With a world full of oceans, finding the best location for your next spearfishing adventure can seem overwhelming. This complete guide will help you find your way to your next spearfishing adventure.
Best Spearfishing locations in America
Hawaii, affectionately known as the Paradise of the Pacific by visitors, is a collection of incredible volcanic islands. These islands are famous for their astounding surf breaks, clear, blue waters, and friendly people.
Water is embedded in the name, according to some etymological theories.
The word Hawaii can be broken down into three base words in the local language;
Ha – Meaning Breath; Wa – Meaning Water or Life Force; I – Meaning Supreme
The Supreme Breath of Water and Life Force.
And, when you arrive on one of the majestic islands of this special place when you spear dive with the species and enjoy the warm waters, you will understand why Hawaii gets this name.
As with the rest of Hawaii, you will need a valid fishing licence to spearfish in Kauai.
But, once you have one, the diving is pretty much all over!
Be weary of diving off the east coast of Kauai though, the currents are strong and the drop offs deep. And, as if we needed reminding, Kauai is a sharky place. Don’t let greed get the better of you, keep your dives short and don’t be tempted to take more than you can eat.
Maui is the second-largest island in the Hawaii Island chain, and many people say it is the most beautiful.
Steep cliffs plunge into the ocean, revealing deep canyons and caverns teeming with gorgeous and abundant fish species.
You can expect to hunt such beauties as Giant Trevally, Milkfish, and Large Snapper. You also have the opportunity to help the marine environment of Hawaii by hunting invasive species like the notorious Peacock Grouper, Bluestripe, and Black Tail Snapper.
There are highly qualified spearfishing guides on the island whose wealth of knowledge and expertise should not be underestimated.
Florida, you beauty! The Florida Keys are known as some of the best waters of the United States and for a good reason! Tropical, warm, and still waters give life to a huge array of tropical marine life.
Expect clear water, thin wetsuits, and beautiful sunshine as you embark on this local jewel of US spearfishing.
Key West is the very last of the Florida Keys, sitting relatively far off the mainland of Florida.
The location of Key West allows for a large variety of spearfishing options, from gentle shallow water snorkeling sites to medium and deep blue water Pelagic spearfishing options.
This variety in depth also gives you great variety in access. You’ll be able to shore-entry most places, and there are plenty of charters to cater to your deep-water desires! Be sure you go with an accredited charter boat, though; there are enough scoundrels out there to lead you astray.
Expect Grouper, Hogfish, and bigger pelagics like Wahoo and Dorado. But, be aware, these fish are not afraid to put up a fight.
West Palm Beach
As if living in Florida wasn’t incredible enough, you can easily shore-spear off of any of the beaches in West Palm Beach with ease! There are very few restrictions and a huge array of marine creatures to choose from.
West Palm Beach is frequented by many ocean enthusiasts, including boaters, so having a good dive flag is really important to remain free of propeller-related haircuts.
Miami has a high concentration of speardiving charters to choose from, so it really makes sense to find a reputable charter for spearfishing in this part of Florida.
You will be traveling between mainland Miami and Miami Beach, searching for Hogs, Grouper, and Mahi Mahi.
Panama city beach
You can try your hand at scuba-assisted spearfishing in this vibrant fishery, which will afford you the opportunity to really learn the intricacies and techniques of the sport. As said above, a good charter is going to be your best bet for spearfishing, especially if you are going to be using scuba to lengthen your hunting times,
Situated in the middle of the Keys, where shallow water spearing is casually frowned-upon, Key Largo is home to some of the best middle-to-deep water spearing spots in all of the Keys.
Once again, a reputable Charter is super important to get the most out of your spearfishing in Key Largo.
Virginia Beach has a thriving local spearo community, and finding spearfishing buddies will be super easy, just search on social media and be open to meeting new people.
If time is short, diving charters are your next best bet.
Beautiful California just got even better! Adding to your Californian experience with top-quality kelp spearfishing is the cherry-on-top of an already magical coastal state!
