Deep-sea fishing as you probably know it requires naught but patience, good gear and cold beer.
But spearfishing? That requires lungs, lugging a rig around underwater and hauling everything you catch back to the boat. And cold beer, of course.
Spearfishers regularly take down 100- to 150-pound tuna. And while buoyancy offsets the weight when you’re dragging it dead, it’ll fight like hell until it is. It’s an intense sport, and one we’re looking to get into this summer. Part of this is the physical challenge of the fight. Another part is overcoming the mental challenges associated with facing one’s fears of sharks and assorted other things that go bump in the water.
Here’s what you need to know to get started.
The best places tend to be on the West Coast because the Pacific is clearer and flush with kelp patties (where there are an abundance of fish and cover to hide). Mexico and Hawaii are probably our best bets.
What skills do I need?
Before you go, get into some swimming classes and practice freedriving. We also recommend learning some deep-breathing techniques (like the Wim Hof Method) that’ll help you stay underwater for longer periods of time.
What about equipment?
Best part of this is shooting a gun. JBL Spearguns have been in the business awhile, and make a lightweight unit from African Mahogany and a honeycomb-patterned handle that’s easy to grip. At $345, it won’t break the bank.
As for your breathing apparatus, Mares makes the best snorkels and masks, and the upshot here is if you can use these outside of just spearfishing. The Viper series contours to the face like skin and has a wide field of view.
Great flippers will give you the thrust you need to follow a fish and drag it (and your weighted-down ass) back up to the surface. Martin Stepanik was considered the world’s best free diver, and he designed and uses these fins by C4.
Do I need a wetsuit?
Not necessarily a requisite, but having a camo suit will help you out big time. The type of camo you’ll want really depends on where you’re going — there’s kelp camo for Catalina and blue for Hawaii. Shop for them by color on Ocean Hunter, and be sure to get a set of weights.
You’ll need to know how far you’re going, so buy an OMAR dive computer. It recharges and tracks how far you need to go to get back up for air.
Now go out there and get your white whale.
Main image via Adventure Tampa