Spearfishing is legal in the US, Australia, and the UK but this comes with their laws and regulations. These include the specific spearfishing areas, specific fishes to catch, and the weapons you are allowed to use.
Capturing fish with spears is something our ancestors have done since time immemorial. It’s an ancient and powerful tradition that transcends generations, races, and genders.
Is it Legal to Spearfish in Florida?
Spearfishing is legal in most places in Florida (with the exemption of Volusia County and Monroe Country from Long Key north to Dade County) but this comes with a long list of restrictions.
- It is prohibited to use powerheads, bangsticks, and rebreathers.
- It is prohibited to spearfish marine and freshwater species.
- It is prohibited to bring a spear gun in or on freshwater.
- It is prohibited to spearfish within 100 yards of public area (including public beach and public fishing pier).
- It is prohibited to spearfish within 100 feet of any part of a jetty located above the surface of the sea.
- It is prohibited to spearfish in any body of water within the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection, Recreation, and Parks.
- It is prohibited to bring spearfishing equipment in these areas, as well.
Do I Need a License to Spearfish in Florida?
You would absolutely need a spearfishing license before you can go spearfishing in Florida. Doing the activity without one is considered to be a criminal offense.
You should always check with the proper authorities the specific rules and regulations regarding spearfishing as these vary from state to state.
What License Do I Need to Spearfish in Florida?
Before you can go spearfishing, you should be able to present a regular saltwater fishing license, and you need to particularly have a lobster stamp.
If you happen to be a non-resident and over 65 years old, you are allowed to spearfish without a license as long as you have a valid ID at all times, and you comply with the state’s rules to the letter.
Where Can I Go Spearfishing in Florida?
Here’s a short list of the best places in Florida to go spearfishing:
- Destin: The best spot is the jettys near the Norriego Point and red snapper is one of the best catches
- Pensacola: Known for its many artificial reefs as home to some of the best catches in Florida
- Panama City: The best spot for lionfish hunting
- Miami: The city for lobster hunting
- Naples: This city puts ethical spearfishing practices on the front and center
- The Florida Keys: Considered as the best spearfishing spot in all of Florida
What Fish Are You Allowed to Spearfish in Florida?
There is no particular list of fishes that you are allowed to spearfish in Florida.
However, what they listed down are the species that are not allowed for harvest by method of spearfishing. These include mostly “gamefish” such as snook, all species of billfish, spotted eagle ray, manta ray, sharks, pompano, lobster, and ornamental reef fish among others.
Can You Spear Grouper in Florida?
In Florida, grouper is listed down as one of the species that are not allowed to be harvested by spearing.
More specifically, Goliath Grouper and Nassau Grouper are on their no-catch-list.
Can You Spear Redfish in Florida?
It is also illegal to spear redfish or red drum in Florida.
The only allowed harvesting practice for this species is by casting nets.
Can You Spear Parrot Fish in Florida?
It is illegal to spear parrot fish in Florida. It is prohibited because they are considered as managed fish.
Parrot fish are known to eat a type of algae called ciguatera and eating them resulted in ciguatera poisoning in the past.
Can You Spear Triple Tail in Florida?
It is illegal to harvest triple tail in Florida by method of spearing.
The legal gear to use if you ever want to catch triple tail is by hook and line gear only.
Can You Spear Sheepshead in Florida?
It is allowed to catch sheepshead by method of spearfishing in Florida.
The sheepshead season is open year-round. However, there is a daily bag limit of 8 sheepsheads per person.
Is It Legal to Spear Lobster in Florida?
Although there is an abundance of lobster in Florida, particularly in Miami, it is illegal to spear lobsters.
Instead, what you can do is dive down and coax them out of their holes and catching them.
Can You Spearfish Off the Beach in Florida?
Spearfishing in public places in Florida is a no-no. Public places include public beaches and public fishing piers.
You would need to travel beyond 100 yards of these areas to be able to continue with the activity.
Can You Spearfish With Scuba Gear in Florida?
The use of scuba diving gears while spearfishing has had its fair share of controversies.
