Welcome to our guide to spearfishing in Big Island Hawaii! This tropical paradise is a dream destination for any underwater hunter, with its crystal-clear waters, diverse marine life, and stunning scenery. Whether you’re an experienced spearfisher or just starting out, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to have a safe and successful spearfishing adventure in Big Island Hawaii. From the best spots to the gear you’ll need and tips for success, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and explore everything this beautiful island has to offer for spearfishing enthusiasts!
Best Places for Spearfishing in Big Island Hawaii
Here are some of the best places for spearfishing in Big Island Hawaii:
- Kona Coast: The Kona Coast is one of the most popular spearfishing destinations in Big Island Hawaii. The waters here are crystal clear and teeming with a variety of fish species, including yellowfin tuna, mahi-mahi, and wahoo. Some popular spots for spearfishing in Kona Coast are Kealakekua Bay, Honaunau Bay, and Puako.
- South Point: Located at the southernmost tip of Big Island Hawaii, South Point is another great spot for spearfishing. The waters here are deep and home to a variety of fish species, including ulua, ono, and trevally. However, the currents here can be strong, so it’s important to be careful and aware of your surroundings.
- Kohala Coast: The Kohala Coast is another popular spearfishing destination in Big Island Hawaii. The waters here are rich in marine life, including yellowtail snapper, ulua, and octopus. Some popular spots for spearfishing in Kohala Coast are Kawaihae Harbor, Mahukona Beach Park, and Lapakahi State Historical Park.
- Hilo: The waters around Hilo offer some excellent spearfishing opportunities as well. Some popular spots include the Wailuku River mouth, Coconut Island, and Richardson Beach Park. The fish species you can expect to catch here include bluefin trevally, bonefish, and barracuda.
- Puget Sound: Located on the eastern side of Big Island Hawaii, Puget Sound is a great spot for spearfishing. The waters here are calm and shallow, making them perfect for beginners. Some popular fish species you can catch here include flounder, rockfish, and lingcod.
Big Island Hawaii offers some of the best spearfishing opportunities in the world. From crystal-clear waters off the Kona Coast to calm shallow waters around Hilo, there is something for everyone. With a little bit of research and preparation, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience no matter where you decide to go.
Species of Fish Can You Catch While Spearfishing in Big Island Hawaii
Here are numerous fish species that can be caught while spearfishing in Big Island Hawaii. Here are some of the most commonly targeted species:
- Ulua (Giant Trevally): The ulua is a prized catch for spearfishers in Big Island Hawaii due to its size, strength, and fighting ability. They are known for their aggressive behavior and will put up a challenging fight for any angler.
- Mahi-mahi (Dorado): Mahi-mahi are a fast-swimming and delicious fish that are a popular target for spearfishers. They are often found near floating debris or offshore structures.
- Ono (Wahoo): Ono are known for their speed and sharp teeth, which can make them a challenging catch for spearfishers. They are often caught near drop-offs and ledges.
- Ahi (Yellowfin Tuna): Ahi are a highly sought-after fish for their large size, strength, and delicious taste. They are often found in deeper waters and can be difficult to catch.
- Moana Kali (Blue Marlin): Blue marlin are a prized catch for experienced spearfishers due to their size and strength. They are often found in deeper offshore waters and require specialized equipment and techniques to catch.
- Uku (Gray Snapper): Uku are a popular target for spearfishers due to their delicious taste and abundance in Hawaiian waters. They are often found near reefs and ledges.
- Papio (Juvenile Jack): Papio are a common and challenging target for spearfishers due to their speed and agility. They are often found near the shoreline and in shallow waters.
- Kumu (Goatfish): Kumu are a popular target for spearfishers due to their delicious taste and abundance in Hawaiian waters. They are often found near sandy bottoms and shallow waters.
- Hebi (Shortbilled Spearfish): Hebi are a popular game fish for spearfishers due to their delicious taste and challenging behavior. They are often found in offshore waters and around structure.
- Nunu (Squirrelfish): Nunu are a common and challenging target for spearfishers due to their small size and fast movement. They are often found near coral reefs and ledges.
Best Time of Day and Year for Spearfishing in Big Island Hawaii
The best time of day and year for spearfishing in Big Island Hawaii can vary depending on a variety of factors, such as weather, tides, and fish migration patterns. However, here are some general guidelines that can be helpful:
Time of Day:
- Early morning and late afternoon tend to be the best times of day for spearfishing in Big Island Hawaii, as fish are often more active during these times.
- Avoid spearfishing during midday when the sun is high, as fish tend to be less active during this time and the bright light can make it difficult to spot them.
Time of Year:
- Spring and summer tend to be the best times of year for spearfishing in Big Island Hawaii, as water temperatures are warmer and fish are more active.