Be sure to take a look at the fishing regulations set up by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to make sure you spearfish legally and sustainably.
San Clemente island
Summer is the best season for spearfishing along the extended coastline of San Clemente.
Big pelagics like Bluefin and Yellowfin Tuna are brought close to shore with the warmer waters and make for very exciting spearfishing for sure!
But, there is plenty of fish to spear for those less experienced at hunting big Game Fish.
Halibut and rockfish make for a far tamer but no less enjoyable spearfishing experience.
Nestled along the coast of San Diego is the serene town of La Jolla, well-loved by spearfishers, snorkelers, and divers alike.
La Jolla cove is an especially well-known spearing spot, boasting the La Jolla Underwater Park and seven submerged caves to explore. Kelp forests are abundant just outside of this cove too, making for prime spearfishing conditions.
If you happen to be in this lovely little cove between June and December, you should keep an eye out for the thousands of pregnant Leopard Sharks that frequent these waters.
Another important feature to check out while in San Diego is the Tombstone- a monument sunk into the water honoring all the spearfishers lost to the oceans paver over the years.
The city of San Francisco is flanked by the ocean on three sides, giving unparalleled opportunities for spearfishing straight from the shoreline of a major American city. What a treat!
The Pacifica state beach in Linda Mar is a great option for new and experienced spearos alike, with easy access and clearer waters than some other areas. Heck, there’s even a Taco bell nearby if you don’t manage to catch anything!
If you feel like a little drive to a still-water location, driving from San Fransisco to Pebble Beach is your best bet!
North Carolina is a lesser-known gem of East-Coast spearfishing. This oversight is quite unfortunate, though, because, with 322 miles of Atlantic coastline and some 12 000 miles of estuarine coastline, the variation and density of the marine life in North Carolina cannot be disputed.
A standard fishing license is required for fishing these lovely waters, and there are no restrictions on the types of fish you can spear. There are restrictions to the amount of Game Fish you can spear per day, so be sure to make yourself aware of these before heading off.
The types of Game Fish you are likely to encounter are; Mackerel, Tuna, Tarpon, Wahoo, Bluefish, and Cobia.
Best spearfishing spots in North Carolina:
The Outer Banks Shipwrecks
There are between 2000-3000 shipwrecks along the coast of North Carolina, making it the paradise of shipwreck spearos the world over! You are guaranteed to find a wreck that suits your diving capabilities, all teeming with life and ready for spearing!
Be careful when spearfishing along any wreck, check conditions often and always dive with a dive buddy.
Some of the wrecks that are most accessible for spearfishing are:
- The Triangle Wrecks
- The Huron Wreck
- The Winks Wreck
- The Oriental Wreck
All of these wrecks are between 100 and 250 yards out to sea, making them incredibly accessible by a strong swimmer or a person with a small boat of some kind.
The Oregon Inlet
In the very northernmost section of the Outer Banks, the Oregon Inlet offers opportunities for some incredible diving straight from the shore!
The Oregon Inlet was caused by a Hurricane in 1846 and has some unique underwater geography to explore.
The choppy waters of the North Atlantic are calmed just enough to make the spearfishing in Rhode Island surprisingly calm and clear. Visibility on a good day gets to as much as 60 feet!
Spearfishing in Rhode Island becomes even more appealing when you realize that it is one of the only areas where the hunting of Striped Bass is legal and that you can uncover some truly trophy-sized fish out in those cold waters.
Bock Island is your most consistent bet for good diving in the area and has interesting bottom topography, ideal for Striped bass and other Bass species.
You will need a fishing license to spearfish on Rhode Island, at $7 for locals and $10 for non-residents.
Do not let the cold waters of this magical location put you off. Don a wetsuit with a hood and some gloves, and you’re good to go! The Striped Bass are worth it!
Where there’s a will, there’s a way! Don your best wetsuit and head out into the icy waters of Michigan!
Lake Michigan sits on the border between Canada and the United States and served as a trade route in years gone past. The sheer size of this impressive body of water made it a relatively dangerous lake to navigate.