The activity is 100 percent prohibited in Europe and other Caribbean nations, but it is still being practiced in some states in the US. The authorities in west Hawaiian waters, however, recently banned the use of scuba gear for spearfishing.
Due to the increasing problems that are affecting the ecosystem as a result of the use of scuba gear on the Florida coasts, authorities have been talking of similar bans. However, no final decision has been made regarding the complete prohibition of spearfishing with scuba gear in Florida.
Can You Spearfish in the Florida Keys?
The Florida Keys is considered the best spearfishing spot in all of Florida. With its wealth of warm waters, the beauty of the sea in the Keys is perfect for spearos old and new.
With the bounty of the catch, spearfishing in the Keys is an all-year-round activity.
Where Can I Spearfish in the Keys?
Here are the sweetest spots in the Keys to get your spearfish on:
- The Upper Keys: Home to several fishing grounds including the Everglades to Islamorada. Although spearfishing is allowed, there are some restrictions put in place. It is prohibited to spearfish in the shallower areas and spearfishing is limited within the 3-mile “Sanctuary Preservation Area”.
- The Middle Keys: The restrictions are a lot fewer in the Middle Keys compared to the Upper Keys. Spearfishing near the shore is still prohibited but there are a lot more areas to explore including the many shipwrecks in this area. This is home to many species that are allowed to be caught by method of spearfishing including hogfish, groupers, and snappers among others.
- The Lower Keys: This is home to plenty of coral heads and famous shipwreck sites. Some of the most prized fish can also be caught in this area including hogfish and snappers.
Can You Spearfish in Key Largo?
You can go spearfishing in Key Lagro which is part of the Upper Keys. However, there are a lot more restrictions in this area because many reefs in the Key Largo are within the “Sanctuary Preservation Areas”.
Most of the bay water and the water oceanside of the Key Largo sanctuary are no-take zones.
Can You Spearfish in Islamorada?
Like Key Largo, most of Islamorada is within the “Sanctuary Preservation Areas”. You may be permitted to spearfish in the area but there are stricter rules.
One of these rules is the 3-mile out rule which prohibits spearfishing in most of the reefs and the entire bayside of Islamorada. Spearos have to travel 3-miles offshore to be able to go spearfishing.
Can You Spearfish in the Dry Tortugas?
Spearfishing is strictly prohibited in the Dry Tortugas. This is because it is considered to be a National Park in Monroe County.
The National Authorities have a strict set of rules that you have to comply with including boat permits for private boaters, the prohibition to collect lobsters, and prohibition to fish in the Research Natural Area among others.
What Fish Can You Spear in the Keys?
Here’s a short list of fishes that you can catch in the Keys:
- Groupers (except those prohibited by Florida law)
- Mahi Mahi
Do You Need a License to Spearfish in Hawaii?
Spearos flock to Hawaii not only because it is one of the most beautiful spearfishing spots but also because it has some of the most liberal spearfishing laws in the world.
Spearos do not need a license or permit for recreational marine fishing. The regulations on spearfishing in Hawaii are mostly governing the species and size of the catch.
However, if you decided to fish in freshwater, you would need to secure a Freshwater Game Fishing License.
Although spearfishing is permitted for all types of fish (with some size restrictions), there are regulated areas within the Island of Hawaii. These areas include Oahu, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine Refuge, Kauai, and Maui County.
What Fish Can I Spear in Hawaii?
Some of the best catch in Hawaii include:
- Goatfish or Kumu
- Parrotfish/Parrot fish or Uhu
- Spotted Sturgeonfish or Kole Tan
- Striped Marlin or Nairagi
- Convict Tang or Manini
- Blackspot Sergeant or Kupipi
Where Can I Spearfish in Oahu?
Here are some of the best spearfishing spots in Oahu:
- Turtle Bay
- Shark’s Cove
- Three Tables
- Waimea Bay (wall)
- Hale’iwa Beach Park
- Hale’iwa Ali’I Beach
- Pukano Point
- Kea’au Beach
- Makaha Beach Park
Can You Spearfish in Waikiki?
