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growth of spearfishing?

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New Member
Aug 10, 2002
is it just in my area, or does everyone else notice that spearfishing seems to have "blown up" in the last year or so into the cool thing to do? as of late ive gotten extremely tired of going to my once empty shore dive spots and seeing 2, 3, even 4 inland idiots with polespears they bought at the corner dive/tourist stores shooting everything in sight...what really put me over the edge was watching a kid with a SPEARGUN wading around in waist deep water with no mask attempting to shoot corbina from above the surface, with no apparent concern for his safety or of those around him. im starting to feel the same way about spearfishing as we do about surfing here in la jolla...if youre not from here, dont surf here...if youre not good, dont surf here....when i started spearfishing,a nd im sure with most of the rest of you, it was something you figure out on your own, and you did it because you loved it, not because it was "cool" or got you chicks:hmm i have no idea what to do about this problem, as its only going to get worse...i hate to see it come to localism, but it may very well have to...any others have thoughts on this?

sorry...just a rant
im starting to feel the same way about spearfishing as we do about surfing here in la jolla...if youre not from here, dont surf here...if youre not good, dont surf here

I totally disagree with you on this. We have a big local problem up here for surfing and I think it is ridicules that some one actually thinks that they own a peace of public land. For the part about if your not good get out of here how do you expect them to get good if they can’t practice? I know it is hard but you should try to tell these inland idiots what they are doing wrong so next time they know.
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i agree with some of your points but i dont think spearfishing is becoming that popular you do get your stooges that are from outa town and maine poor undersized fish and rape your reefs (getting sick of seeing undersize fishs with polespear holes in them :( )

i guy got attacked by a shark recently in my area and i think thatll slow em down hehehehehehe
alison makes some good points but im not sure if a liscence is the way to go i think age restrictions should be put in place like with knives actually a liscense would be good as long as i dont have to pay some rediculas fee for it,and for the macho side of spearfishing i dont think it really exists its more grace and vernice(spl?) at least it is to people who know

has anyone ever heard of any spearguns being used in theft? i bet if there was theyd soon start confiscating guns or restricting there sales
My five cents worth
I would not like to see a licence brought in we in the UK have so many rules and regulations governing so called blood sports that one more is one too many. A while back we had a handgun ban, all the sportsman lost there guns, but I did not see many bank robbers ect hand in there's and now there is at least three killings per week most done with handguns, the only people that it hurt was the sportsman and the same would apply if the anti everything mob got there way.
What I would like to see in the UK is spearfishing as a "social sport" and not a see how many fish I can kill in a said time, OK if you are doing it a living good luck to you as we all have to live, but you can't call it a sport if very small fish are killed, in the UK we don't have very large fish as you in the USA, Africa, Australia ect so we have to look after our stock each country must have it's own rules as it would be very wrong to impose rules were there is an abundance of fish.
Licensing guns is the 1st step in banning them. Not a good idea for spearguns. A fishing license should be adequate... to help watch out for the wildlife. I should not need to go through the trouble of getting a license because of a few retards.

The repercussions of gun banning is sad...I love my right to carry a firearm and do so 8 months out of the year (the other 4 I have a speargun)

I hope to never see an age restriction:
(what if you want to take your 7 year old...or younger, child spearfishing eh? Parents should be at fault for their childs behavior.) Saftey and respect for spearguns, and firearms should be taught to children ( I have grown up around guns and since day one I was instilled with a healthy respect for their power...a 6 year old is capable of knowing the difference between tv and reality. At least me and my brother were...and you see almost no accidental gun injury in the south where I'm from because of what children are taught by their parents.

I hate it when someone is in my spot...but you have to deal with.
I use a few choice words and head to another location. I have never seen very new spearfishermen or divers get very close to fish (at least the bigger ones) anyway.

ps: so where do you surf if you're not good in Lajolla? Is there a "not so good of a surfer" beach close by? You're not from Charleston so don't come spear or surf here either (put yourself in another locality...as a tourist, spearing). Just a thought.
I've been surprised

Back when I was last into spearfishing was about the time USD quit making spearguns. I thought it was on the way out. I dumped my guns mainly because it was getting too easy for me, but also because the atmosphere in the diving community was sort of anti. (plus, not much game around here)(remember the SMG!) I think too many people were doing it with scuba. ( I remember encountering a good sized small-mouth bass with fishline tied around his gills - the line was growing into him. I managed to get hold of it, while scuba diving, and pulled him in, cutting the line away from him. Followed me around for about two hours like a pet)

Personally I think free dive spearfishing is one of the most challenging ways to get dinner.