As such, there are a large number of wrecks sitting at the bottom of this massive lake, all waiting for your to explore them. Large numbers of Bass congregate on these wrecks, hiding in dark corners and collapsed pieces of the wrecks.
You’ll be greeted by fairly good visibility under Lake Michigan, of roughly 35 feet, although reports talk of fabled 100 feet+ visibility days! But it is cold, so take a 7mm wetsuit down with you.
The 7mm wetsuit and the less dense freshwater will mean that you have to carry more weight with you when you spearfish, so take that into account and practice with your Lake Michigan setup before going spearing.
Wrecks always present greater novel challenges than a normal reef system. Make sure you have good visuals of your spearfishing buddies at all times and plan your dives well.
Arizona is hot and dry, and there’s no doubt about it. But, the majestic Colorado River, and the lakes built off of it, offer plenty of underwater adventures!
Lake Powell stretches from the Arizona state line some 186 miles into the Canyonlands National Park in Utah. Fed by the Colorado River, Lake Powell boasts some of the best visibility of any of the Colorado lakes. You’ll also find it not as cold as you might expect, although a wetsuit is advisable.
You’ll find all your regular candidates when spearfishing Lake Powell; Large and Smallmouth Bass, Rainbow Trout, and Striped Bass. But you’ll also have the opportunity to hunt some more obscure fish species like the Colorado Squawfish.
Yip, you read right. Nevada is more than just desert and casino strips. It’s home to some pretty decent spearfishing!
The Colorado River, sitting on the border of Nevada and Arizona, is the life-blood of the area. And, sitting along this mighty river, Lake Mohave and Lake Mead offer opportunities for the land-locked spearo to get a dive in!
Lake Mead is the larger of the two lakes along the Colorado River, with some serious depth to its waters. It does have some visibility issues, though, especially in the summer when there are Algae blooms. This is not surprising though, given that it is part of a river system.
Don’t let the inconsistent visibility get you down though, spearfishing in Lake Mead is well worth the trip.
Don yourself a good wetsuit and get ready for a grand adventure, accessible from the shore!
Large and Small-mouthed Bass are most prolific in Lake Mead, but you can also expect to hunt Striped Bass and Trout.
So far in this article, we have spoken of far-flung, tropical islands filled with unimaginably blue oceans and perfect surf breaks.
But, the United States has plenty of playgrounds for us to speardive our hearts out!
And Texas is one of those amazing places!
Texas has a massive coastline spanning 367 miles along the Gulf of Mexico.
Warm coastal waters bring in an abundance of fish species for us to hunt without ever needing to leave the country.
In Texas, diving from the shore is possible, but the best experiences are only accessible by boat or sea kayak out in federal waters.
There is a law against spearfishing any Game Fish within 9 miles of the shore in Texas, but out in federal waters, you’re good to go!
Best spearfishing spots in Texas:
Find a boat, and let’s go spearing!
Home to the endangered and incredible Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, this lovely seaside city has something fishy for your entire family. Think aquariums, naval museums, you name it!
Corpus Christi has an ocean on the brain!
When it comes to spearfishing, you will be delighted to find a huge array of tasty and challenging fish species to hunt in the beautiful bay of Corpus Christi.
Remember though that, given the proliferate of fish species, you will be sharing the waters with line-fishers. Be aware of their lines and where they’re casting, and plan your movements accordingly.
Charter a boat out from Texas City to this nearby island. It’s a great spot popular with fishermen of all types, so remember to share the waters well!
Texas Oil Rig Spearfishing:
Man, oh, man! What an adventure to be had out on the oil rigs!
For any potential negative impacts these rigs may have on the local environment, they have also become incredibly rich and diverse reef ecosystems for fish species to thrive on.
And for us to spearfish on, obviously.
A boat or a kayak is essential to get out to these outer-lying artificial reefs, as they can be as far as 20 miles outside of mainland Texas. Their distance is a two-fold blessing though, as they sit outside of the 9-mile demarcation for pelagic fish spearing.