The Waikiki-Diamond Head Shoreline Fisheries Management Area which extends from the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium to the Diamond Head Lighthouse has its own regulations regarding fishing (including spearfishing).
The “Open to fishing” season which runs from January 1st to December 31st of even-numbered years (i.e. 2020), permits fishing within the Waikiki fishing grounds.
On the other hand, the “closed to fishing” season which runs from January 1st to December 31st of odd-numbered years (i.e. 2021), prohibits any kinds of fishing within the area.
This regulation was put in place to help the marine life in the Waikiki area repopulate.
Can You Spearfish in Texas?
Spearos can spearfish in Texas. However, it is not without its own regulations.
For one, spearguns may be used for nongame fish only. You are allowed to fish in freshwater, provided that you will only take nongame fish.
If you want to catch prized fishes, you should secure a Texas fishing license and a saltwater stamp before you travel 9 miles out into the Federal waters.
Some of the best spots in Texas include:
- South Padre Island
- Corpus Christi
- Stetson Rock Out of Galveston
- Pelican Island – Galveston Bay
- Hannah’s Reef in Galveston Bay
Is It Legal to Spearfish in Idaho?
It is legal to spearfish in Idaho provided that you will only catch bullfrogs and unprotected nongame fish. You should only fish in those waters during the season for taking of game fish.
In order to continue your spearfishing activity, you should secure an Idaho fishing license beforehand.
Is Spearfishing Legal in Iowa?
You can spearfish in Iowa provided that you have a valid sport fishing license. With your license, you are allowed to catch frogs and rough fish including the following:
- Carp (common carp, bighead carp, silver carp, grass carp, black carp)
- Buffalo fish (bigmouth buffalo, smallmouth buffalo, Black Buffalo)
- Carpsucker (Highfin Carpsucker, River Carpsucker)
- Shorthead Redhorse, Golden Redhorse, Silver Redhorse,
- Freshwater Drum
- Shortnose Gar & Longnose Gar
- Gizzard Shad
Can You Spear Carp in Minnesota?
Because carp are considered rough fish, spearfishing activities including the taking of carp in Minnesota are allowed by law.
However, this is only allowed from the last Saturday of April until the day before the third Monday of February. During the open season, spearos are only allowed to catch carp between sunrise and sunset.
Can You Spearfish in Colorado?
You can go spearfishing in Colorado. Some of the fish that you are allowed to take include:
- Gizzard Shad
- White or long-nose suckers
You are prohibited from taking lake trout by method of spearfishing.
Is Spearfishing Legal in Alaska?
In Alaska, underwater spearfishing in marine or saltwater is allowed provided that the activity will only be done during the applicable seasons.
However, Freshwater spearfishing is not permitted in Southeast Alaska, Southwest Alaska, Northern Alaska, and Southcentral Alaska.
Can You Spearfish in Puerto Rico?
You can definitely spearfish in Puerto Rico. The country passed a law prohibiting the use of scuba gears while spearfishing, but freediving with a speargun is still allowed.
However, this is only true in marine waters because freshwater spearfishing is not allowed by law.
Can You Spear Lobster in the Bahamas?
You are allowed to catch lobster in the Bahamas; however, you are only allowed to use a pole spear or Hawaiian sling to do so.
Here are some of the things to consider if you plan to go spearing lobsters in the Bahamas:
- The lobster season is only from August 1st until March 31st
- A person is only limited to 10 lobsters per bag
- Your catch should measure six inches in tail length
- You are to secure a valid Bahamas cruising permit
- The use of scuba gear in spearing lobster is prohibited
- Taking egg-bearing lobsters are prohibited
- Any spearfishing activity is prohibited at least a mile of the south side of Grand Bahama and the coast of New Providence and 200 yards off the coast of the Out Island
Is Spearfishing Legal in Australia?
Recreational spearfishing is legal in Australia. However, the regulations and restrictions may be different from each state.
On the other hand, commercial spearfishing has been banned from all Australian states.
