If you’ve ever tried spearfishing, you know how addictive it can be. The adrenaline rush you get, combined with the stunning beauty of the world around you, make the sport one of the most uniquely exciting things you could try. Avid spearos often travel across the globe in search for the perfect spearfishing spot. How do they know where to go? Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to show you today. These are the best spearfishing destinations around the world.
Not all of these locations are close to home. But trust us, the extra effort is more than worth it. We focused on destinations that offer amazing spearfishing opportunities, as well as great vacation value overall.
One of the very first places to develop spearfishing, Hawaii seems to be perfectly suited for amazing underwater hunting adventures. Breathtaking beaches aside, the locale has become renowned for jaw-dropping encounters with some of the most exciting fish you can find.
This is also the best place on earth to learn how to use the Hawaiian sling. You’ll have no shortage of spearfishing experts to show you the ropes. There are also many spearfishing equipment stores in the area, so you’ll pretty much have all you need.
The colorful reefs are where you’ll find most of your catch. You can target the invasive Bluespotted Grouper and Blacktail Snapper or go for Giant Trevally. GT fishing is perfect for beginners. However, if you’re up for a challenge, head offshore for Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Yellowfin and Bigeye Tuna.
For tourists, things just don’t get better than Kailua-Kona. Whether it’s horseback riding on scenic beaches or zip lining through lush forests, the astonishing Big Island nature will leave you struggling for words. Once you’re ready to relax, sit down and enjoy the native world-renowned Kona Coffee, gazing at the mesmerizing sunset.
For the Portuguese, the Azores have always been a spearfishing hotspot. It wasn’t until around five years ago that the nine volcanic islands really started making a name for themselves. This was when local spear fisherman Paulo Alfonso set a world record, catching a monster 240 lb Bigeye Tuna! Today, spearos flock from all corners of the world to experience this incredible fishery.
The Azores offer a wealth of exciting species to catch. There are Mahis, Barracudas, large Amberjacks, as well as the odd Marlin to go for. What the place is best known for, however, is Tuna, and lots of it. Giant Blueye, Yellowfin, and Albacore Tuna make regular annual visits to this isolated paradise. This is one of the rare places on earth where you can sustainably fish for Bluefin Tuna.
You could say it was the island’s isolated position that made local guides so versed in the art of spearfishing. These hunters have pretty much been diving for giant Tunas their whole lives. When targeting Tuna, the guides usually take you around 30 miles out, searching for narrow seamounts known as pinnacles. The locals found the pinnacles to be genuine marine life magnets, regularly attracting Tunas and many other fish species.
Of course, there are other dive sites you could explore. Princess Alice Bank, Azores Bank, and Condor Bank are all around 30 miles offshore. If you’re looking for a shorter trip, but still would like to target some good-sized fish, Baixa do Sul is just off Pico Island.
The only limitation when it comes to spearfishing in the Azores is the seasonality. The best time to put your spearfishing skills to the test is from June through September. As long as the water temperatures allow it, you can even visit in October.
Seeing the Azores from land, you’d have a tough time believing that you’re in the middle of the Atlantic. Despite their relatively small size, the islands offer a myriad of things to do. Historic buildings, scenic lakes, volcanoes and waterfalls, this place has it all.
San Diego, California
Known as “America’s Finest City”, San Diego is one of the largest fisheries in the country. This place offers an incredible range of species to spearfish, and the best part is, there’s something to catch pretty much year round.
Spearos of all skill levels will find something to challenge them in these waters. If you’re a beginner spearfishermen, Mission Bay Jetty and the inshore reefs will give you great opportunities to catch Sheepshead, Calico Bass, and Spiny Lobster. More experienced spearos will be able to try their luck against the famed Pacific Halibut.
Speaking of Halibut, these monsters get bigger as you venture further out, and can grow as large as 200 pounds! Several miles offshore, the kelp forests hide White Seabass and Yellowtail Amberjack. But if you’re really feeling adventurous, get a boat and head for the Outer Banks. This is where you’ll find the real giants. Yellowfin and Bluefin Tuna as well as Sharks roam these waters, so if you’re feeling up for it, this is the place to be!
