Spearfishing: Everything You Need to Get Started

Spearfishing is one of the oldest methods of fishing that’s used all over the world. It’s one of the most sought-after and eco-friendly methods of acquiring fresh and healthy fish as it doesn’t require weapons or other risky equipment that can create pollution of the water. The best part is that it is also a lot of enjoyment!

Before you begin your dive or hunt for a large snapper or bass, you’ll need to ensure you have all the gear you require to catch. It can be beneficial to speak with others who are experts in the field for equipment for your specific spot, as the gear you’ll require in the Caribbean is not suitable for locations for spearfishing in New Zealand or San Diego.

For an overview of what you need, here are the essential items and equipment that you’ll need to ensure a safe and enjoyable spearfishing experience.

Basic Spearfishing Gear

Anyone who is a professional spearfisher or “spearo” would know that using the correct equipment for spearfishing is vital for your safety and success. Below you’ll find the most basic equipment you might need to buy to begin your first venture into spearfishing, as well as some brands that are highly rated and highly suggested by other spearos.

Fishing License

While technically not part of your spearfishing gear you may have to obtain a valid sporting license prior to hitting the water with your fishing equipment. In many states, you could be fined for fishing without a license, and even face prison in the case of hunting (and killing) protected species.

In general, you’ll be advised to speak with your local authorities, lifeguards fisherman supply and dive shops, as well as other seasoned spearos, to get information prior to doing anything.

Weapon of Choice

It’s time to consider your primary method of spearfishing: Hawaiian slings, pole spears, or a speargun. Hawaiian slings and pole spears each require that you be close to the fish, but they differ in that the sling’s bands will usually remain in your palm while the pole spear disappears from your hand completely when employing it to spear an animal. As for the speargun, they differ in design and construction. Some are launched manually using a band or sling, while others use gas or air (pneumatic).

If you opt for a speargun, you’ll have to take into consideration the visibility of the water and the dimensions of the fish that you’ll hunt before deciding on what kind to buy. The areas that are not visible will require you to make a move closer and thus shorter spearguns are more appropriate. And unless you’re hunting for a bigger fish, there’s no need for thick shafts or an air-powered speargun. Most of the time, if you’ll need a medium-sized, multiple band speargun with a longer reach you can make do by using roller guns.

Spearfishing Wetsuits and Rash Guards

One of the most important things you’ll require prior to spearfishing or diving, in general, is a wetsuit. There are various types and different types of wetsuits available to select according to the conditions of the ocean and the temperature.

If you’re going to spearfish, it’s best to think about the suit’s thickness, especially when diving in warm climates. It’s usually advisable to go for one that’s no thicker than 1.5mm for spearfishing unless you’re planning to do deeper dives in colder waters. If you’re not planning to be doing deep dives or staying in the water for prolonged durations, you are able to go about wearing a rash guard.