Unlike most land-based sports, spearfishing is not something that you can just take up one day and immediately be good at. Spearfishing is not just about catching fish. It’s more about respecting the ocean and all its creatures and knowing your abilities.
What Does Spearfishing Mean?
Spearfishing is known as the method of catching fish and other sea creatures by means of weapons including spears, spearguns, pole spears, or Hawaiian slings.
Spearfishing is also the marriage of two underwater activities—freediving and fishing.
When Was Spearfishing Invented?
Spearfishing has been around since time immemorial. Our ancestors have started this practice by using sharpened sticks to spear fish from rivers and streams.
Spearfishing has been referenced in many ancient literature and art further proving that our ancestors have long started this practice.
From sharpened sticks to mechanical spearguns, this strong and ancient tradition has transcended generations, genders, and races.
Is Spearfishing Easy or Difficult?
There’s no sugar-coating it: spearfishing can be crazy difficult. Not only will you be tested on your fishing abilities, but you will be tested on your fishing abilities while holding your breath underwater.
It’s not an easy feat and it can also be dangerous. But as with anything new, you have to arm yourself with knowledge before diving into it.
Is Spearfishing a Sport?
Spearfishing is definitely an example of an underwater sport just like freediving. Like all sports, it requires discipline, stamina, patience, and most importantly, the ability to be comfortable in the water.
It’s also not a sport that is easily learned. It’s more of a process with levels that you have to overcome. It’s not enough that you’re an okay swimmer or an okay fisherman. You have to be able to master both to make sure that you will be successful and safe during your dives.
Spearfishing is also a recognized sport by the World Confederation of Underwater Activities or CMAS. There are spearfishing tournaments like the World Spearfishing Cup Clubs.
Is Spearfishing Safe or Dangerous?
Spearfishing can be dangerous, but that’s not to say that it will always be dangerous. One of the few things that you have to learn is how to practice spearfishing safely.
Here are some tips on how you can spearfish safely:
- Never spearfish without a dive buddy
- Learn basic safety and emergency techniques (i.e. the dos and don’ts during a blackout)
- Make sure that you survey the dive spot and that it is free of boats
- Make sure that you are aware of the underwater environment (yes, that means the sharks)
How Do I Learn to Spearfish?
If you want to begin your spearfishing journey, you should do the following:
- Enroll in a spearfishing course
- Educate yourself on the spearfishing rules, regulations, and restrictions on your chosen dive spot
- Get a fishing license (if needed)
- Find a spearfishing organization, a spearfishing mentor, or a buddy (or all three!)
- Get the right gear for your chosen dive spot and the fish that you may encounter in the area
- Familiarize yourself with your weapon
- Before you set out on your first spearfishing expedition, plan everything
- And whether practicing or spearfishing for real, always bring a friend.
How Do I Get Better at Spearfishing?
Like any sport, being good meant many hours spent practicing. The same goes for spearfishing.
Make sure that you give yourself enough time to do the following to make sure that you will be prepared on your spearfishing trip:
- Practice aiming above the surface of shallow water
- Practice submerging yourself in shallow water and aiming below the surface
- Practice operating your weapon (loading, unloading, rigging)
- Practice your aim
- Practice freediving while spearfishing
How Deep Do You Have to Dive to Spearfish?
The depth that spearos go to spearfish varies from person to person. Of course, experienced spearos can go way deeper than a beginner. Beginners are said to be comfortable spearfishing at least 20 meters deep.
The thing is, unlike freediving, how deep you go isn’t the most important thing in spearfishing. You can catch fish even in shallow water.
Whether deep or shallow, you should always prioritize your safety.
How Long Do Spearfishermen Hold Their Breath?
The length of time that spearos spend holding their breath varies from person to person or day to day.
The standard duration is three minutes for experience freedivers but keep in mind that freedivers are only doing one thing that spearos do which is breath-holding. As a spearo, you have to free dive while fishing.
Many aspects can influence the length of your time underwater including the condition of the water, the weather, your body composition, and your experience as a spearo.
Is Spearfishing a Good Exercise?
Spearfishing is very beneficial to your physical health.
Swimming alone is a great exercise that benefits your lungs, your focus, and your overall health. Spearfishing works your body more, thus, giving you more health benefits.
Not only does it exercise your physicality, but it is also beneficial mentally. Spearfishing teaches you self-control and discipline.
How Many Calories Do You Burn Spearfishing?
Studies have shown that spearfishing easily burns about 800 calories per hour. Diving is the second most-calorie burning activity next to running.
You burn this many calorie while spearfishing because your body uses a lot of energy to keep you warm underwater. Your heart pumps blood twice as fast while you’re freediving and shooting in the water giving you the best cardio exercise possible.
How Do I Get Fit for Spearfishing?
Your health and fitness are essential in spearfishing so you might want to practice the following to keep you fit:
- Do pool training
- Exercise, exercise, and exercise
- Try breath-holding exercises
- Train in shallow water
Can You Spearfish Alone?
It is never advisable to do underwater activities alone, most especially spearfishing. It is always wise to bring a dive buddy as you would essentially be doing two activities at once—freediving and spearfishing.
Aside from that, there may be a lot of unforeseen scenarios that may happen underwater. You will always need someone to check your progress and your safety.
Does Spearfishing Attract Sharks?
A random person swimming underwater doesn’t really attract sharks but a random person fishing for food underwater does.
Studies have shown that the movement of spears piercing through a fish has an appeal on sharks. Aside from that, the movement of a speared fish may attract their attention. And frankly, the fact that the fish would be bleeding is also another big reason on why a shark would be interested.
How Do You Spearfish With Sharks Around?
The thing is, you can’t really spearfish without even considering that you won’t be around sharks. Remember, first and foremost, that it’s their kingdom and they are the no. 1 predator.
What you can do is to keep these tips in mind in case you have a face to face with a shark on your dive:
- Make sure that your fish stops struggling as quickly as possible
- Haul it up to your waiting boat ASAP
- Keep your eye contact when a shark comes swimming
- Do not shoot them!
- Do not feed them!
- Never, Ever Dive Without A Buddy