Ready to go spearfishing in the deep blue waters of the Pacific?
Spearfishing is a strong tradition that has been around for several millennia. Back in the day, people would use sharpened sticks to spearfish out of water bodies. Today, modern equipment, such as slings and spearguns, is used to catch fish.
Whatever the method used, one thing is for sure — anglers and divers find it an addicting sport, which is one of the reasons it has thrived throughout the years.
The Pacific is home to some of the best spearfishing spots in the world! There are great locations to do so, like Fiji, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Hawaii, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Papua New Guinea, or Niue.
So, grab your spears as we go experience the thrill of underwater hunting and the beauty of marine life in the 10 best spearfishing spots in the Pacific. Warning: Be prepared for some adrenaline rushes!
The waters of Fiji are an angler’s dream, and spearfishing is considered a way of life for Fijians. A variety of tropical fish swims under its South Pacific waters, including Marlin, Wahoo, Tuna, and Spanish Mackerel. You can also land game fish, such as Mahi Mahi and Giant Trevally.
The locals of Fiji source most of their food from coral reefs, so that’s a great place to start your spearfishing journey in the islands. In fact, reef spearfishing is very popular amongst Fijians, and common reef fish species include Coral Trout, Parrotfish, and Grouper. The equipment locals use varies, with the minimum requirements being a speargun, snorkel, and mask.
Because almost all fish species can be caught year-round and the water is always crystal clear, anytime is a great time to go spearfishing in Fiji!
2. Cook Islands
The Cook Islands, located in the South Pacific Ocean, is another one of the best spearfishing spots in the Pacific. Spearfishing is arguably the number one fishing method in all twelve of its inhabited islands. From the deep blue waters of Rarotonga to the jaw-dropping marine life of the northern atolls and southern volcanic islands. You’ll realize why spearfishing is loved in the Cooks every stop of the way!
Artificial reefs (fancily termed FADs — Fish Aggregating Devices) are installed on the ocean floor of the Cooks, attracting smaller fish. These, in turn, attract bigger fish and even several predator species like Mahi Mahi, Marlin, Tuna, or Giant Trevally. These help in making spearfishing experiences all the more eventful, ensuring you catch enough delicious treats in one go.
Traditional spearfishing gear in the Cook Islands transformed from merely a wooden spear to incorporating metal prongs. You can also use one of their spearguns to experience the best of underwater hunting.
Additionally, locals use slingshots for ‘pata spearing’, aiming to catch edible fish that are close enough to be shot in the lagoons. Throw spearing is also a tradition and is conducted along the beach or on the reef, usually at low tide.
However, remember that reef species, such as Parrotfish, in the Cooks, carry a toxin that may give you ciguatera poisoning. So be careful before consuming them, or simply avoid reef spearfishing and head straight to the deep waters (around the FADs).
Get also some more information in our article about the Vibrant Marine Life in the Cook Islands.
Another archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, Tonga, features clean, blue waters and massive pelagics. The water temperatures are warm all year round, and spearos have high chances of catching game fish, such as Sailfish and Yellowfin Tuna. What’s more, the water clarity never falls below 30 meters so that you can spot your target easily!
Tonga is perfect for spearfishing in all months, but if you’re aiming to catch a particular fish species, you should choose the most suitable time. For example, Mahi Mahi is prevalent from June to February, and Coral Trout can be caught in abundance between July and October (you can also expect to see many humpback whales during these months)!
You surely can’t miss Vava’u in the islands’ north and ‘Eua towards the south for spearfishing. Many charters offer tours and provide almost all the gear, including spearfishing guns, weight belts, and wetsuits.
Samoa’s deep blue waters are one of the world’s best-kept spearfishing secrets. Located in the South-central Pacific Ocean, Samoa is home to a diverse range of fish, including the powerfully aggressive Blue Marlin, the sportfish Dogtooth Tuna, and the super-fast Skipjack Tuna.
The reefs of Samoa greatly support spearfishing. Local spearos usually stick around the ridges and stay in the shallow waters. The common Samoan tradition uses a unique Hawaiian-style sling that is fired from a distance to catch fish.
If you’re on the hunt for one of the most fantastic spearfishing spots in the Pacific, the brackish inland lagoons of Samoa are where to go!
