Health

Spearfishing requires swimming and diving, which involve a lot of physical activity, thus improving physical health. It is definitely a good way to improve your physical health.

Eco-friendly Activity

Spearfishing is generally an eco-friendly activity that does not involve any motor or non-friendly equipment. It is a natural way of catching fish. Moreover, spearfishing usually involves catching fewer fish, which has less impact on the underwater habitat.

Select Your Own Prey

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

Relaxing Activity

Spearfishing under the water is a kind of relaxing activity where you can focus on yourself and fishing. All your land worries are left behind, and you can just feel and enjoy the underwater habitat.

Fish Species That Can Be Hunted

The type of fish that can be hunted varies depending on the location of spearfishing. Invasive species are good to hunt because there are no limitations or restrictions on these non-native species.

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


In Hawaii, the invasive species 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 a popular fish to hunt in Florida and is good for beginners to hunt. Grouper is also a popular fish that can be hunted with spearfishing.


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


Carp, bowfish, catfish, and many other fish can be targeted through spearfishing. It is suggested to check with local authorities to make sure that targeting any particular fish is allowed.

Sum up

I’m sure that this extensive guide has answered all your queries related to spearfishing.

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

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