How to start spearfishing in the UK

By Max Tapper

Remember your last summer holiday, that guy walking up the beach with a belt full of fish and you thought “why not me”?

How to start spearfishing

Photo credit : Ceri Davies


Well, yeah. Why not!?

Let’s make a plan for your first spearfishing season. 

Firstly, get familiar with underwater sport.

I would advise you to join a fin swimming or underwater hockey club. During the pool sessions you will build confidence in the water and avoid the chilly water temperature of the sea. I carry on pool training over winter as my days out at sea drop drastically.

Secondly, get the right kit.

Keeping comfortable and warm in the water is the key. I recommend a 7mm top and 5mm bottom open cell wetsuit all year around. The second-hand market could be a good place to start if you are on a tight budget otherwise go to your local shop.

Thirdly, have a try.

Before the season kicks off go and test your kit out on short sessions in protected bays with little current or swell, ideally with a buddy. I would advise to not get your spear gun yet, instead focus on getting used to your new kit and exploring.

Fourth, practice on land.

Before bringing your speargun in the water you should try on dry land to rig it a few times (DO NOT load it until you’re in the water). Get used to the line wrapping pattern and how hard you need to push the spear to lock it in the trigger mechanism.

Fifth, jump in.

Choose an area you know well and jump in (ideally with a buddy). Once I am in the water I always execute a few dives to warm up. It is a good practice and it will ease any tensions you may have. 

Sixth, try to dive regularly.

If you are consistent you will become more relaxed and confident in the water. You could try making a weekly or monthly plan with a buddy.

To sum up.

You may consider taking a spearfishing course which will enhance your hunting skills and give you a good base to start from.  A course is a great springboard to build useful skills with an experienced coach.

Spearfishing is a long journey and you should take your time at every step. Curiosity is your best ally. It will help you develop your practice and improve your spearfishing knowledge. 

In 25 years+ of spearfishing I learnt so much and met some incredible spearos. 

You will learn every time you are out.

So go out, enjoy and dive safely

1 Comment


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