Are you looking to go spearfishing off the beautiful island of Malta? If so, check out this guide to learn about Malta spearfishing.

Visiting Malta feels like stepping back in time. Resting in the Mediterranean off the north coast of Africa, it has a rich history of swashbuckling knights and resisting invasion. Malta, Gozo, and Comino make up the islands that form the Maltese archipelago, and Malta is the largest of the three.

It has a unique language, culture, climate, and is surrounded by clear ocean waters. The health of the surrounding ocean attracts tropical and game fish that appeal to boat, shore, and spearfishermen. Malta spearfishing offers entertainment for tourists and valuable food resources for the native populations.

Malta’s impressive harbor fortresses are a testament to unsuccessful invasions over several hundred centuries. The ocean floor around the island is littered with Turkish galleons, Barbary pirate ships, and European submarines from World War II. This history has led to protections of its ocean floors in addition to standard environmental measures.

Why All This History?

The Maltese require that anyone enjoying the waters around the island take significant measures to respect and protect both the natural resources and the artifacts on the ocean floor.

They maintain a fair balance between protecting their spectacular reefs and natural formations and tourist enjoyment and protection. If you plan to visit Malta and dive, snorkel, go spearfishing, or all of the above, you will appreciate the measures that the Maltese government has in place.

Let’s Talk About Fishing

Now that you know a bit about this fantastic place, you can guess that the fishing is tremendous, and you’d be right. Here are some fishing options for the Malta tourist:

Malta Shore Fishing

Malta and Gozo are the most popular of the three islands for shore fishing. You know, sitting on a dock drowning worms and hanging out.

Local fishermen enjoy catching dinner at St. Paul’s Bay, a small but historically significant town that is roughly 10 miles northwest of the capital city, Valetta. Local tackle shops offer equipment for rental or purchase. The jetty at Bugibba and nearby cliffs are perfect for an afternoon of lounging with a fishing rod.

Fish commonly caught in Malta harbors and off the shorelines are bream, mullet, bogue, and sardine.

Malta Spearfishing By  Boat

Once you decide to head out on a boat for some ocean game fish, you might encounter tuna, grouper, swordfish, amberjack, and dorado. You can take a small fishing boat from your tackle shop in St. Paul’s Bay, or head to the Valetta and hop on a day or night charter. Many of these trips are family-friendly, and no matter what you catch, the views are spectacular.

Malta Spearfishing

This is why we’re here, isn’t it?

The ancient method of spearfishing is considered the most humane and sustainable type of fishing that exists. The idea is that you only catch what you need, and you don’t target any endangered species.

In tandem with spearfishing, we’re going to talk about diving. Malta has some unmatched diving opportunities, and when combined with spearfishing, offers a challenging and rewarding experience.

Spearfishing laws change from country to country, so no matter where you are considering learning this sport, you must be aware of the local and government restrictions. Here are some regulations to be aware of in Malta:

Spearfishing does not require a permit. There are specific fish that require permits to catch, such a tuna, but the sport itself requires none.

Spearfishing with SCUBA equipment is illegal. You’re going to free dive if you want to go spearfishing in Malta.

Spearfishing at night is illegal when using artificial light. 

Spearfishing is illegal in marine conservation areas. The Maltese Ministry of the Environment designates these areas, so check the rules where you are planning to visit.

Spearfishing is illegal around any artificial reefs. There are reefs made for research and scuttled ships that form reefs as attractions for divers. None are open to spearfishing.


Freediving is holding your breath underwater. If you want to spearfish in Malta, you’ll need to go where the fish are while holding your breath. It’s a technique you learn, and as you get better at it, you’ll be able to find your target and come up victorious.

No matter where you dive in Malta, you will not be alone. The law requires that divers have a guide and that you can prove a certain amount of skill before you can go. There are several freediving schools you can attend if you have your heart set on spearfishing.

Remember Saint Paul’s Bay? It’s not just an excellent place for pole fishing. It has shallower waters where you can learn to free dive and explore the caves and wrecks in the area.

The freediving schools offer boat trips, shore trips, wreck sites, and natural formations on trips lasting from a few hours to several days. They also provide courses ranging from one day to a full week.

A Marine Paradise

Malta’s shoreline might be one of the best places on earth to dive, free dive, fish, spearfish, and immerse yourself in marine life and culture. The country has taken great care to preserve its resources and cultivate new ones to foster tourism and protect its waters.

You don’t have to wait to go to Malta before learning to free dive. You will need some special equipment, but you can start understanding how it’s done by reading about the techniques and theories.

If you have questions or would like to receive our newsletter, contact us with your name and email address, and we’d be happy to answer any questions you have. Welcome to the world of Malta spearfishing!