(We’ll get to this in a moment!)
Be especially careful when you’re spearfishing around an oil rig. These structures have a myriad of obstacles and potential dangers that should not be understated. Dive with a plan, dive with a team and dive with the right equipment to limit potential incidents occurring.
Nestled between Mississippi and Texas, Louisiana is a hotbed of culture and magnificent coastlines, with a long-standing fishing culture.
Go to any diner, and you’ll see for yourself, fish is on the menu!
The spearfishing regulations are a great deal less severe than in Texas, although the quality of the fishing is the same. One of the major differences in the regulations between the two states is that you may spearfish with scuba diving equipment in Louisiana.
Just as in texas, the oil rigs along the coast of Louisiana have some of the highest concentrations of fish and some of the most exciting diving that the state has to offer.
Best Spearfishing Locations In North America
Sun and Sombreros, Tequila and Tacos. These are the archetypes of the classical Mexican holiday. However, in recent years spearers have become more and more aware of this tropical paradise’s spearfishing potential.
Flanked by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, Mexico is well-known for its consistent water temperatures and pristine, blue oceans. As with the other Caribean islands, Mexico also hosts a venerable smorgasbord of fish varieties!
Mexico is a haven for beginner and experienced spearfishers alike. You just need to know where the spots are!
Chartering a dive boat is going to be your best bet at accessing the best spots in Mexico, as many of them are in deep, blue water.
Taking a spearfishing holiday in Puerto Rico is the perfect getaway for the whole family!
Rolling white beaches, warm, clear water, plenty of close reefs for snorkeling, and deep drop-offs for serious spearing culminate in an adventure that everyone will be speaking about for years!
There is also an increase of specially catered half-and-full day charters that you can choose from, increasing your likelihood of spearing big fish and having the non-spearos entertained too!
The importance of local knowledge should not be understated in Puerto Rico. There are many fish species that carry the Ciguatera toxin (or Cig) for either part of or all of the fishing season. And, Ciguatera will make you very sick.
It is close to impossible to tell if a fish has Cig just from looking at it, so the advice of intelligent and well-dived locals is your best bet against making yourself and your family sick.
That in mind, go out there and explore!
Puerto Rico has phenomenal spearfishing from every corner of the island!
Ah, the Bahamas! A purist’s paradise!
The Bahamas host some of the most pristine marine environments on this incredible blue planet we call home. This magical set of 700 islands and keys provides you with comfortably warm water all year round, utterly breath-taking azure-blue waters, and relatively shallow diving reefs.
All these elements culminate in an easy-going spear diving experience that really gets at the heart of holiday diving! Go in the summer, and you won’t even need a wetsuit!
And the fish! Don’t even get us started on the fish in the Bahamas.
(We’ll get to the fish you can spear in a bit)
But first, a note on the style of spearfishing common in the Bahamas.
Leave your spearguns at home folks, because spear diving in the Bahamas is permitted only with traditional pole spears and Hawaiian slings, as well as three-prong spears. All these are thrown by hand and give the fish you are hunting a sporting chance at making it.
It’s quite an experience, and while you will want to do a bit of practicing on your local reef before heading out, your spear diving trip will thank you for it!
Understandably, all types of underwater breathing apparatus are illegal when freediving in the Bahamas.
The Bahamas take their fish conservation seriously, and so should you.
Getting caught with illegal apparatus, incorrectly sized fish or shellfish out of season will land you with hefty fines and perhaps even time in jail!
So, get a guide, get a Hawaiian sling, get a boat and get out there!
Best Spearfishing Locations in Asia
The Island Nation of Japan is world-renowned for its abundant fish life and charismatic fishing culture. And, given that Abundant oceans on all sides flank japan, it is easy to see where this fishing culture is born..
The Japanese even invented a type of spearing knife called the Ikejime – or death spike. They use this to quickly kill speared fish and avoid unnecessary shark attention.
