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Anyone spear fish in Pa for carp?

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Pa Teeny

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2004
I am new to the sport and am looking for fresh water spearfishing information. I In pa Carp and other junk fish are the only fish legal to spear. I will spearfish near nags head. My best friend and I got ticked that all the fish were line shy and would not bite but, we could see them. So we decided to venture into a new sport.

I need to get into shape for holding my breath. I have not purchased my gun yet any info- I am willing to spend $175-200 for reel and gun. Rember for fresh and salt water.

At nags head we could see 40 -50 fet in August. On that trip I wished I had brought my compound bow for bow fishing those critters.:p


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you are in the wrong forum - trying to move you out!


Pa Teeny,

Are you sure that it is ok to spear carp in PA?

I looked through the regulations and they seem a little unclear on that point. It says that you can shoot carp and suckers w/ a bow, but it also says that you cannot gig or spear for them w/ a mechanically powered spear. In addition, the regs specifically mention that you are allowed to spear burbot in lake Erie, so the game commission is at least aware of the existance of spear guns.

If it turns out that spearing in PA is legal, then I know what I'm doing this weekend ;).

If you want to practice freediving out your way, Bainbridge Sportsmans's club might be the nearest deep water. There are a number of quarries down your way -- I know of a few around New Paris. It's probably illegal and highly dangerous, but we're all big boys and girls. I actually used to use Terraserver to find quarries, though I never really made use of the information. You can actually estimate size of the body of water, clarity etc. from aerial shots.

Lake Raystown allows SCUBA diving, so I would expect that they allow freediving. I was out on Bald Eagle Lake in the winter and nobody bothered me. Also jumped in Whipple's Dam (great vis!). These two lakes are up in Center County though.

There are lots of lime-stone creeks in Sommerset and the visibility in them is amazing when the conditions are right. You can also usually get very close to the fish -- they don't seem to be the least bit afraid of guys in wetsuits. In fact, that might be a really cool sport -- drift-spearing for suckers, carp, catfish etc.

At any rate, if you can verify that PA regulations allow spearing rough fish, I'd be really interested.

I emailed the fish commission to find out the rules- Seem vague to me. I am intrested to see what the reply is? Yes there are alot of deep abandond quarries. The fish would of never seen a wetsuit. I have shot carp with the bow and would not see any difference between speargun and a compound bow?

Sam I just wanted to talk and see what is out there. sorry- by wrong forumn-do you mean freashwater?- I am asking about salt questions too?

The saltfree forum is for a bunch of folks who dive in the UK.

You're not the first guy to get drawn in by misinterpreting the name :D:eek:.

I just sent an e-mail to the fish commission too, asking how spearing is so different from bow-fishing. Maybe they'll think its a movement of some sort and bow to the intense political pressure ;).
I know i will put some pressure on the local state reps in my area? I think they should be worried about there jobs anyway? With the combining of fish and game commissions?

Would you ever go off of Nags Head with us? Would you want to teach some newbie to become more proficcient? We were seeing tons of fish and could not get them to bite? The capt is my best friend he is practing. As i said we are new. What gun and equipment do you use?

I thought spear fishing was spearfishing what does it matter where your from and what you have/have not?
Hey pezman. i just found out they have allowed the use of crossbows to shoot carp. I am waiting on the big wig to call me about the spearfishing. Apparently it is causing a stir.. Call you fish commission and find out? They will probably change it if we can raize some caine. Get your buddies to call also.

Shooting a crossbow is like shooting a gun at fish- can you believe it?
You guys are on the right track. Regarding spearing rules and regs, you have to be informed, proactive and assertive in finding out what your rights actually are. The regs are often vague and for reasons of both benign neglect and outright hostility toward spearfishing, otherwise well meaning people will tell you things and actually post signs that are not true! It took the brainy persistence of Hooch to get to the bottom of some recent scallop shenanigens by the DFG here in So Cal.;)

Pa Teeny, welcome to DB. Pezman would be a great guy for you to dive with sometime! I've done my deepest dives with him on the surface watching over me.:)
There are lots of guns that would work, all of them short.;)

If you had the cash a Riffe M-tech 0, with floater wings, would be nice. Otherwise I have used a 75 cm Euro gun (R.A.) on clear days and my buddy, Ted, used a JBL for a long time- it has slain many a carp.

As far as suits go, I use a 6mm suit for diving this time of year. Inthe summer I will use a 3mm. Even if it's cold at depth, the surface is so warm that I find a 3mm to work out pretty well for the summer time. Since Pez is closest to you i would ask him what he's wearing.

Fish regulations change form county to county in my state. I was doing a little research for a project that I have been working on and ended up talking to a game warden who helped explain some of the rules to me that didn't make any sense- like why spearing was allowed in a lake that shouldn't.

It turns out that he was a spearo as well, and also had another warden buddy who speared with him. I guess the two of them even proposed to the state to let them try and spear a salmon, or two, in The Great Lakes. THey would be willing to except any kind of bag/ equipment limit just for the chance to try- as it would be pretty tough to do. Since they both work for the state in the DNR you would think that they would have more pull, but in the end the proposal went nowhere.

Good luck sorting things out in your state.

Thanks for the information. They called back and said not legal to hunt with spearguns- anyone ever shoot a crossbow underwater? Trying to stir up the waters? Thanks
Carpe diem!
Funny this thread should pop up - I just collected an official national record (in NZ) for one I shot. Photos (sorry dunno how top upload to this site) are on my site:

Koi Carp are a noxious fish here, so we can shoot as many as we want. They are sad sport, but when it's blowing 40 knots (like last month) where else do you spearfish?
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