- Fall and winter can also be good times for spearfishing, but it’s important to be aware of changing weather conditions and the potential for rough seas.
It’s important to also check local regulations and guidelines before spearfishing, as some fish species may have specific seasonal restrictions or size and bag limits. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to check the weather and surf conditions before heading out to ensure a safe and successful spearfishing trip.
Best Spearfishing Gear for Big Island Hawaii
The best spearfishing gear for Big Island Hawaii will depend on various factors such as personal preference, target species, and diving conditions. Here are some essential gear items for spearfishing in Big Island Hawaii:
- Speargun: A high-quality speargun is essential for successful spearfishing. Pneumatic or band-powered spearguns are commonly used in Big Island Hawaii.
- Wetsuit: A good wetsuit is essential for keeping warm and protected in the water. A 3-5mm wetsuit is recommended for diving in Big Island Hawaii.
- Fins: Fins are important for propelling through the water and maneuvering around underwater terrain. Long-bladed fins are commonly used in Big Island Hawaii.
- Weight belt: A weight belt is necessary for proper buoyancy control and keeping the diver submerged at the desired depth.
- Dive mask: A high-quality dive mask with a comfortable fit and a low-volume design is recommended for spearfishing in Big Island Hawaii.
- Snorkel: A snorkel is used for breathing at the surface while observing fish and planning dives.
- Dive knife: A dive knife is an important safety tool that can be used for cutting line, disentangling from hazards, and protection in the event of an encounter with a dangerous marine animal.
- Dive light: A dive light is useful for illuminating dark crevices and deeper waters.
It’s important to invest in high-quality gear and maintain it properly to ensure a safe and successful spearfishing trip.
Best Local Spearfishing Resources in Big Island Hawaii
There are several local spearfishing resources in Big Island Hawaii that can be helpful for both experienced and beginner spearfishers. Here are a few:
- Hawaiian Spearfishing Academy: Offers spearfishing classes and guided spearfishing trips in Big Island Hawaii.
- Island Wide Scuba: Provides spearfishing charters, gear rentals, and guided tours to some of the best spearfishing spots in Big Island Hawaii.
- Speared Magazine: A Hawaii-based spearfishing magazine that features tips, gear reviews, and stories from local spearfishers.
- Hawaii Skin Diver: A spearfishing and freediving community forum where spearfishers can connect, share information and ask questions about spearfishing in Hawaii.
- Hawaii Fishing News: A monthly magazine that covers all types of fishing in Hawaii, including spearfishing, and provides information on local events and regulations.
- Kona Freedivers: A freediving and spearfishing gear shop in Kona that offers gear rentals, classes, and guided trips.
By utilizing these resources and connecting with the local spearfishing community, spearfishers can gain valuable insights on the best spots to fish, local regulations, and tips for success in Big Island Hawaii’s waters.
Best Spearfishing Charters in Big Island Hawaii
There are many spearfishing charters in Big Island Hawaii that offer a variety of services, from gear rental to guided tours to custom trips. Here are some of the best spearfishing charters in Big Island Hawaii:
- Spearfish Hawaii: Offers spearfishing charters and guided trips in Kona, Hawaii. They provide all necessary gear and have experienced guides who know the best spearfishing spots.
- Kona Honu Divers: Offers spearfishing charters and guided trips for beginners and experienced spearfishers. They provide all necessary gear and have knowledgeable guides who can teach proper techniques and safety.
- Dive Makai: Offers spearfishing charters and guided trips to some of the best spearfishing spots in Big Island Hawaii. They provide all necessary gear and have experienced guides who can customize the trip to fit the needs of the clients.
- Hawaii Oceanic: Offers spearfishing charters and guided trips to locations around Big Island Hawaii. They provide all necessary gear and have knowledgeable guides who can assist with finding and catching fish.
- Big Island Divers: Offers spearfishing charters and guided trips for both beginners and experienced spearfishers. They provide all necessary gear and have experienced guides who know the best spots to catch fish.
When choosing a spearfishing charter, it’s important to consider the experience and knowledge of the guides, the quality of the gear provided, and the reputation of the charter company. By choosing one of these reputable spearfishing charters, spearfishers can have a safe and successful trip in the waters around Big Island Hawaii.
Regulations and Licenses for Spearfishing in Big Island Hawaii
Spearfishing in Big Island Hawaii is regulated by the state of Hawaii, and there are certain regulations and licenses that must be followed in order to participate in spearfishing activities. Here are some important regulations and licensing requirements to keep in mind:
- Fishing License: A valid Hawaii state fishing license is required to spearfish in Big Island Hawaii, and it must be in possession of the spearfisher while fishing.