Spearfishing on the mainland of Japan is a contentious topic. Do right by the community you are immersed in and speak with the local fishermen about what fish are good to spear.
Certain fish in the waters of Japan are protected by commercial fishing licenses and are illegal to spear recreationally.
Away from the mainland, though, the regulations are more relaxed. There is a thriving spearfishing community on islands like Okinawa and Nagasaki, and finding forums connecting you to them is easy to find and follow.
Spearfishing is more than just a pass time for the Balinese people. This ancient practice is a form of cultural heritage and many Balinese spearfish as a means of subsistence living.
And, with the richness of the Balinese seas, it’s easy to see why spearfishing has become so important to the people of Bali.
There are plenty of spearfishing charters to choose from, so many in fact that it can become quite overwhelming! Be cautious and look for charters with experience and good internet reviews.
Best spearfishing spots in Bali:
Whether you prefer to spearfish from the shore or from a charter boat, Bali is going to wow you with its many unique and varied spearfishing spots.
Shore spearfishing spots:
Bali is ringed by beautiful coral reefs, making shore entry spearfishing a viable pass time from virtually every beach you see! We’ve included two below that are especially known for their shallow waters and abundant fish life.
25 minutes from the airport in the south of Bali, Nusa Dua is home to many lavish hotels and restaurants. But, more importantly, it has very close reefs to the shoreline, making it a breeze for a quick shore entry spearfishing adventure.
A beginner’s paradise! Sanur has a shallow lagoon between the shoreline and the outer reefs, making it a dream for those who are just learning how to spearfish. It is also close to the airport and has many wonderful hotel accommodations.
If you take a boat to the outer reef, you can expect to have a full-on spearfishing experience to write home about.
Offshore spearfishing spots:
The deeper waters of Bali allow you the opportunity to fish for bigger pelagic species of fish, often not found on the shallow inside reefs. It does take a bit of practice getting used to deep, bluewater diving, but the rewards are well worth the efforts of finding a boat and honing your skills.
Amed is the name given to an incredible 9 mile stretch of beach in the south-eastern edge of Bali. It is also the name of one of the rustic villages that exist along this beautiful stretch of beach.
The south-eastern edge of Bali is, according to some, the most biodiverse of the entire island and is home to the infamous Dogtooth Tuna – the dream of spearfishermen the world over!
Lombok is an island off the coast of mainland Bali that is famous for its surf-breaks and plethora of Tuna species!
You can access this island using a ferry that leaves for Padang Bai.
Best SpearFishing Locations In Europe
Ascension Island comes out of a dream. Many of the world’s current spearfishing records come out of this isolated place’s deep, clear, blue waters.
Found along the Trade Winds of the South Atlantic Ocean, this almost mythical volcanic island is a refuge for migrating pelagic fish between Brazil and Angola. As many species make crossings of the great Atlantic, they will stop along the coast of Ascension Island to hunt and rest.
This is not the only reason for the stories of record-breaking fish. Ascension Island is, to this day, an active military base with a 200-mile commercial fishing ban surrounding it.
This superb diving spot is truly one of the best globally and should be on the hit list of any self-described Big Game Spearfisher.
The most revered of the Gamefish you can expect out there is Tuna. Huge, powerful, majestic Tuna weighing in at 250 lb+ can be found throughout the year, increasing in October.
Other fish of note include Sailfish, Grander Marlin, and Wahoo if spearing gigantic Tuna gets a little boring.
It is important to plan your Ascension adventures well in advance, there are a few logistical hoops you need to jump through in order to get onto the island.
But, it is so well worth the trip.
The Last Cast…
The world’s oceans are full of incredible creatures and splendid geography.
Of all the magical parts of spearfishing, its capacity to carry you to far-flung destinations is one of the most magical!
From the Acsension Island to Hawaii, spearfishing opens up the world to you to fish from.
But, as we’ve seen, we have magic on our doorstep! The entire United States is littered with high quality diving, and should definitely not be overlooked.
Get informed, get your licences and get spearfishing!
There’s a whole world out there for you to explore.