Going Spearfishing in Hawaii?

If you want to go spearfishing there’s no better place to do it than in Hawaii, with its sun-kissed beaches and abundant supply of delicious, nutritious fish.

In Hawaii, you officially need a sportfishing license to hunt underwater. Ensure you get the correct license; take advice from local agencies, dive shops or experienced spearfishers. Some species of fish are protected by law.

Spearfishing is an ancient technique, used to catch fresh fish. It is exhilarating and an environmentally friendly fishing technique. If you’re going spearfishing for the first time, what spearfishing gear do you need?

The best spearfishing gear for beginners

  • First you need a speargun. Choose a smaller, less powerful speargun, like Riffe and JBL. These are good for beginners. The Hawaiian slings, also known as pole spears, are a great choice. These are ideal for fishing in the shallow-surf zones, where you will be starting. There are specific spearguns for different types of fish. Once you’re past the beginner stage, you’ll probably wish to explore these options.
  • A good spearfishing wetsuit an indispensable part of your spearfishing gear. Don’t be fooled by surface temperatures; as you go deeper the water temperature will drop. A good quality wetsuit will protect you against sunburn, jellyfish stings, sharp coral and spiny fish. Invest in a wetsuit designed specifically for spearfishing. These have a built in pad to enable comfortable reloading against your chest. Brands to choose are Riffe, JBL, Xcel and Body Glove.
  • Choose a well-fitting pair of spearfishing fins. These are narrower that those you might use to body surf; and they are also longer. If they are too loose they’ll slip off your feet; if too tight you’ll get blisters. Try on a selection of them at the dive shop before you buy.
  • A good quality mask and snorkel are essential items in your spearfishing gear, so try on a selection before you buy. Check the fit by putting it on your face. Don’t strap it on; just suck your breath in. If it stays on your face it’s a good fit. Choose a large volume mask. Avoid those with purge valves, since these can break. Choose a J shape snorkel without purge valves or splash flaps.
  • A weight belt offsets wetsuit buoyancy. Choose one that gives you neutral buoyancy after exhaling on the surface. Rubber belts with a quick release buckle are ideal.
  • A knife, gloves and booties complete your spearfishing gear. Riffe makes gloves for spearfishing. Booties will keep your feet comfortable in your fins. You might need the knife to humanely kill the fish you spear.

Always dive with a group, or a dive buddy. They can save your life. Never dive alone.


An Hawaiian sling works a bit like a bow and arrow. You can buy this one on Amazon»


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  1. Choosing the best Spearfishing Wetsuit | Hawaii Fishing Tips - […] spearfishing wetsuit is an essential part of your spearfishing gear. Perhaps you are new to spearfishing, and are unsure…

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