Spearfishing in Puerto Rico: All You Need to Know

Spearfishing in Puerto Rico

Travelling to new places combined with spearfishing adventures is the best type of vacation, and I assume that you think the same.

Discovering unknown seas and fish species that are not available at home give a special appeal to this type of travel. And Puerto Rico is a top destination.

Spearfishing in Puerto Rico offers a lot of possibilities. From shore spearfishing to blue water adventure. There are numerous charters and guides available, and even spearfishing courses! Of course, certain law requirements and restrictions apply, but it is otherwise perfectly legal.

I strongly advise checking up to date info about allowed equipment, closed season, off limit areas and species, bag and size limits, and license requirements prior to your travel date as those can change.

Prepare well, gather relevant info, and you will have a wonderful time in Puerto Rico!

Here I will tell you more about everything you need to know about it!

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Is Spearfishing Legal in Puerto Rico?

I assume that you already know what is spearfishing and what are the differences between types and equipment used, so i'll go straight to explaining is spearfishing legal here.

Spearfishing is legal in Puerto Rico, but some restrictions apply. Certain areas are closed through certain seasons for all fishing activities, including spearfishing. One of the best examples of this is Bajo De Sico that closes on October 1st and stays close to March 31st. So, if that is your destination of choice, keep in mind that you have to plan in accordance with it.

I will use the same location for another example, and that is year-round prohibited anchoring. Of course, strict bag limits apply. For some species there are none, like skipjack, but for bonnethead there is one per day limit.

Prohibited species include, but are not limited to, parrotfish, some groupers, and some shark species. There is an excellent booklet available online where you can find all info for Caribbean region.

When it comes to spearguns available, there are no special restrictions, however using scuba gear is prohibited.

Do you Need a License for Spearfishing in Puerto Rico?

Spearfishing in Puerto Rico can be done without a license in federal waters, at least for now. There has been a lot of proposed changes and various parties getting involved into new law creation that would be stricter.

When it comes to waters that are not federal, license is required. Those are state waters, and some parts are even protected, which means that no fishing is allowed.

Licences are cheap (I will mention the prices later on), easy to get, and allow you to remain carefree and not worry about the authorities showing up. There are even additional tamps required for certain species.

How Much is a License for Spearfishing in Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico spearfishing can be done with a regular saltwater license. There is no special type of license that is used for spearfishing.

Spearfishing license is required for anglers older than 13, both residents and non-residents. Some licenses are free, but that is not the same as not required. You need to have one with you at all times while fishing.

These are the spearfishing license prices:

• Residents 13-14 years of age – free license
• Residents 15 to 21 years of age - $3 for one day, $5 for 7 days or one year
• Residents 22 to 60 years of age - $3 for one day, $5 for 7 days, $20 for one year
• Residents older that 60 – free license
• Non-resident US citizens - $5 for one day, $7 for 7 days, $35 for one year
• Non-resident, non-US, foreign visitor - $7 for one day, $10 for 7 days, $50 for one year

As you can see, prices are exceptionally low and even if no one cares if you have one, you should definitely get it.

What Fish Can You Spear Fish in Puerto Rico?

You can enjoy all types of spearfishing in Puerto Rico, and that means that you can catch all kinds of fish species.

Here is a list of most popular species to catch:

SNAPPERS

• Silk
• Blackfin
• Black
• Vermillion
• Mutton
• Lane

GROUPERS

• Red
• Tiger
• Yellowfin
• Black
• Yellowedge
• Red Hind (restriction apply)

BIG GAME FISH

• Mahi
• Marlin
• Wahoo
• Billfish

These are just the most popular ones, but there are dozens of others you can catch!

Some are accessible from the shore and even beginners can enjoy safe spearfishing. Larger species are accessible to spearos that are a bit more experienced and adventurous and require the use of boats and fiving in deeper waters.

Spearfishing in Puerto Rico - Wahoo

Where to Go Spearfishing in Puerto Rico? [Best Locations]

Best places for spearfishing around the world include Puerto Rico, but what are the best locations in this destination?

Keep in mind that Puerto Rico has strong currents, rip tides, and water may become murky. This is a danger even close to the shore. Islands in the middle of the ocean are always dangerous and are not comparable with small, enclosed seas you can find in some parts of the world.

ARECIBO

From barracuda to snook and tarpon, you can find all kind s of fish here, especially further from the shore. Lagoons in the San Juan direction offer some pretty spectacular fishing opportunities. Of course, charters are available everywhere.

AGUADILLA

This is another incredible location that offers great spearfishing opportunities. You can find various snappers that are present in large numbers, but in addition to that there are other reef species you can catch too.

RINCON

From shore dives to blue water charters or even kayak spearfishing tours, Rincon has it all! If you are in a search of wahoo to catch, this is a place for you!

SAN JUAN

San Juan is very popular Puerto Rico destination, and if you plan to hire a charter while on vacation, this is the spot. You can reach many amazing places and can choose the adventure you like, from blue water to reefs, everything is there! That also means that you have a large selection of fish to catch.

Among other places, I would exclude Fajardo and Puerto Real like excellent locations too.

If you are wondering is spearfishing dangerous, especially in unfamiliar locations, I say that it is. This is why I recommend hiring a guide. Of course, you should learn about local fish species, and dangers that may occur such as poisonous species, currents, boat traffic or sharks.

You can also check some other good locations for spearfishing like California or San Diego.

Spearfishing in Puerto Rico - Locations

What is the Best Time for Spearfishing in Puerto Rico?

The best time for spearfishing depends on your targeted species as you have to consider closed seasons, but also seasons when fish are present. During summer, June to November, many species migrate into this area and those are mostly reef fish accessible from the shore. However, that is the season of tropical storms too.

Blackfin can be caught year-round, mahi season is November-December in the north and February to May in the south. Blue marlin season is June-November, and wahoo November-April. Tarpon can be caught from November to May.

But, to be successful at any time of the year in such fishing conditions you should not save on equipment. From reliable and powerful spearguns to suits and fins, you need equipment that will not let you down. High-end mask for spearfishing is a must, as well as a diving knife.

Freshwater Spearfishing in Puerto Rico - Is it Allowed?

Puerto Rico spearfishing is the most popular for saltwater spearos, and anglers too, but what about freshwater?

Freshwater fishing is not the most popular form of fishing on this island, but it exists, and it is better than you think. You can even go fly fishing. Lakes are man-made, there are ponds too, but unfortunately, spearfishing is not an option. It is not well defined in the law, at least for now, and it is better not to test your luck.

However, if you are up for some angling experiences in between saltwater fishing trips, you can catch bass, catfish, sunfish, perch, tilapias, and similar species.

Spearfishing in Puerto Rico - Spearo

Conclusion

Spearfishing in Puerto Rico is an amazing experience. This place offers endless possibilities for spearos of all experience levels.

The safest and easiest way to navigate through unfamiliar waters is to book a charter trip with a licensed guide and enjoy!

When visiting foreign destination always obey local laws and regulations about fishing. And if you need more spearfishing tips check this article!

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