The Manly Way to Catch Fish

A Key West Spearfishing trip is by far one of the most exciting ways to spend time in paradise catching fish, and there are lots of places around Key West to do it. There are also several places for Key West boat rentals, if you are here on vacation. It’s an unusual sport, in that not many tourists will spearfish while on vacation, and not many people get to hone their diving and shooting skills unless they live near the ocean. That said, there is an avid Key West spearfishing community as well as throughout the Florida Keys. Just check out spearfishing chat sites and you’ll see the Key West section is full of daily posts. Divers get on and report the visibility, or vis, as it’s called by the Key West spearfishing crowd. There’s talk about how good someone’s shot is, whether the good spots are still any good for the season, what gear is good… lots of shop talk! Really, in Key West, spearfishing isn’t hard if you know a few things.

 Key West SpearfishingSpearfishing Gear

Fins are less important at first, since as a beginner you’ll be diving in 10 to 15 feet of water so you should have no problem getting down to the bottom with regular cheap $20 fins. If you’re in for some Key West shopping, try Divers Direct on Simonton.

As for the speargun, some people think wooden ones are better because they will float better.

Key West Spearfishing

Key West Spearfishing for Beginners

A good fish for Key West spearfishing beginners to target is hogfish. In fact, for lots of people, Key West spearfishing means hogfish hunting exclusively. Hogfish are stupid and slow to react, so they make easy targets. Beginners can find them in shallow areas near the reef, 10 to 15 feet deep, or deeper if you’re ready to dive down further. Hogfish like hard bottom and often hang out near a rock or coral head. If they see you, they might head for a sea fan or rock and sit there, camouflaging itself, thinking you can’t see it. Aim for the head. Get within about three feet of the fish before you shoot, wait until the hogfish is sideways to you, and shoot. Get your fish into the boat fast because if there’s a lurking barracuda, he’ll try and steal the fish from you. If you get the midsection and it bleeds a lot, and this happens a few times, it’s time to find a new spot because you don’t want to be in the water very long with all the blood. Sharks might come.

When you dive down, the first 10 feet are the hardest. As you descend, the pressure will build up in your head, and you’ll have to clear. Start clearing before you even dive down. Either hold your nose and blow out to clear your ears, or swallow a few times. This should release the pressure you feel. Now just keep practicing and practicing and soon your shooting and your breathing & diving will improve.