- Size Limits: There are size limits for certain fish species that can be legally caught while spearfishing in Big Island Hawaii. It’s important to check the size limits for each species before heading out to fish.
- Bag Limits: There are also bag limits for certain fish species that can be legally caught while spearfishing in Big Island Hawaii. These limits can vary by species and location, so it’s important to check the regulations before fishing.
- Prohibited Species: There are certain species of fish that are prohibited from being caught while spearfishing in Big Island Hawaii. These include species that are endangered or protected, such as sharks and certain types of reef fish.
- Spearfishing Gear Restrictions: There are certain restrictions on the types of gear that can be used while spearfishing in Big Island Hawaii. For example, the use of powerheads (a device that attaches to the end of a spear and is designed to kill fish instantly) is prohibited.
- Seasonal Restrictions: There may be seasonal restrictions on certain fish species, so it’s important to check the regulations for the specific time of year when fishing.
Spearfishers in Big Island Hawaii should be familiar with these regulations and licensing requirements in order to ensure a safe and legal spearfishing experience.
Where to Stay While Spearfishing in Big Island Hawaii
There are many great accommodation options for spearfishers in Big Island Hawaii, depending on their budget and preferences. Here are some of the best places to stay while spearfishing in Big Island Hawaii:
- Kona Bali Kai: Located on the west coast of Big Island Hawaii, Kona Bali Kai offers comfortable and affordable vacation rental condos with stunning ocean views. This is a great option for those who want to be close to some of the best spearfishing spots in Kona.
- Four Seasons Resort Hualalai: This luxurious resort is located on the Kona-Kohala coast of Big Island Hawaii and offers a variety of accommodations, including rooms, suites, and villas. The resort also has its own private beach, as well as a variety of restaurants and activities, making it a great option for those looking for a more upscale stay.
- Hale Kai Hawaii Bed & Breakfast: This charming bed and breakfast is located on the Hilo side of Big Island Hawaii and offers comfortable accommodations in a tropical setting. It’s a great option for those looking for a more intimate and peaceful stay while spearfishing.
- Royal Kona Resort: Located in the heart of Kona, this resort offers affordable and comfortable accommodations with oceanfront views. It’s a great option for those who want to be close to the action in Kona, including some of the best spearfishing spots.
- Volcano House: Located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, this historic hotel offers unique accommodations with stunning views of the park’s volcanic landscape. It’s a great option for those looking to combine spearfishing with a visit to the national park.
These are just a few of the many accommodation options available for spearfishers in Big Island Hawaii. Other options include vacation rentals, hotels, and resorts throughout the island, depending on the location and amenities desired.
Tips and Tricks for Successful Spearfishing in Big Island Hawaii
Here are some tips and tricks for successful spearfishing in Big Island Hawaii:
- Know the Regulations: Familiarize yourself with the regulations and licensing requirements for spearfishing in Big Island Hawaii, as well as any size and bag limits for the fish you’re targeting.
- Choose the Right Gear: Make sure you have the right gear for the fish you’re targeting, as well as the conditions you’ll be fishing in. This includes a good spear gun or Hawaiian sling, a wetsuit, fins, a weight belt, and a dive mask.
- Be Prepared: Before heading out to fish, make sure you have everything you need, including plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, and a first aid kit. It’s also a good idea to let someone know where you’ll be fishing and when you expect to return.
- Scout Out the Area: Look for areas with clear water and plenty of fish, and avoid areas with strong currents or rough surf. You can also ask local spearfishing enthusiasts or charter companies for recommendations on the best spots.
- Use Stealth and Patience: When spearfishing, it’s important to be quiet and move slowly to avoid spooking the fish. Be patient and wait for the right moment to take your shot.
- Aim for the Head: When targeting larger fish, aim for the head to ensure a clean and humane kill. This will also prevent the fish from thrashing around and potentially damaging your gear.
- Be Respectful: Always respect the environment and the fish you’re targeting. Avoid taking more fish than you need and never take protected or endangered species.
By following these tips and tricks, you can increase your chances of having a successful and enjoyable spearfishing experience in Big Island Hawaii.
Big Island Hawaii is a fantastic destination for spearfishing enthusiasts. With its crystal-clear waters, abundant marine life, and stunning scenery, there are plenty of opportunities to catch a variety of fish while enjoying the beauty of the island. Whether you’re a seasoned spearfisher or just starting out, there are resources available to help you make the most of your time on the water. By following the regulations, using the right gear, and employing patience and skill, you can have a safe and successful spearfishing adventure in Big Island Hawaii.
Meet Eric McGough, a seasoned adventurer and military veteran who traded his tech career for a life of outdoor exploration and freedom. He plans to travel the world, discover new adventures, and share information about great destinations, gear, and more on the Shaman Mountain Sports and Outdoors Blog.