Spearfishing in the mesmerizing Hawaiian waters is something you need to tick off your bucket list. Spearfishers love Hawaii because of the many different types and sizes of fish. Some species you can find here are Goatfish, Striped Marlin, and Convict Tang.
Although you’d enjoy diving into every portion of its waters, there are several hotspots for spearfishing in Hawaii. The Keaukaha beach, a lava rock shoreline, is excellent to dive in (but keep an eye out for sharks here!). The Honomalino Beach is a secluded area where you can enjoy the serene waters, and the Maninis Beach has a sandy channel cutting right through the reef, increasing visibility.
Traditionally, Hawaiians spearfish from the shore and from boats. They also do bluewater hunting, which offers a thrill of its own! The most common equipment includes pole spears, Hawaiian slings, and flashers.
However, remember that owning a fishing game license and using dive flags are a requirement in Hawaii.
6. Solomon Islands
The clear blue ocean, 100-meter coral drop-offs, and wild, uninhabited islands housing loads of pelagics make the Solomon Islands one of the best spearfishing spots in the Pacific. They also have multiple FADs to attract fish, with warm and sunny days being the cherry on the cake.
In addition to spearfishing in a pristine ocean environment (with visibility levels between 15 and 50 meters), you will be able to catch fish that spearos chase all around the world. From Flamefish and Yellowfin to Gemfish and Jobfish, the Solomon Islands have it all. Plus, you can catch glimpses of Nemos swimming around — something you won’t find elsewhere!
The traditional equipment used for spearfishing here includes rail spearguns, cannons, floats, and flashers. If you join a charter, you will receive all the necessary equipment.
7. New Caledonia
New Caledonia is home to over 4 million hectares of coral lagoons and the world’s most diverse concentration of reef structures. As such, you can expect the islands to be one of the most fascinating reef spearfishing spots in the Pacific.
The island of Lifou (just off the east coast) is one of its best spots for spearfishing — featuring extremely clear waters, plenty of fish, and fantastic drop-offs. You can get your heart pumping with big Dogtooth Tunas or simply hone your skills with fish that are easier to catch.
If you go spearfishing from a boat, keep in mind their bag limit: only 40 kilograms of reef fish per boat per day is allowed.
8. French Polynesia
The islands of French Polynesia, including Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora, offer great opportunities for spearfishing. There is remarkable reef spearfishing around the atolls, with marine life being rich on the reefs. Amongst others, you can find Parrotfish, Snapper, and Trevally. Tip: Hit at sunrise (or a little earlier) to increase the chances of spearing out a Dogtooth Tuna.
Also, keep an eye out for reef sharks — you’ll often find Blacktips and Whitetips coming after your fish! Just be sure to respect them and remove your fish from the water as soon as possible, and you’ll be good to go.
Spearos in French Polynesia usually make do with a wet suit, speargun, and flashers (essential to bring in the pelagics).
9. Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is simply a spearo’s paradise with its abundance of fresh and blue water fish. One of the unique varieties of fish you won’t find elsewhere is the mighty Papua New Guinea Black Bass — this species alone is enough to attract spearfishermen from around the world!
Spearfishing has been a traditional method to catch fish on the island. From river estuaries all the way to the reefs, it is practiced almost everywhere.
The town of Kavieng is considered one of the last untouched fishing frontiers of the world, and the Conflict Islands near Milne Bay offer great spearfishing charters!
A small island of the South Pacific, Niue, is another one of the best spearfishing spots in the Pacific. Its waters are ranked as some of the clearest globally (with visibilities up to 80 meters). Plus, the ocean water remains warm, hovering around 27°C. Multiple drop-offs and FADs near the shore are the cherries on the cake.
Spearfishing gear in Niue primarily includes spearfishing guns, floats, bungees, and weight belts. However, remember that you can only dive in Niue with a licensed fishing charter, and spearfishing from the shore isn’t allowed. This is to ensure the sustainability of marine life, creating a healthy inshore reef system.
Spearfish In The Pacific to Catch Prolific Fish!
If you’re ready to experience the thrill of open waters, marvel at marine life, and catch pelagics for your dinner treat, it is about time you grab your snorkel and speargun and head to the waters!
In that regard, there’s no better place to go spearfishing than in one of the 10 best spearfishing spots in the Pacific, as discussed in this blog post. Happy spearfishing!
Curious to learn more about spearfishing? Here is a handy guide for beginners 🙂