The need for food has forced humans to find the easiest and best way to find it in every situation. Since ancient times, people have realized that spearfishing is a great way to provide food on the table. In the earliest period, people fished in streams and rivers with the help of sharpened sticks. In modern times, the equipment is much more advanced, but it works on the same principle.
This method of fishing is not at all easy, especially for beginners, but like any technique, it can be mastered. If this seems appealing to you, I would like to share with you a few tricks and tips to bring you closer to this underwater fishing technique.
Table of Contents
- What is Underwater Spearfishing?
- Regulations Governing Underwater Fishing
- What is Needed for Spearfishing?
- How to Choose the Best Speargun?
- Where to Go Spearfishing?
- Benefits of Underwater Fishing
- Spearfishing Techniques
- Final Thoughts
- Relevant Resources
What is Underwater Spearfishing?
Underwater spearfishing is, to put it simply, a technique of monitoring and shooting fish with an underwater gun or some similar equipment. Although the whole world will understand what you mean by that term, spearfishing varies in different parts of the world. Just as fish are not the same in parts of the world, the equipment needed to catch them is not the same. An example of this difference is the technique used in the Bahamas and Bermuda and in the rest of the world.
Regulations Governing Underwater Fishing
Fishing equipment and technique is not the only thing that differs in this style of fishing in different parts of the world. Regulations governing underwater fishing are different on all continents, and sometimes there is a difference between countries on them.
- Australia– Only recreational fishing is allowed in Australia and generally only breath-hold freediving. The government of this country has established a number of restrictions in this area of fishing.
- Norway– Norway is the country with the most liberal spearfishing rules. Restrictions are reduced to Atlantic salmon, sea trout, and lobster.
- Mexico– If you have a fishing license in Mexico, it allows you to fish underwater, but with certain restrictions. Electro-mechanical spearguns are prohibited.
- United States– The United States has different regulations for each state. In Florida, this type of fishing is limited to a few hundred meters along the coast.
- UK– Underwater freshwater fishing is strictly prohibited in this state.
What is Needed for Spearfishing?
As you may have guessed, you don’t need a lot of equipment for this type of fishing. You don’t need to spend a huge amount of money on equipment. It is important to get basic items, and you will be able to use most of them for several other water sports.
- Speargun– Just as you can’t go classic fishing without a fishing rod, you can’t go underwater fishing without speargun. Its purpose is to spear the fish. The basic parts of this speargun are barrel, spear, and the handle. The most common are two types of spearguns: pneumatic and band guns. Pneumatic ones use air pressure to fire your blades. The second type is intended for somewhat more professional and experienced anglers. Band guns are measured by their total length unlike pneumatic ones.
- Pole Spear– The spear poles are composed of a long shaft with a spike. They are made of carbon fiber, wood, graphite, or aluminum. Their length is usually 4 to 10 feet.
- Hawaiian Slings– In order to launch a spear in the desired direction you need Hawaiian slings, that are made of an elastic band attached to a tube.
- Knife– To avoid unpleasant situations such as entanglement in the spearline or floatline, it would be advisable to carry a knife (especially an ikejima) or a pair of scissors with you.
- Buoy or Float– The purpose of this gadget is to allow you to more easily conquer larger fish, but also to allow you to store fish more easily. However, although it is not its main purpose, it is used to warn boat drivers that divers are there. This is achieved thanks to its size, bright colors and the flag that flutters on it
- Float Line– The purpose of the floating line is to connect the buoy with an underwater rifle or weight belt.
- Gloves– My personal advice to you is not to go underwater fishing without gloves, even in your madness. It will protect your hands when pulling fish out of rock and coral cracks. It will also protect you from the cold.
- Fish Stringer– The purpose of this item is to keep the fish on a spear while diving.
- Snorkel and Diving Mask– The classic diving mask has a smaller internal volume. Besides that, the scuba diving mask and the classic mask are very similar.
- Diver Down Flag– A diving flag is a safety flag that serves to indicate to boat drivers that a diver is below. This indicates to boat drivers that they should slow down and pay attention to divers.
- Weight Belt or Weight Vest– These rubber belts are there to make diving easier and are much more practical than, for example non-stretch webbing belts.
- Wetsuit– Wetsuits intended for this type of fishing are most often two-piece suits consisting of a jacket and high waisted pants. They are most often in black or camouflage. The reason for this is that the fish would not notice you. The thickness of the suit you need depends on the depth at which you plan to dive.
- Fins– If you are planning to get new fins that would improve your performance during spearfishing, be sure to choose the longer one.
Some other prerequisites must be met in order for you to engage in this type of fishing. First of all, you need to get a diving certificate. Don’t push yourself from the start. I started with shallow diving and as my experience increased so did the depth at which I dived. Do not go underwater fishing without proper underwater equipment. What I would also advise you is to dive with a friend. That way you will be able to help each other in trouble.
How to Choose the Best Speargun?
The first thing you should know is that there are two main types of spearguns pneumatic and band powered ones. The second one is much more popular in the market. The reason for this is that they are easy to maintain and repair if needed. Band powered spearguns are divided into three subtypes-The European style, The Rail gun, and The American Style Gun. Each of them is ideal for the purpose it serves. That is why it is best to check the characteristics of each of them well before buying and find out which one is the most ideal for you.
Where to Go Spearfishing?
Not every water surface is suitable for spearfishing. This sport can be practiced in the Mediterranean Sea, on the American coasts and islands, in the Caribbean Sea, on the coasts of South Africa, on the coasts of Australia and the islands of the South Pacific.
Benefits of Underwater Fishing
Although this activity was primarily created to provide food on the table, it has grown into a serious sport. In the last fifteen years, this sport has experienced expansion thanks to the increase in free diving courses. People are ready to travel the world to enjoy spearfishing. And I’m not surprised about that.
By underwater fishing I do good for myself, but also for the world. The fact is that divers are the ones who have noticed climate change and the loss of habitat of many living beings due to irresponsible human behavior.
Your spear fishing techniques can greatly depend on how skilled you are. There are three basic types of underwater fishing- shallow water spearfishing, freediving spearfishing, and scuba dive spearfishing.
Free Dive Spearfishing
This technique can be considered a form of extreme sport. This is because when you use this technique you do not have an air or scuba tank to help you.
Shallow Water Spearfishing
This is the simplest technique of all three. It is performed just below the water or above it. It can be done from a boat, a fishing kayak, or even from the shore.
Scuba Dive Spearfishing
This is a much safer option than the first one listed. With this technique you will have the opportunity to spend a much longer time below the surface of the water and at a much greater depth. I advise you to study the behavior of the fish, enjoy the scene and then have a fantastic catch. There is another technique, which is not mentioned so often in the basic division.
That is blue water hunting. This technique involves diving in open ocean waters on pelagic species, such as marlin, tuna, wahoo, or giant trevally. The boat driver drops divers and lets them drift up to several kilometers. This is a technique that is practiced around the world, but most often in South Africa, Australia and the South Pacific.
If you have the will, desire, and means to provide yourself with the appropriate equipment, I advise you to try spearfishing. I hope that the advice and information that I have conveyed to you was useful and interesting.