Do You Need License to Spearfish in Australia?
The need to secure a spearfishing license heavily depends on which Australian state you’re planning to visit.
This rule varies from state to state. There are also other considerations in one state that may not be applicable in another one.
Before you go spearfishing, make sure that you check with the local authorities to make ensure that you are complying with their rules.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Spearfish in Australia?
You have to be over the age of 18 to be able to spearfish in the waters of Australia.
If you want to start younger, you have to be under the supervision of another person who is older than 18.
Can You Spearfish With Scuba Gear in Australia?
The use of scuba diving gear while spearfishing is illegal in all Australian states except Western Australia.
It is highly recommended that you be comfortable in your swimming ability in order to properly spearfish in Australian waters.
Can You Spearfish In NSW?
Spearfishing is allowed in New South Wales. In fact, it is one of the most popular forms of recreational fishing in the area. Before you proceed with your activity, you are required to pay a recreational fishing fee.
NSW has its own restrictions when it comes to spearfishing. You are not allowed to spearfish in inland waters and in some areas along the coast.
What Fish Can You Spear in NSW?
Some of the freshest catch that you can get from a spearfishing trip in NSW include:
- Yellowtail Kingfish
- Yellowfin Bream
- Spanish and Spotted Mackerel
Can You Spear Lobster in NSW?
It is prohibited to catch a lobster in NSW by method of spearfishing.
You are only permitted to take lobsters using your bare or gloved hands.
Can You Spear Crayfish in NSW?
It is also prohibited to catch crayfish by spearfishing in NSW. You are only allowed to catch it by hand.
If you want to catch crayfish while in NSW, you should head over to the rocky headlands.
Are Spearguns Legal in NSW?
Spear guns, along with other weapons including hand-spear and bow & arrow are permitted to be used in NSW. However, they are only to be used in tidal waters.
You are also not allowed to use spear guns to catch specific species of fish including blue, brown, or red grope and all other species of protected fish.
Where Can I Spearfish in Sydney?
Here are some of the best spearfishing spots in Sydney:
- The shore: This area is great for beginners and offers catch like Bream, Red Morwong, Kingfish, and Flathead.
- Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs): Located in the Sydney Harbour and offers Mahi Mahi and Wahoo
- Wedding Cake Island: Located in the Tasman Sea, this area is a great spot for taking Bream, Rainbow Runner, Kingfish, and Snapper
- Long Reef: Some of the best catch here include Red Morwong, Yellowtail, Snapper, and Kingfish
Can You Spearfish in Lake Macquarie?
You are not allowed to spearfish in Lake Macquarie.
The recreational fishing closure in the area exists to protect public health and to preserve the aquatic environment.
Can You Spearfish in the Tweed River?
The Tweed River is closed to spearfishing.
The whole tidal area which forms part of the Tweed River bounded by the western training wall, the northern boat harbour, the Greenbank Island, the Boyd’s Bay bridge, and the Ukerebagh Passage is a no-spearfishing zone
Is Spearfishing Legal in Queensland?
Spearfishing is legal in Queensland. This comes with its own regulations and restrictions.
For instance, spearfishing with scuba gear is not allowed. Spearfishing for barramundi is also only allowed during the day.
Do You Need a License for a Speargun in Queensland?
You don’t need to secure a license for your speargun if you ever want to visit Queensland.
In this Australian state, it isn’t even required to secure a fishing license before you can go on your spearfishing activity.
Are Spearguns Legal in Queensland?
Spearguns are legal in Queensland but this comes with restrictions including:
- Spearguns can only be used in selected locations of tidal waters
- Spearguns are prohibited to be used in freshwater
- The use of power head is prohibited unless it will be used as a defense against a shark attack
Where Can You Spearfish in Queensland?
Queensland offers many beautiful spearfishing locations.
