6 Spear Fishing Tips

spear fishing tips

Knowing how to spear the heck out of a fish is a great survival skill to have should you find yourself marooned who-knows-where. Like most things, learning how to spear fish takes practice, so check out the following tips to get you started:

Get in Shape

If you aren't in good or great shape already, you'll need to be if you want to successfully tackle this activity. Spear fishing requires serious physical prowess! Swimming is an ideal fitness option, as it tones muscles while burning calories and building stamina. It also gets you used to being in the water.

Understand the Whole Buoyancy Thing

When you're in the deep blue sea, you're trading gravity for buoyancy. Fighting buoyancy wastes energy, so utilize a quick-release weighted belt to avoid flailing around when you should be spearing fish.

Use a Low-Volume Mask

The volume of air in your mask makes a huge difference when free diving, as the farther down you dive, the more pressure your mask (and the rest of you) is subjected to. Exhaling through the nose into the mask purges it of air, which is necessary to avoid discomfort and potential sinus damage. A low-volume mask means less air to purge, and therefore increased underwater time.

Bring a Knife With You

A knife is just as important as your spear gun, as you'll need it to cut yourself free of any entanglements. It's also a way to give the fish you spear a quick, humane end.

Don't Dive By Yourself

If you can possibly avoid it, do not go spear fishing by yourself! Bring at least one other person with you and stay in sight of that person at all times.

Additional Tips

Additional spear fishing tips include steering clear of the water if you have a cold or just came up from a scuba diving session. Avoid diving without proper rigging, float lines, and flags, and refrain from spearing fish when tired. Don't carry fish on your body unless dying to encounter a shark, and never, ever load your gun on dry land!

Have you ever spear fished? What was your success rate? Share your stories in the comments section!

Photo Credit: Don Mammoser / Shutterstock.com

About the Author:


Kent Page McGroarty is a freelance lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in AZ Central Healthy Living, Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, SF Gate Home and Garden, LIVESTRONG, Moblized.com, I Do Take Two.com, and many other online publications. Twitter: @KentsStuff.


DIY, Tips & Tricks, Emergency Preparedness, Recent Articles, Self Reliance, Survival Skills


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2 thoughts on “6 Spear Fishing Tips”

  • Drew

    Great tip about bringing a knife with you. When you are under the surface, anything can happen and if you aren't prepared then it could make a bad situation worse. Thanks for the advice.

  • Roman Castro

    Nice write up Kent. I would also add to learn how to equalize ear pressure. If the diver ignores ear pain and continues to dive deeper the ear drum can rupture and in the short term put the diver in vertigo where they are completely disoriented. It can also cause long short and long term hearing loss. This can happen as shallow as 10 feet. Best thing to do if you start to feel pain is to stop and return to the surface. Dive safe!

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