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My first experience spearfishing

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Jun 4, 2017
I go down to the Caribbean twice a year (Jamaica, Mexico, etc) and the reefs by the 4-5* resorts have smaller decent sized fish since the locals don't have access to the beach. I spend a couple of hours everyday navigating the waters from the beach with my polespear and catch smaller fish but it's such a pain in the ass to use.

I decided to pay for a charter (270USD) for a captain and a guide. My friends are p*ssies and didn't want to come with me and would have split the cost since I was the only person on the boat. Anyway, spearfishing is a lot harder than it looks. I felt like I was drowning most of the time, the boat literally disappeared within minutes and all I can see is the blue Caribbean sea. It was a huge waste of money because when we departed the Marina, guess where they took me by boat... Literally where my resort was but further out and on top of that I could not reach those depths as they assumed I can dive like 50'+. I felt like such a sucker... I should have stayed by the beach on my resort for that 10-20' depth. I learned one thing from that trip, I'd rather swim around with a speargun than a loaded polespear as it's just uncomfortable and hard to do. Luckily, this time, I'll read the introductory forums instead of just watching YouTube videos haha...

I do have a couple of questions for people in a similar position as me. I live in ON, Canada where spearfishing is illegal. I'm buying a <65cm speargun as that is what can fit in my duffle bag when travelling. Any recommendations for beginner guns? I don't want to spend too much as:

1) I only go spearfishing twice a year
2) It can easily get confiscated at Caribbean or Canadian border

Options: Cressi Apache (60cm), Seac Sub Sting (65cm), Salivmar Wild Pro (50cm)... All close to same price and shipping available to Canada.

Another question I had was my polespear tip literally got damaged right away. I bought a couple more (like $25 each) and they also bend right away since they're hitting rocks. So I am worried that it's the same issue with speargun, that the spear will bend after hitting a rock once. Recommendations?

my first experience was dramatically different. It was a shooting gallery and bag full of fish in first hour. I live in BC. Not only it is completely legal here, but you can also spearfish while scuba diving if you want. I say, good people must live in BC. Not a lot, but some very productive fishing ground here, once you learn where they are.

As for recommendation for your first speargun, I can’t see how cheaper and smaller gun will help you fish better. You can buy bigger duffel bag for bigger spearguns, so you are not limited to <65cm guns. Many of us are investing into hockey and golf travel cases. Don’t forget that proper long blade fins are about 1m long, you have to account for that too.

I remeber my first few overseas trips with speargun. All I had was Cressi SL Star 55. Fairly short pneumatic gun and I had a blast with it. I had to bend my fins to make them fit into travel case, but pneumatic gun can fit into most travel cases.

No one can confiscate your speargun when you are entering or leaving Canada. If spearfishing is illegal in ON that doesn’t mean spearguns by themselves are illegal in ON or anywhere else in Canada. This is your property. You can be living in Ontario and legally use your speargun in other provinces.

Spear tips are common concern, polespear or speargun, they get their share all the same. Cheaper ones are made from soft black steel and get flat in first session. I developed a habbit of carrying a small file, and lately a small sharpening stone too. My wife makes funny comments about it, but sometimes it is not easy finding household things when you are in touristy area overseas, only panama hats and swim pants. So, buy more expensive stainless steel tips and carry a sharp file in your bag.
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Thank you so much for the advice!

I'd love to move to BC some day. I think most Canadians would if they can afford it haha. You're right, it's legal to own here but was worried about that questionnaire/declaration when entering, they have a question about possessing firearms/weapons. Do you check yes for that? Actually Quebec isn't a far drive from me but I haven't considered spearfishing there since I know it's cold and murky water but I might check it out.

I'll look for stainless steel tips and definitely investing in a sharpening stone.

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You're right, it's legal to own here but was worried about that questionnaire/declaration when entering, they have a question about possessing firearms/weapons. Do you check yes for that?

no, you don’t check “yes” for weapons in your declaration. It is not a lie. When they ask, they look for weapons and firearms, not fishing gear.
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I looked up spearfishing in Quebec and there's videos of people spearing in lakes like 40 minutes from where I live (Ottawa) and definitely going to go this summer. Thanks again Andrew for the tips.

For others reading this and had similar question about travelling with a speargun, I did some research online and there is a much better option than going for small guns. I didn't know that there isn't much of a size limit on the checked luggage bags, but they do have weight limit. Since I already have a ski bag (can fit 3 skis in it), I'll just use that as my checked in and bring with me a 100cm+ gun and gear. I'm planning on buying cheap PVC pipe from home depot to protect the gun in the ski bag and voila no point of buying that sh*tty small gun. Most of my clothes are in my carry on anyway.
First of all, a speargun is not a weapon or firearm. It is "fishing gear". Always declare it as it and you'll never have a problem.

Second, a 100 cm Mares Cyrano pneumatic speargun can take down 30+ Kg fish at 3 meters from the tip and it measures as a 70 cm band gun. Aiming and loading is a little different, but you'll get used to. There's plenty of videos on YouTube.

I travel a lot with my "fishing gear" and I use a snowboard bag that eventually gets wrecked, but I buy a new one after 10 or so trips. They cost around 40$, so 2$ each way is a fair price to pay. I can fit in there all my gear including long fins, wetsuit, weight belt, speargun, etc.

The ultimate travel bag would be a Sportstube, but it is heavier and bulkier. It will last forever though.

Hope this helps.
The ultimate travel bag would be a Sportstube, but it is heavier and bulkier. It will last forever though.

I almost bought sportube a year ago. But then I found Samsonite hard shell golf travel case. It opens like a normal case, which makes the content more accessible.
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It looks nice. However the longest spear you can fit in it would be a 130 cm, which limits you to a 90 cm (maximum 100 cm, if you use a short shaft) speargun. I would fit a 110 pneumatic though, wich is a lethal weapon for most fish.
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I ended up ordering SEAC blue gun (100cm) from Scubastore. I think it'll get the job done and really hoping my shipment arrives as I ordered new wetsuit too.

They had their pneumatic guns at like 50% off but I was reading some of them have been stored a while and their o-rings might be damaged.


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