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Freediving/Spearfishing at Night?

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New Member
Aug 10, 2002
hey all - im stoked cause i just grabbed a UK HID light cannon 100 for 125 bucks when they normally retail for 250$!!! im doing my AOW for scuba and needed it for the night diving portion...

my question is, other than night freediving for lobster, does anyone have any experience with spearfishing at night? good/bad? would love to hear from you all wise DB people
Night Spearfishing

Hey LaJollaFreediver,

I used to live in Laguna Bch and only speared at night after I learned that giant halibut were coming up to shore to feed. Go to places where lights shine on the water. The halibut use the light so they can see the prey swim over the top of them. I speared a 44.5 in. 34 lbs halibut in 6 ft. of water with 2 sections of a Colletti break down poll spear. I've shot quite a few with that method. I've also stabbed them with my dive knife when I didn't have my spear along with me. Happy hunting!

HMMM ... don't think you'll find too many S.A spearo's engaging in this activity :naughty
Too many things go "gulp ! " in the night .:eek:
Try skin diving in full moon...........beautiful....if the water is clear say 40 foot viz, you will be able to freedive without lights and look at the green fluorecent ( spelling ???) micro creature...look like star wars movie.

Most of my lobstering is at night cause they park side by side and very visible...unlike in daylight.....then I can use hands only.

If you like squids, they are not so timid at night. As long you don't shoot those big friendly one like u always see on the diving photo, the "Calmari" squid is a fair game. They are almost always on the surface at night hoovering where they are bright lights by the pier. Great FUn !!! and eating. A very accurate gun is required.

In my regular (poor) area we almost never see sharks so night spearing is very OK but beware of Muray Eel if u carry a game bag.

That is a nice Torch u got dude, I still use the old UK D8 with twin bulb. Whatever it is always get a MiniQ40 to attach to ur mask, the shooting line mess can get sorted out much easier with this light.

We do some spearfishing at night for Euro Seabass since that's it's active time... Never did that myself though
(I'm engaging myself with a bit different activities at night! :D )

I hear in Italy they practice very often night spearfishing for groupers (I think they call them "cernia"). So if there are any Italians here I'd love to hear their opinion on the subject...

I also recommend you get the UK MiniQ40, damn useful torch, and it's always pointing where you look, plus it hardly costs anything, so it's not like you're going to need to take out a loan to buy one, and it comes in a variety of colours! Sadly mine is bright green cos the diveshop didn't have black in stock :(

I'm using a Technisub Lumen 4 - really small and comfy when you're spearfishing. Great for hunting in holes and very cheap...

Wish me calm seas guys, I am off for two competitions on Sat and Sun. The weather is AWFUL - like in half of Europe!
Hi Wishbone,

I am not Italian but if you mention groupers at night i can share something I know.

Of all the groupers I seen in my area, only the Red Trout or Red Grouper/Cod is a species that realy sleep like a log at night. I don't realy pay attention to other groupers ( except the Barramundi Cod ), so I realy know the one species well.

I have one location where if we go say once in two months you will find big ones sleeping under a ledge, the same goes for Maori Wrasse ( Napoleon Wrasse ) and the big bumpheads and all parrot fishes. Rabbit fish is another dead sleeper. They sleep with their eyes open cause they have no eye lids. This area is unique, this secret spot of mine must realy be a hot hotel joint for the red groupers. As long as you allow enough time between a hunt, new fishes keep occupying the same space and always 7kg upwards size.

This area I mention is quite over fished, so in the day time we noisy scuba guys won't be able to see these red cod/trout/grouper cause they simply disappear. They don't exist.
In some far away location I seen these red trout being so stupid, they will come close to you or have no fear of you.

Anyway back to this sleeping red trout. It is not a challenge, but if you want the meat, in area where they are hard to come by in the day time...I don't see anything wrong with it.

I got big ones from 10-15kg......sleeping ones which I never even see in daytime.......... I don't know where they hide in the day or maybe they are just too cautious...in this particular area. Even if I am noisy on scuba, my 100+ dives there in the day time not seeing a glimpse of any big red grouper over 5kg is sure something I can not explain till today. Other big groupers are visible in day light...... funny.

