Panama City Beach Spearfishing and Diving for Red Snapper, Lionfish
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Spearfishing

Spearfishing is essentially bow hunting underwater. It is neither easy to master or cheap to get into….. and its more addictive than crack. If you want to get clean, ethical non-industrial protein that doesn’t have any hormones, pesticides, or antibiotics and don’t mind wearing life support equipment to “go shopping” this might be for you.

There are essentially two schools of spearfishing; freediving (breath-hold) and scuba diving. There are different guns, accessories and techniques used in each. Panama City Beach has many vibrant fisheries so there is a target species to spearfish for through out the year, with some being more challenging than others.

Philosophically we are a pro-spearing dive shop, as an ethical spearfisher has near zero by-catch.  A traditional angler will accidentally catch some undersized or undesirable species that have to be thrown back. A significant percentage of which die as a result of the stress from being caught and pulled to the surface directly, or from waiting dolphins, barracudas, Goliath groupers and sharks as they try to swim back down once released. In fisheries management this is known as “discard mortality.” This is unavoidable in hook and line fishing but easily avoided while spearfishing. his makes spearing the most ecologically sound method of harvesting fish.

If it looks like we are having fun, its because we are! Look at the smiles. If you’d like to get into any aspect of underwater hunting we would like to teach you the tricks and ethics of spearfishing “the right way.”

One thing diving hunters do have to deal with that traditional fishermen will seldom appreciate in its entirety, is that once you shoot a fish… you still have to keep it away from the other predators! Spearing is hunting in its most basic form, it is extreme when you are head to head with a bull shark (or 3) over who owns the fish on your stringer! So spearfishing is not for the faint of heart.

We offer monthly SCUBA based Introduction to Spearfishing” classes  that cover the basics of proper shooting technique, gear selection, tactics, fish ID, predator management as well as regulations and ethics. After  a half day of classroom we take a boat trip to the deeper offshore wrecks to put the academics out of the classroom and into practice under close supervision.  This however, is not a class for divers with questionable skill sets. Advanced certification is required and we only use nitrox in this class. Unlike our traditional scuba classes where we will stop to work on specific scuba skills that you may have missed, there is no room for that here. Please self evaluate your own readiness to kill a fish with your knife and defend it from from predators. Its fun, gluten free and paleo friendly but it isn’t for everyone.

 

Click below for our next available spearing class.

We practice and teach ethical spearing practices in our shop and on our boats. We are intolerant of anything less on the water, as we see ourselves as stewards of the marine environment. Our primary dive boat, the Steel Slinger, has a federal reef fish permit making it the only USCG inspected dive boat in the area legally able to take divers to the offshore wrecks, bridge spans and limestone reefs and take fish.

 

 Our shop stocks high end spearing gear hat lasts, you can find cheaper items online and in other dive shops. If you want to use something that lasts and wont let you down, we have got it. We carry 3 lines of spearguns; Ocean Rhino, Koah and Hammerhead. All three are American companies. Ocean Rhino is a high end scuba line, Hammerhead is a freediving line and Koah makes guns that work well in either style of shooting depending on which model is in question.

 

If you have questions about spearing please call or email us and ask…. Or come on by and hangout in person! We’d love to talk shop about spearing anytime.