If popularity is on the rise I'm sure it's in part the Internet.

I understand the territorial sense with all this - here people seem to make a point of running over divers flags in jet skis. Beach spots that were virtually deserted a couple years ago are now filled with people drinking beer while their obnoxious dogs piss all over your towel between relentless yapping. Best reason I can think of to carry a speargun around here...

Still in all - it's best not to depend on things staying the same for your peace of mind. :)
i think youre right - all beach sports in general seem to be getting populated more heavily with complete idiots - case in point: do boaters even BOTHER to notice a boat anchored with no one on it, dive flags up, and 3 bright orange floats in the water? apparently not, as suddenly last thursday my gun was violently ripped out of my hand and my floatline sucked into the drive shaft of some (probably drunk) retards in a boston whaler. "sorry bro" somehow doesnt seem to cut it when i could have been manatee'd by an outboard...some people just infuriate me
Welcome to the clusterf*#^!

Count yourself fortunate, pal. I've been towed, had a guy lose a jaw and another have his achilles severed. Must be a So Cal thing...:D NOT! I was really anxious about the boat traffic when in FL and the boaters there seemed to think that the float line bouys were for performing slaloms. :blackeye

On the locals-thing, yeah I've got my favorite places up here that when I see rigs parked at, I get a grip on, but as you mentioned, we all gotta start somewheres. I think the thing to do and by doing so, ensure your continued access to the spot, is to get with the new folks and maybe give them a couple of pointers if they look like they're receptive to hearing it. You may luck out and one of 'em will have a hot sister. ;)

By the way, are you gonna be around this weekend? I'm going to be in PV on Fri and SD on Sat/Sun. Hit the PM button below.
I feel it needs more recognition and regulation in some area's more than others -- specifically in Ireland and the UK, it's completely uncontrolled. I sent an e-mail to the irish fisheries board and underwater council of Ireland (scuba regulatory body) asking them about spearfishing regulations and the e-mail I received in response was the following dissapointment, "Spearfishing is not a popular sport here, please visit x page for information about scuba-diving."

There isn't anywhere to buy a speargun apart from Northern Ireland. I've recently been in touch with Angelo from teak-sea to fulfill some requirements for my next gun as there's nowhere to shop around here unfortunately -- all my equipment comes from France from the Summer holidays where I do most of my spearing and diving.

So in conclusion, anyone can wander around with a speargun and they don't have any regulations to adhere to -- that's not very promising really is it? Unless of course they have the brains to go look at the minimal required catch-sizes for angling but with the information received from the irish fisheries board and scuba regulatory authority they're pretty much giving you a licence to do whatever the hell you want which is wrong.

You should need to apply with a photo and it should not cost money to have you registered as someone who has a gun and enjoys fishing as opposed to some random lunatic who might decide to fire his gun on land and seriously injure someone -- guns should never be loaded out of the water but if there's no regulations in place who's to say what's right and what's wrong.

Spearfishing was almost outlawed here many years ago but thanks to the french/italians/germans/spanish etc. it never came to bear fruit thankfully! Some basics need to be layed down for people to adhere to or people will be out of control as always..

We are unfortunate enough to have a bass bye law here meaning that it is illegal to take more than 2 bass in any 24hr period per angler which also applies to spearo's but how many spearo's are aware of it due to the lack of information provided to them for the sport they wish to practise? Not many I'm willing to bet, any other Irish spearo's that can shed some light on this -- please do!

I was disgusted with the response I received from these so called governing bodies, telling me to do as I please when asking what restrictions are in place.

I have a copy of this e-mail printed out should I ever run into any problems with the authorities. If someone tells me I can't do x, y or z then I shall indeed show them what rules and regulations I was informed of when I inquired about the sport I wished to practise in our beautiful waters! HMPH!
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spearfishing has become a fad. but im willing to bet my left one of the two that its going to be the same ting as surfing: there is going to be a big boom with lots of xxxxheads out there giving it a try, and a select group of whom posses both information and skill (whihc i like to call US) sticks to it. eventually these newbies either dont find spearfishing satisfying (those zzzzheads..) and 4get it ever existed, or they become one of us. i feel that the danger lies in the effects of the reputation of our sport.
but one positive effect would be cheaper products.

and there is also this link of something very similar but more relating to freediving

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I don't think spearfishing will ever get as big as surfing.
It's just not as flamboyant. You can't sit on the beach and look at some guy spearfishing and say: "wow! that's amazing! I wanna do that also!"
Probably also requires more dedication regarding diet, drug abuse, equipment, not talent or practice, no disrespect to surfing.
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Mass apneal