I was using my 85cm pneu those days and at 60 feet this short gun can't do much. Since Red Trout sleep almost always next to a rock, shooting them is best from the top , on the head. A body shot will end up no fish cause the spearhead will hit the rock after penetrating the body and not enough clearance to open up the floppers. Since the head is tough, in many cases I can only shoot one fish per dive, the spearhead wil not be able to be removed. I have never tried Hawaiin flopper those days, always the twin screw on spearhead. What I did was carry an extra spearhead and only hand tight the existing spearhead. So new spearhead, if one get stuck. The last shot I did there was with my 140cm JBL Aluminum but I realy prefer short gun at night.

These red trouts are so dumb when they are in sleep mode, if say there are two fishes sleeping 2 meters a part and you shoot one fish, it struggles and make commotion, the other sleeping one will wake up only to swim another meter or so and sleep again !!!!!!!

This red trout is powerful and fast for a grouper, unlike other grouper which is less agile but tough, this red one is both agile and tough. I had a once straigthened two floppers during a tug of war, a Scubapro spearhead. The fish was only like 12kg something. My pneu could not penetrate the head completely, not enough power but the fish got stoned.

The challenge of this location is not shooting the fish but surviving the often strong current at night and trying to navigate around the big reef area to find the secret location. It is in a middle of a straight connecting the Indian Ocean. Must use a boat with good surface support.


PS, I saw in TV some area is Europe is flooding. Man I thought flood is only in my area. Good luck on ur competition, what is the prize.............. a BMW Z3 ?? :D :D
Nice story Iya!

I wish I could try that hunting at night for groupers thing! Now I don't find spearing one sleeping fish unethical precisely because it is at night. Too hard anyway!

I think your red grouper is absolutely blind at night... The other reason may be the strong light. I'm sure you've seen a rabbit caught on the road at night. It just freezes before your headlights. Or starts running in front of the car... Because his eyes can't accomodate to the darkness again. So maybe something like this happens to the grouper too.
Now during the winter, the water here gets too cold - some 6C.Something really strange happens to our flathead mullet occasionally during that time. Dunno the reason, but they get completely blind - even during the day. Their eyes get covered with something white. Just like the common disease among elderly people (don't know the name in English). So during that time they swim only on the surface and enter small coves sometimes in 100s. The fishermen just use sacks to get them in the boats. A massacre! The poor fishes don't have any chance to react....

Now on the competitions I didn't do too well... As my old team captain use to say: "There's a diffrence between competitive spearfishing and the recreational one". I guess this season with my job (I live 500km from the shore) I won't be among the top. My best place this season was 11th. Can't ride to the coast straight from your comfy office chair and expect to win.. :)
But on the 2nd day it was not such desaster, so I think I must be between 10 and 15 place. (Couldn't wait for the final standings. Had to drive back the 500 km to the darn office)...

Originally posted by Abriapnea
HMMM ... don't think you'll find too many S.A spearo's engaging in this activity :naughty
Too many things go "gulp ! " in the night .:eek:

thanks for the words of comfort there Abri. doing my AOW night dive tonight. shore entry to limestone.


When we do nightdives in Sodwana we get the divers out of the water in a hurry . Just toss all the gear on the deck and yank them out . Needless to say no safety stop ...:D
Ja, thats why i'm not so keen on the whole shore entry idea.
Night Dive

Well, I did the night dive last night and it was a bit of an anticlimax. conditions were not so good. 3m viz max, with a bit of swell and wind. Saw about 10 fish in total. highlight for me though was finding a cray (rock lobster). it was the funniest thing i have ever seen, a crayfish running forwards. i only ever see them swimming backwards. my dive buddy and i shepparded it for about 50m. my mask kept filing with water because i was smiling so much. needless to say we lost the rest of the group and had to swim back to shore alone.
Re: Night Dive

Originally posted by Griff
Saw about 10 fish in total. ... we lost the rest of the group and had to swim back to shore alone.

Yeah , but how many ; and what , saw YOU ...rofl
Night diving is illegal here:vangry :vangry :vangry :waterwork :waterwork
Hello ALL! I'm finnally back frome my drive across the country!
(I know you all missed me)

I hunt Hamoor (grouper), blue cats and cuttlefish/squid at night in the persian gulf.

I have a SuperSabre Light mounted to the underside of my JBL NW special.

Very unique way of hunting - just beware of things that go "bump" in the night.

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