San Diego is the tourist hub of southern California. And for good reason. The city has countless attractions for families and adventurers alike. Kids will love the local USS Midway Museum, after which you can relax in the famous Balboa Park and San Diego Zoo. The beaches are home to numerous water activities, ranging from snorkeling, indoor skydiving, to bike tours and whale watching.
Krabi Island, Thailand
A tropical paradise in its own right, Krabi Island is one of those places you can truly get lost in, without worrying about stepping on any other tourist’s toes. An hour and a half from its better known neighbor Phuket, Krabi offers bewildering natural beauty, as well as fantastic spearfishing opportunities. Oh, and if that’s not enough, you can always hang out with the local elephants.
Most of Thailand’s coastline is in shallow water up to 130 feet deep. This is why the place is perfect for beginners. One thing you’ll need to look out for is if you’re fishing in restricted waters. Thailand boasts incredibly beautiful reefs, and local authorities are serious about preserving them. The turquoise waters are filled with all sorts of reef fish: Groupers, Mangrove Jacks, Golden Snapper, and many more. But that’s not the best part.
If you’d really like to experience spearfishing in Thailand, go for an overnight offshore trip. Catching Kings, Mahi, Queens, or Cudas doesn’t sound too bad, right? Add to that a deserted beach cookout, and you’ve got yourself a bucket-lister.
To avoid the rainy season, plan your trip between December and April.
Cozumel is considered one of the top five diving locations in the entire world. Why? The short answer is – It’s right in the middle of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world. You’d be hard pressed to find a locale as colorful as Cozumel, both in the water and on land. Dazzling views, bustling marine life, and more wrecks and caves than you could imagine make a compelling case for Cozumel as a spearo’s heaven.
Most spearfishing spots are only a 20-minute boat ride away from Cozumel. This is where you’ll set your sights on Triggerfish, Snapper, Grouper, and the pesky Lionfish. A little further out, the waters are full of Barracuda, Wahoo, and Mahi Mahi.
The island itself is a treasure of its own. The Punta Sur Beach Eco Park lets you immerse yourself in the island’s pristine wilderness, with crocodiles, birds, and sea turtles roaming wherever you look. The mainland is a short boat ride away, and it opens up a whole new world of opportunity. Whether it’s partying in Cancun, or exploring the Mayan ruins of Tulum, the Yucatan peninsula has something for everyone.
Key West, Florida
Spearfishing in Key West has become synonymous with big fish and even bigger excitement. Experienced spearos in particular enjoy hunting in these waters. You’ll be catching Hogfish and Snapper pretty much as soon as you leave the dock. A little further out, Grouper, larger Snapper, and Lionfish await.
But if you’re up for a real challenge, venture 20 miles out for a true giant hunt in the Straits of Florida. This is the Mahi, Wahoo, and Tuna highway, and it is the place for experienced spearos. This is not for beginners, though. If you happen to catch a fish, a roaming Shark can sniff you from several miles away. This is why it’s crucial to have a partner with you in the water at all times. As long as you take the necessary precautions, you should be set for one memorable adventure!
Compared to its size, Key West offers an incredible number of things to do. The southern side of Key West lends itself to beautiful beaches dotted with watersport activities of all kinds. A few blocks away, you’ll find the home and museum of Ernest Hemingway. If you’d prefer a quieter experience, a 20-minute drive will take you to Key West Golf Club, where an 18-hole course lies perfectly nestled in its tropical surroundings.
Most of the people who try spearfishing end up falling in love with the sport. When you see all the things that come with the experience, you quickly realize why this is. Coming up close to the fish you’re after is enough to get your heart pounding. Add to that a vividly colorful water world, and you’re just about hooked. But realizing that a whole other kind of beauty awaits you as soon as you return to shore, makes a spearfishing journey a no-brainer.
There you have it. Do you agree with our picks? What are some of the spearfishing destinations you’d like to visit in the future? Let us know in the comments below.