Not likely. I mentioned that I'm having sort of a rennaisance with freediving to a friend of mine who is a respected Yoga Instructor around here. "Sounds Terrifying" was her reply. It ain't like deer hunting where you can load up a case of bud-light, blow throw some saplings in your SUV and blow holes in bambi from 50feet away with a rifle that's accurate out to 1000 yards. Theres actual danger - and sometimes you have to actually be less than comfy.
i did not mean that it will reach the same appeal that surfing has on the general public. it was an allegory... :head
allegory or not, let's watch the language... my kids read this. ;)

I put up a thread waaaay back about this as well. Bottom line is that if you do what you are supposed to, others will learn and follow. The _____heads will fall along the wayside if they don't become the 4th story of the 5 0'clock News or shoot themselves, further doing the sport no justice.
In response to paddythefrogs comments,
Ireland has an extremely low population of spearos as opposed to anglers therefore most of the applicable legislation is aimed at ...anglers.
Most people in ireland who decide to take up spearing have to go to some lengths to aquire the necessary equipment, Gun suit etc and IMHO if they are that committed then they probably take the sport seriously.
I believe that the way things are right now is good, no restrictions and legislation to interfere with what I enjoy.
Bass byelaws: the legislation states Anglers not spearfishing If you are brought to court over this you will have a pretty strong defence. You want to see fisheries laws in action? go to any salmon river jump in and attempt to spear a salmon there will be more heat on you than you could believe.
In my opinion just take it easy and be thankful you can still practice this beautiful sport without bureaucracy and red tape.
Pneumatic spearguns are classed as airweapons and as such need a firearms licence rubberguns are fine.
I guess I kind of agree with what you guys are saying, some people are unsafe in and around the water because they don't know what they are doing, but there are also some people out there who truely want to learn. If everyone was mean to you when you started out diving would you still be diving?...I know I wouldn't be, when I started out I was young and needed guidance. It may have looked like what I was doing was just messing around, but what I really was doing was experimenting and learning what worked for me and what didn't. The best way to learn how to dive isn't by reading a book, it's by going out there and experiencing what works for you.

As for the guys in your territory, I guess that can be looked at as good and bad. A few of my dive spots have become over populated with "in-landers" as some might call them, but that pushes me to find new areas, which helps to progress the sport of spear diving. Isn't that what diving is all about; exploring new areas not knowing what to expect, all the while hoping for record size fish.
Where it is

It's alot about where you are. Here in Northern Michigan freediving will probably never be very popular. Clear as it's getting, these are not opulent waters - and they are cold. Spearfishing laws in this state are very restrictive - basically you are reduced to carp, suckers and catfish (even though Salmon are a form of environmental pollution) and I doubt there'll ever be enough of us interested to try and get the laws changed (just think if you could, for example; buy a walleye license!) The DNR ( Department of Natural resouces) guys in this state are the baddest of the bad. Years ago one of them was beaten nearly to death by a couple of deer poachers and things seemed to change a little after that. You don't want to be messin with the DNR.

Boaters, however, are a big scarey problem - especially for the few of us who free dive.

On the other side of the picture I was just talking with a coworker who sails from time to time. Every wednesday here in the summer they have sailboat races out on the bay. She was crewing and, as the pulled into the mouth of the harbor, there was a divers flag smack dab in the middle of the harbor entrance. The Sailboats - which enter this harbour en mass this time of day every wednesday, were forced to work around the flag. The divers surfaced and started screaming at them. A little like setting up a lawn chair in the middle of a crosswalk.

Ireland sounds great! I expect places like Maui may see some more laws getting proposed. (Maui sound great too!)
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i don't think spear fishing will ever be as big as surfing.

infact i know it wont. your average 13 - 20 yr old kid are usually too impatient.i might get bashed here for saying that but its true.

ive taken a lot of my friends out and they either don't like diving deep or they are too impatient to try and hunt fish. they just wanna spear the stupid garobaldi and not even try to hunt bass or quicker fish.

spearfishing also takes a lot of cross training if you want to be successful at it. i run 3 miles everyday and lift weights. if you don't do that your not gonna be able to hold your breath longer, keep ur sling spear cocked back, a lot of things.

welll anyways i love spear fishing and i got into it this yr. it rocks. bye bye time for class.

At fifteen I was hunting carp in lake michigan all day every day - and passing up anything that wasn't a monster :)
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