9 Best Tips for Spearfishing in 2024 [List for Beginners]

Tips for Spearfishing

Adventurous appeal of spearfishing makes many people try it, and become recreational, or even professional, spearos.

In theory it may sound simple, but in reality, it can be very demanding and hard. Except for certain fitness level to be able to dive, you need to learn about the technique.

To make it easier for you, here I will list 9 best tips for spearfishing that are equally useful for both beginners and advanced spearos who may need to go back to basics. From locations to equipment, I got it all covered for you!

Of course, you should always consider all the safety aspects of spearfishing and make sure that you obey local rules and regulations.

I assume that you already know what is spearfishing, so I will not bother you with details, and I will go straight to the tips!



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Here are The Best Spearfishing Tips for Beginners and Pros

But before you try these tips, check if is spearfishing legal, especially spearfishing with scuba gear. This is important if traveling to a foreign country.

#1: Research first!

I`m not talking about types of spearfishing here, or some other theoretical knowledge. I’m talking about preparation for the day, especially if you plan to go to unfamiliar location.

Study the currents, tidal changes, local marine species, possible danger like sharks or jellyfish, and learn about fish species you are planning to catch. When planning in advance, there are no unexpected occurrences, and you can focus solely on fishing.

Research can apply to necessary spearfishing equipment, laws about it, or anything that can be useful to you.

#2: Exercise

Holding your breath for a long time is everything but easy. Average person can hold it a bit more than a minute and that is while sitting at home. As a spearo, you have to move precisely, control your body, and hold your breath.

This gets a lot easier if you are fit. Aerobic exercises will increase your lung capacity and stamina, while gentle exercises like Pilates will improve your body awareness and control. Experienced spearos know the importance of exercise and the huge effect it has on successful spearfishing.

#3: Learn how to approach the fish

Spearfishing is a game of waiting, lurking, and positioning yourself in the right place. Chasing fish, especially fast swimming species, will make you go home empty handed.

There are various spearfishing techniques, and not one of them includes chasing. Depending on a location, fish species, and terrain configuration, you have various options. You can observe from the surface and slowly dive down out of the fish sight to get closer. You can dive straight down and wait for the fish to show up. Or you search for places where fish hide and catch them on surprise when they have nowhere to run.

When you find a perfect place, point your gun towards a desired target but don’t aim extensively. Predict the fish movement and wait for the fish to come in a position to be hit. This comes with experience.

Don’t swim directly towards the fish if the fish is swimming and looking directly towards you. Be quiet and don’t make bubbles, sudden movement, or anything that spooks the fish.

Tips for Spearfishing - Learn

#4: Avoid other marine life

If you have ever seen a sea lion under water, you know how interesting they are and how approachable they may seem. The same goes for seals, turtles, but also corals, jellyfish, and numerous different marine species.

First of all, those are wild animals, and they can hurt you even if you are not directly provoking them. They can feel threatened simply by your proximity.

Secondly, some animals that show up are predators and eat the fish. You really don’t want to share your hunting ground with a hungry seal, because you will be the one going home empty handed after it spooks and chases all the fish away.

And don’t try to touch anything that is alive! This includes all marine mammals, turtles, corals, crabs, jellyfish, fish, and vegetation. It can potentially be dangerous.

#5: Consider safety aspects

You may say that safety tips won`t help you catch more fish, but they will, trust me. There are a lot of safety aspects to consider here. From the most obvious to never point your loaded speargun into anyone, to use of right equipment and marking your location with a diving buoy. Don’t carry dead and bloody fish underwater if you suspect sharks could be nearby. Leave it on a boat or shore as soon as you catch it.

If everyone practices these protective measures, you won`t be stressed out about getting hit with a gun, deal with cutting your hands onto something sharp because you don’t have gloves, or worry about boat traffic in the area. All of that will allow you to focus on spearfishing with undivided attention.

#6: Use the right equipment

Among these tips for spearfishing, I have to mention the use of right equipment. You can`t simply take your snorkelling gear and go.

Spearfishing equipment is made up to a standard, and with all necessary features, to meet all your needs while doing it.

Fins must be long. Long sleeve wetsuit protects you from outside influence. You must carry a knife because there is a slim chance that you will get caught into your fishing line. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Speargun maintenance is important too, and only a well-maintained gun can be precise. Carry the appropriate weights, and of course, invest in the best spearfishing mask. Mask is a crucial piece of equipment. Low volume, wide field of view, and anti-fog properties are a must. Especially if you need a prescription diving mask.

Tips for Spearfishing - Equipment

#7: Consider time and weather

The best time to go spearfishing corresponds with activity of targeted fish species. Depending on that, you should choose your time of day. And to be able to do that, we go back to the tip number one here. Learn at least the basic facts about fish behaviour.

Generally, fish are most active when the pressure is dropping, light is low (dusk, dawn, or clouds) and during tidal changes.

But, if you are wondering is spearfishing dangerous, the answer is directly connected with the best time for fishing. When the fish you are catching become active, so do other species like sharks. If you are hunting in shark area, this may be the worst time to go.

And be careful about dropping barometric pressure, as it is a frequent indicator of the storm. Keep close to the shore and when you notice that wave are increasing, or you see or hear the storm in the distance, it is time to get out while you still can.

#8: Choose the right spot

Spearos often ask what are the best places for spearfishing. Not the best world regions, but the best micro locations. The answer is basically the same as the answer for angling. To successfully catch a fish, you must search in areas that are likely to hold fish.

Those areas are structures for protection and food sources. Smaller fish seek for safety in the structures, predators hunt them there. Prey fish eat small organisms present around covers. So, no matter the species, you need areas like this.

Avoid flat and empty bottom. You want rock piles, vegetation, coves, holes, and similar places.

#9: Know the laws!

Spearfishing is not allowed everywhere! In some countries, like US, you can spearfish almost anywhere, frequently with scuba gear too!

But, in many European countries only free diving spearfishing is allowed. In some places, not even that. So, check the local laws! Some countries require you to have a separate license for a speargun, which is not the same as license for spearfishing.

This applies to traveling with spearfishing gear. In some countries you are not allowed to own it. If you are traveling to more than one country, keep in mind that even if you don’t plan to fish in one, you can still get in trouble for owning a speargun.

Check up to date info (because laws can change) on official authorities’ websites of relevant countries.

Wondering how will this info help with your spearfishing? Well, on your southeast Asian tour, your gear won’t get confiscated in Malaysia, where you plan to relax on a beach, before you go to Thailand for spearfishing adventures.

Tips for Spearfishing - Laws


With these tips for spearfishing, you should be able to improve your skills and make the experience more enjoyable!

If it sems that you are stuck in place and making no progress, evaluate what you are doing wrong and try to apply some of these simple solutions!

Of course, don’t forget a spearfishing license. Licenses are always required unless stated otherwise by the relevant authorities.

About Me

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I am Siniša Pintar (friends call me Sina), the guy behind Slo-fishing.si and eBook writer. This site is base camp for fishing enthusiasts from all over the world. I love fishing and want to share all my stories, knowledge and my experience with any and all potential anglers. Read more ...

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