A Complete Guide to Spearfishing in the Bahamas
The Bahamas is a magical place. From the breathtaking beaches to the gorgeous year-round temperatures, the Bahamas are a tropical paradise. While many people travel to the area to relax and unwind at a popular beach, others venture here for the exceptional spearfishing opportunities.
If you're looking for a spearfishing experience you'll never forget, the Bahamas are the place to be. In this post, we'll provide a complete guide to spearfishing in the Bahamas. You'll learn some things to consider, the popular fish species in the area, and the best spots for spearfishing.
Things to Consider with Spearfishing in Bahamas
Even if you're experienced with a pole spear, there are some things to keep in mind when spearfishing in the Bahamas. Keep reading to learn more!
I. Weather Conditions
Weather is very important when planning a spearfishing trip. If you can, try to head out on a clear, calm day. However, these ideal conditions aren't always a reality in the Bahamas.
During the summer months, it's best to go spearfishing in the morning or late in the evening. Weather can exceed 90 degrees during the hottest time of the day, which could be uncomfortable.
Rain is another huge factor to consider. As even light rain can cause the water to be murky, it's best to avoid spearfishing in rainy conditions. Additionally, wind can be another problem. Just like rain, wind can stir up sediment and sand, also causing little to no visibility in the water.
The potential for hurricanes is another factor to think about. This area is at risk for devastating hurricanes, so you'll want avoid traveling during one of these weather events. The hurricane season in the Bahamas runs from June to November.
To make the most of your adventure, try to find a sunny, calm, hurricane-free day for your spearfishing excursion!
II. Best Time of Day
Fish can be caught at any time in the Bahamas! However, some people have more luck around sunrise and sunset. There's no better way to start your day than on a spearfishing adventure! Just make sure you're prepared for the weather, as it can change in an instant. Also, keep in mind the hottest time of the day is in the afternoon. You may want to avoid this time if you're not a fan of the heat, especially during the summer months.
III. Best Season for Spearfishing
If you're looking for the best time to spearfish in the Bahamas, shoot for May through September. While this lies in the middle of hurricane season, there is some risk involved when making plans. However, this is also a less busy time of year. As the tourist season runs from mid-December to July, the summer months are perfect for a vacation to the Bahamas! Not only will the spearfishing be perfect, but you can also take advantage of less people and fewer crowds!
Bahama’s Spearfishing Regulations
The best way to learn spearfishing is to just dive right in! However, before starting your adventure, it's essential to learn about the local regulations when it comes to spearfishing.
Important regulations to keep in mind:
- Spear guns are prohibited
- You can't spearfish within one mile of New Providence and the south coast of Grand Bahama Island
- Spearfishing isn't allowed within 200 yards of any of The Out Islands
- The only approved spearfishing device in the Bahamas is a Hawaiian sling
A Hawaiian Sling essentially works like an underwater bow and arrow. As scuba equipment and spear guns are prohibited in the Bahamas, Hawaiian slings are growing in popularity. While these devices are more difficult to work compared to spear guns, this provides a greater challenge for divers—which adds to the excitement!
*Check out this blog that outlines a comprehensive list of all fishing regulations in Bahamas.
Popular Species you’ll find in Bahamas
Now that you know more about spear fishing in the Bahamas, including the local regulations, let's discuss the fish species you may encounter in the area:
While there are several different species to catch in the Bahamas, most people aim for a Nassau grouper. These fish weigh up to 55 pounds and grow up to 4 feet long, making them a large target in the water. Nassau groupers are reef fish, so you'll likely find them in coral reef areas. Look for them near any hard surface, such as rocks and ledges.
A mutton snapper is another popular fish you might see on your spear fishing excursion! This species features an olive green color on their backs and upper sides, with reddish hues on the bottom half of the fish. These creatures grow up to 30 inches long and weigh up to 25 pounds, making this incredible catch!
While the Bahamas is home to several different fish species, you'll also probably come across spiny lobsters. These creatures get their name from their forward-pointing spines, protecting their bodies from predators. Spiny lobsters are found off the coast of south Florida, including the warm waters of the Caribbean. You can typically find spiny lobsters in the shallow reef within crevices, caverns, and other hard-bottomed areas.
The hogfish gets its name from its long ‘pig-like’ snout, coupled with its rootling behavior on the sea floor for its crustacean prey. The hogfish is a sequential hermaphrodite, meaning it changes sex. Hogfish begin as females and mature into males at around 3 years old. Hogfish fishing in Bahamas varies throughout the year. High Season is February to March and June to August. Low season is January, April to May and September to December – there is no closed season.
Important to note - take slight caution with hogs, there is history with people in Bahamas getting a mild or severe case of ciguatera poisoning from eating Hogfish.
Best Spots for Spearfishing in Bahamas
Whether you aim for smaller fish or bigger fish, nothing compares to spearfishing in the Bahamas! While the warm water temperature is enough reason to visit, you'll also get to experience some of the best fishing on the planet. If you want a once-in-a-lifetime catch in the Bahamas, here are the top spear fishing destinations in the area:
This region is home to one of the longest barrier reefs in the world, making it perfect for spearfishing! Black grouper, Nassau grouper, Margate, yellowfin, and hogfish are common fish found around Andros Island. This area also has blue holes, deeper reefs, and drop-offs, which attract a variety of different species.
Grand Bahama Island
Millions of people flock to Grand Bahama Island every single year. From the magnificent clear water to the majestic scenery, it's one of the most beautiful places on earth. This clear water is one reason why this area is great for spearfishing. Here you can find both shallow reefs and deep waters, bringing in several different kinds of fish. Snappers are particularly common in this area.
Cat Island is located in the Eastern Bahamas with the Exuma Sound to the west. Blue marlin, white marlin, wahoo, yellowfin tuna, king mackerel, and other species are found in these pristine waters. If you can't wait for a fishing trip to this island, keep in mind only private boats are allowed.
Walker's Cay is another top-notch area for spearfishing in the Bahamas. This region is 53 miles to the north of West End, which makes for the perfect day trip. Walker's Cay is known for its beautiful coral reef, which makes the area ideal for spearfishing.
Want to fish in the capital of the Bahamas? Nassau is the cultural center of the area, and it's also a top spearfishing destination! However, as there are "family islands" in this region, which are where spearfishing is prohibited, you may want to speak with a local expert before starting your adventure.
Choose a Hawaiian Sling for Your Next Bahama Spearfishing Trip
The Bahamas are a magical place. From the stunning beaches and turquoise waters to the delicious food and exciting culture, it's an amazing place to visit. If you're looking to make the most of your spearfishing excursion, choose a Hawaiian sling. These devices are easy to use and make for an exciting day on the water. Furthermore, they're ideal for catching a variety of marine life. Whether you're searching for mahi mahi, red snapper, or grouper, a Hawaiian sling can bring in the catch of your dreams. The I'A Hawaiian Sling is the perfect choice to help you to do just this! Our sling was developed in Maui, Hawaii as a better quality and better value alternative to marked up dive shop products. It is lighter, more durable, and more powerful than other slings on the market - with fast, free shipping right to your doorstep. Shop today!