In North Queensland:
- Mackay: If you get good visibility, you can score fish like coral trout, fingermark, mangrove jack, and barramundi
- Cairns: The water in this area is fairly warm all-year-round and if you manage to get good visibility, you can catch bream, barramundi, mangrove jacks, and fingermark
In Central Queensland:
- Bundaberg: Spearfishing from the shore can give you ample catch including parrot fish, coral trout, mangrove jack, crayfish, and barramundi
- 1770/Agnes Waters: Score some cod, cobia, queenfish, mangrove jacks, mackerel, kingfish, and trevally if you ever go spearfishing in this area
- Gladstone: Although the visibility can be very murky, this area offers jewfish and tuskfish
- Yeppoon: There are a lot of no-spearing zones in Yeppoon, but some sports offer spanish Mackerel, parrot fish, trout and tuskfish
In South East Queensland:
- Gold Coast: Kingscliffe is a popular spot but even from the shore, you can score fish such as surgeon fish, morwong, Spanish mackerel, jewfish, bream, sweetlip, mangrove jacks, kingfish, and tailor.
- Brisbane: From the many spearfishing spots in Brisbane, you can score marlin, sailfish, dolphin fish, spangled and grassy emperors, spanish mackerel, cobia, bream, and wahoo among others
- Sunshine Coast: Some of the fish from this area includes parrot fish, coral trout, bream, mackerel, spangled emperor, and mangrove jacks
Can You Spear Crayfish in Queensland?
Queensland is the only state in Australia that allows taking crayfish by method of spearfishing.
Australian spearos advise using small spearguns in catching crayfish because you can easily maneuver it in tight spaces where crayfish usually live.
Just remember that you are not allowed to use scuba gears while catching crayfish so stick to your snorkel.
Where Can You Spearfish on the Gold Coast?
Some of the sweetest spearfishing spots in Gold Coast include:
- Gold Coast Seaway South Wall
- Kirra Reef
- Burleigh headland
- Narrowneck Artificial Reef
- Palm Beach Reef
- The Scottish Prince
Can You Spearfish on the Great Barrier Reef?
Spearfishing is only allowed in specified areas in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. These include all the general use zones and all the non-zone sections of GBRMP.
You are not allowed to spearfish in the following zones:
- Marine National Park A & B
- Marine National Park Buffer
- Scientific Research and Preservation Zones
- Replenishment Areas
- Reef Appreciation Ares
- Reef Research Areas
- Seasonal Closure Areas
If you’re on a spearfishing trip in the GBRMP, remember that you are only allowed to spearfish using your snorkel and a speargun or hand spear. Spearfishing with scuba gears or hookah is not permitted.
Can You Spearfish on Fraser Island?
You are allowed to spearfish on Fraser Island. However, locals advise on doing any underwater activity safely and carefully because Fraser Island is known to have cases of shark attacks.
Aside from shark attacks, the riptides in the area are particularly strong that it causes very dangerous swimming conditions.
Can You Spearfish on Moreton Island and Moreton Bay?
Moreton Island and Moreton Bay are popular spearfishing spots in Queensland. The best visibility in the area is during the winter months but spearfishing in the summer can be productive as well.
Some species that you can catch in these areas include:
- Spanish Mackerel
- Jew Fish
- Dolphin Fish
- Mangrove Jack
- Spangled Emperor
- Grassy Emperor
- Parrot Fish
Can You Spearfish in Noosa National Park?
The Noosa National Park is a closed area for spearfishing. Possessing or using both spears and spear guns are a big no-no in the area as well as in Lake Weyba.
The only area in which you are allowed to spearfish is from Goat Island to Parkyns Jetty. However, remember to move 100 meters away from the jetty before you go spearfishing.
Always check with the local authorities if a certain place is closed for spearfishing to be sure that you won’t be fined or reprimanded.
Is Spearfishing Legal in Western Australia?
Spearfishing activities are legal in Western Australia. You are allowed to spearfish in most ocean waters with the exemption of marine protected areas and selected areas around dive wrecks. You are also not allowed to spearfish in inland waters including dams, tributaries, and rivers.
WA is the only Australian state which allows spearos to use scuba diving gears while spearfishing.
Do You Need a License for Spearfishing in Western Australia?
