Last modified on December 23rd, 2019 at 11:48 am

Spearfishing for Beginners

(Last Updated On: December 23, 2019)

If you are new to spearfishing, then this guide is going to help you become a safe and successful Spearo.

We’re going to take you through spearfishing, what to look for in equipment and how you can be safe during your first few spearfishing adventures.

We are also going to discuss the types of spearfishing that may be best for beginners too. So, if you are new to spearfishing and want a crash-course in this awesome sport, you’re in the right place.

This guide to spearfishing is split into a few parts to help beginners find out everything they’ll need to ensure they are safe while spearfishing and while having lots of fun too.

Spearfishing is a great way to fish. It is affordable, sustainable and a lot of fun. However, it is also a tough way of fishing.

Spearfishing can be one of the hardest types of fishing to get into and one of the most difficult when it comes to skill improvement too.

So, with the tips about spearfishing in this article, you should have everything you need to get started as a Spearo. From there, you can learn and grow your spearfishing skills and develop into one mean Spearo!

This article will also help those who have gone spearfishing before. If you’ve been a few times without too much success, some of the tips below are perfect for you.

While there is information about spearfishing that you may know, even novices can benefit from some of the spearfishing tips in this article.

So, if you’re ready, let’s dive into spearfishing and see why this amazing sport is attracting so many new faces and the skills these new Spearos need to catch some fish, shall we?

Spearfishing for beginners – the tips you need!

Safety first

Spearfishing can have a lot of hidden dangers that beginners may not realize. Of course, spearfishing can bring in predators like sharks, for example.

If you are doing everything right and catching fish, there will be blood in the water around you.

Safety with spearfishing is so important, so please don’t skip these spearfishing tips thinking you know everything about safety because spearfishing can get nasty quickly.

Even if you are confident that no sharks are in the waters, there is still every chance of getting caught in fishing nets and the potential of drowning is always present in any water sport. This brings me on to my next spearfishing tip.

1. Dive with a friend

A driving buddy is extremely important when spearfishing and in any diving activity. Blackouts can occur in any depth of water.

If you blackout or end up unconscious underwater, you have about two minutes before death or even brain damage occurs.

Without anyone there watching your back, you’re screwed, to be frank! So, never go spearfishing without someone else.

It doesn’t matter how much diving experience you have, it really isn’t worth the risk.

2. Do your research

When starting out spearfishing, you’ll likely need to head to your local dive shop to get supplies. While you’re there, ask people about the best beginner’s spearfishing spots.

Some spots, although they may yield more fish, are extremely dangerous for beginners and should be avoided.

There could be tough underwater terrain, currents, rough waters, that sort of thing. You already have enough to worry about, you’re learning how to spearfish, so try a calmer spot, to begin with.

If you can’t find any local information at your local dive shop, try online. Look at these spots online and see what other divers are saying.

Also, go to the spearfishing spot you have in mind and investigate. Would you snorkel there? If the answers no, don’t spearfish there.

For beginner spearfishing, it is best to start in waters shallower than 20ft and avoid rough waters.

3. Take a dive knife

A dive knife is an extremely useful tool. They aren’t too expensive and could well save your life. And yes, having a knife around your ankle makes you feel cool too!

Dive knives are great for piecing yourself or a friend free from ropes and nets. Also, they are good for cutting trapped fish and other marine life free from nets and snags too.

A dive knife is also the tool you’ll use for dispatching any fish your spear too. Now, you may get lucky and get a clean kill, but a beginner is likely to spear a fish in an area that doesn’t get the job done.

The quickest way to dispatch a fish you have caught, and the most humane way is by “braining it”. This is where you stick your dive knife at the top of the fish’s head and move it around.

4. Don’t go searching in dark holes

You know that monster that used to live under your bed when you were younger? Well, that monster is now lurking in the dark holes under the sea.

The last thing you want to go and do is stick your hands in these dark holes. Also, don’t poke your spear in these holes either.

Eels, according to horror stories, love clamping down on diver’s arms that do this and they have super-sharp teeth so getting them unclamped is nearly impossible.

Your solution to avoid meeting an eel in this way is just to avoid poking your hands and arms into their homes.

If an eel came and poked their head into your home, you’d bite it, so you can’t blame the eels for doing the same!

5. Start with a pole spear

Pole spears can be an excellent way of learning how to spearfish. They aren’t too expensive, and they are easy to learn too.

Using a pole spear can teach you how to navigate in the water while holding a weapon. You’ll also learn the basic skills you need to become an expert Spearfisher.

Another option you have is to look for a quality speargun that can also help make life easier.

6. Start small

This relates to choosing your dive spot. There is no point in hunting the biggest fish in the sea the first few times you go spearfishing.

You will bite off way more than you can chew and probably end up catching nothing. Instead, focus on fish that are smaller, sure, you may not be to eat these fish, but targeting smaller fish is a great way to build your aptitude and practice your aim.

Also, try fishing in shallower waters too, waters near reefs and jetties, for example. These waters provide great hiding spots for you, and so it’s much easier to find the fish your chasing.

7. Find a mentor

If you know someone that is already an experienced Spearo, get as much advice as possible. Learn everything about spearfishing from them.

Whether you go spearfishing with that person or not isn’t important but having them as your dive buddy can give you excellent help during your first few sessions.

If that person knows that you’re keen on learning how to spearfish from them, they will probably welcome you into the spearfishing world and teach you far more than you can learn on your own!

8. Own the right gear

You don’t need a lot of gear to spearfish, but you do need the right gear. You want good quality gear for spearfishing, particularly when it comes to gloves, fins and your mask.

Also, if the water you are spearfishing in is a low temperature, invest in a wetsuit, your Johnson will thank you as you’ll be in that cold water for a good few hours!

9. Be small

While fish may not have amazing eyesight, they will notice a person swimming at them holding a pole spear!

A fish can usually spot your silhouette, and if that scares them, they will swim away from you quicker than you can get a shot off. So, try and make yourself (or your silhouette) as small as you can.

This, of course, takes practice, but let’s say, for example, the fish you are targeting is at the back of a rock.

Don’t swim out into open water to get a good line of sight, approach the fish from the rear of the rock. Sure, you won’t be able to line up a shot as easy, but at least they’ll be something there to spear if you do it this way!

10. Don’t aim for the fish

This sounds dumb, I know, but aiming for the fish isn’t good enough. You want to aim for a small part of the fish, just near the upper part of the gills is best.

What you’re doing here is creating a smaller target for yourself. This sounds like you’ll always miss the fish, but perhaps not. Sure, as a beginner, you won’t have the accuracy to hit that gill spot every time, but the likelihood of you hitting the fish, in general, is higher. This is because you are aiming for a smaller target which means you are far more focused.

Wrapping it up

I hope these 10 tips on spearfishing has helped you if you are a beginner. I will leave you with this last tip on spearfishing too, relax. It is exciting spearfishing, but if you get too excited, too nervous or you have too much adrenaline as you try and spear a fish, you’ll likely miss. Just relax, your first fish will come if you follow the tips above.