You don’t need a specific spearfishing license if you ever want to spearfish in Western Australia. What they require is a Recreational Fishing from Boat License or RFBL.
You need this license if you will be conducting a fishing activity including spearfishing from a motor-powered boat. You also don’t need to secure one for yourself if you are fishing with a person who already holds the license.
Is Spearfishing Legal in Victoria?
Spearfishing is legal in Victoria. But this comes with its own regulations and restrictions.
For instance, the activity is only permitted in selected marine waters. Spearfishing is also considered illegal if practiced within 30 meters of any pier.
There are also different regulations based on the spearfishing weapon that you possess.
Are Spearguns Legal in Victoria?
Spearguns, including the Hawaiian sling, is legal in Victoria, and only in selected areas in the Gippsland Lake, provided that you abide by the following regulations:
- It is prohibited within 30 meters of any jetty
- It is prohibited within 30 meters of the mouth of any river or creek
- It is prohibited in or on inland waters (rivers of Mallacoota Inlet, Tamboon Inlet, Curdies Inlet, and Upper Lake)
- It is prohibited in or on Wingan Inlet, Anderson Inlet, Shallow Inlet, Corner Inlet, Lower Lake at Mallacoota Inlet, Lake Tyers, and most of Gippsland Lakes.
Do You Need A License for Spearfishing in Victoria?
You have to secure a Recreational Fishing License or RFL before any fishing activities including spearfishing.
There are four recreational fishing licenses depending on how long you decided to spearfish—3-day, 28-day, 1-year, and 3-year licenses. You can buy your fishing license online or from an authorized agent.
You may be exempted from getting a license if you are any of the following:
- Under 18 years old
- 70 years old and over
- Victorian Seniors Card holder
- Veterans’ Affairs Pensioner Card holder
- Veterans’ Affairs Repatriation Health Card holder
- Commonwealth Pensioner Concession Card holder
- An Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
Where Can I Spearfish in Victoria?
Victoria is teeming with wonderful spearfishing sports such as the following:
- Port Philip Bay (including Mornington, Black Rock, Indented Head)
- Philip Island
- Mornington Peninsula
- Apollo Bay
- Port Fairy
- Beaumaris to Parkdale
Where Can You Spearfish in South Australia?
Some of the sweetest spearfishing sports in South Australia include:
- Port Noarlunga Reef – you can take big drummer, zebra fish, and sweep
- Beachport – you can take crayfish, abalone, salmon, rock-cod, and reef fish
- Gull Rock – you can take snook, drummer, sweep, and tommies
Is Spearfishing Legal in the United Kingdom?
Spearfishing is legal in the United Kingdom. You are allowed to continue your spearfishing activities during the daytime without any license. Spearos are prohibited to spearfish from dusk until dawn.
But bear in mind that you are only allowed to spearfish along the coastline because the activity is only allowed in selected tidal areas.
In the UK, it is extremely prohibited to spearfish in freshwater including rivers and lakes and protected marine areas.
Are Spearguns Legal in the United Kingdom?
Spearguns are legal in the UK. There are no laws banning the ownership of spearguns.
However, you must still abide by the laws regarding owning a weapon.
What Size of Spearguns Do I Need in the UK?
There are no laws indicating the size of the speargun that you are allowed to use. Most spearos in the UK use spearguns measuring either 80 or 90 centimeters.
The length of your speargun depends on the visibility of the water. Longer guns are used for clearer visibility while shorter guns are used in murky waters.
Is Spearfishing Legal in Japan?
Spearfishing is legal in Japan. However, there are specific rules and regulations in each prefecture.
You are also limited to the catch that you can take as there are several species that only commercial fishing businesses are licensed to take.
Is Spearfishing Legal in Okinawa?
Spearfishing is allowed in Okinawa. However, the authorities prohibited the use of spears and barbs with launchers and any kind of mechanical propulsion device.
Spearguns are also not allowed to be used in the general public. Scuba diving gears while spearfishing is not permitted as well if you want to hunt for fish and other shellfish.