Are you interested in going spearfishing in Bali? If you are read on. This guide will explore where the best locations are and give you spearfishing tips to maximize your Bali spearfishing adventure.
The best part about spearfishing is that while having loads of fun doing it, you’re going to return back home holding your freshly caught dinner.
Out of many places in the world where spearfishing is practiced, the island of Bali in Indonesia stands tall. The place is filled to the brim with cool fishing spots where you can practice spearfishing all the while enjoying it.
The only catch is, when you try to figure out what you need for such a trip, or how to get prepared for it, you might find it hard or even feel a bit overwhelmed and torn between hundreds of guides.
That’s why this article is going to be your guide on how to get the most out of spearfishing Bali offers with everything you need to know before setting foot on the island. Let’s dive in and have a closer look.
History of Spearfishing in Bali
Spearfishing is one of the oldest ways people could afford dinner on their table. Ancient cultures used long pointed sticks early before they invented spears.
This was how spearfishing worked for thousands of years until the invention of spearguns, and that’s when we were able to fish deeper in the oceans.
Historically speaking, Spearfishing didn’t start on Bali island nor it was practiced by the Balinese people. However, it was practiced by other islands in Indonesia, but the rich Balinese seas have led them into spearfishing as if they were destined for it.
Currently, for local people of Bali, Spearfishing isn’t just a sport, a hobby, or something you can enjoy every weekend. It’s a true cultural treasure and a provider for many families. It also extended to be one of the main tourist attractions for the island.
Best Locations for Spearfishing in Bali
Bali island features some of the most delightful beaches not only in Indonesia but around the whole world with a lot of fascinating spots for countless activities and vacations to never be forgotten.
However, its beaches aren’t only known for their mesmerizing sandy beaches and sunny weather, one of the main enticements to its beaches is the tons of fun you can there while diving, surfing, or spearfishing
Whether it’s in the seashore, on a boat, or deep inside the ocean, the breathtaking underwater charm and adventures await you in Bali to be fully explored, let alone catching a tasty reward at the end of your journey.
Best Locations for Spearfishing from the Beach
Shore spearfishing is the simplest type of spearfishing yet its the most popular one, as all you need for it is to grab your kit and dive around the shoreline.
There aren’t many specific spots for shallow spearfishing, as they’re available along the length of the coasts. However, some spots are known for their shallow yet extremely biodiverse marine life, making them suitable for beginners to try out spearfishing.
Starting with one of the earliest resort regions in East Bali, Sanur is a 15-minute taxi ride away from Bali’s International Airport. It’s known for its tranquillity as well as its vibrant aquatic world.
The lagoon area behind the coral reefs has some shallow waters that allow for snorkeling and shoreline spearfishing. In fact, it’s one of the most famous spearfishing spots for people who never had a speargun in their hands before.
The area includes some coral reef fish like little snappers and barracudas, although the catch might be small relative to the bigger rewards beyond the coral reefs, the first time experience of catching a fish with a speargun is amazing on its own.
You can find it in the southeastern section of Bali, in the Bukit peninsula region, the area features some of the lavish hotels in Bali as well as astonishing beaches. It’ll take you about 25 minutes to reach it from the International Airport of Bali.
Nusa Dua’s beach line is known for its rich coral reef area, where you can find a lot of the reef’s sea creatures and fish including snappers and giant Spanish mackerels.
Best Locations for Spearfishing Offshore with a Boat
If you wanna go spearfishing on a boat, we’ve got you covered. Check out these mesmerizing spots in Bali.
Candidasa is a small village that lies on the east coast of Bali, 80 minutes away from Ngurah Rai International Airport. The beaches in the area are reserved for snorkeling and diving.
However, take a boat, and sail towards its three rocky islands, and you’ll be surrounded by some of the greatest spots for spearfishing in the district. The whole area is always nourished with waves that allow for marine life to grow over there.
Sanur shows up again, but this time considering the region past the coral reefs, about 450 meters out in the ocean, there, you can find some of the most exquisite catches that you can proudly take back home.
Uluwatu is located at the Bukit peninsula of Bali. Although Uluwatu is most commonly known for surfing due to its waves, they claimed their fair share of aquatic life inside the ocean.
Down there, the ocean bed is flatter than most areas and it’s a perfect spot for taking your spearfishing skills from shallow waters into the bluewater levels.
You can experience spearfishing dolphinfishes, locally known as mahi-mahi, in addition to yellowfin tuna, giant trevallies, and Spanish mackerels.
Amed can be used to refer to the shoreline extending throughout the Balinese southeastern coast, it’s also the name of one of the seven villages that lie on that 14 km beach.
Nature over there is ridiculously magnificent, not only that but they also feature one of the richest ocean biodiversity.
Another perfect zone for advanced spearfishing is at Lombok’s island. You can travel there through a ferry from Padang Bai, a town located near Candidasa. At Lombok, you can find a wide variety of tuna fish, as well as some astonishing beaches to lay on.
Regarding what you can see under the ocean, Lombok has various species of tuna fish wandering around the area including dogtooth tuna, yellowfin tuna, skipjack tuna, bigeye tuna, as well as snappers, groupers, Spanish mackerels, and giant trevally.
Moreover, if you’re lucky enough, and lobsters’ season hit the ocean by the time you’re there, you can hunt lobsters with the help of your licensed tour guide.
Gear Required for the Spearfishing Trip in Bali
Before going on the adventure you first need to figure out the needed equipment for the job. Going on spearfishing unprepared can be dangerous and costly, for that, you need to gear up according to your intentions.
Gear for Simple Shore Spearfishing in Bali
Shore spearfishing, in general, requires fewer tools. Although they aren’t much, they’re crucial for a fruitful spearfishing experience.
First, you need a well-fitting mask with a low profile so it can withstand the pressure differences in Bali’s underwater preventing water from getting inside, along with a simple J-shaped snorkel.
You’ll also need a pair of fins, as water in Bali can be deep sometimes, so for maneuverability under such deep water, any kind of plastic fins will serve you well.
Along with your speargun, you’ll also need a spearfishing knife, as fish don’t necessarily die by spearing, so having a knife can finish the job and end the creature’s suffering.
All this equipment can be bought or rented locally in Bali, they can be even cheaper than buying it from your own country, ditching the burden of their weight.
Gear for Offshore and Bluewater Spearfishing in Bali
Although they require more tools and equipment, deep-sea spearfishing is one of the coolest experiences you can have in Bali altogether. Let alone the bigger reward they give.
Among the most important tools needed for scuba diving and spearfishing in deeper ocean water of Bali is the spearfishing wetsuit.
It varies in thickness according to different temperatures in Bali, so buying or renting it locally will grant you the perfect thickness for your suit.
Along with fins and spearfishing knives, you’ll also need a float and a weight belt, they can control your position in the water, and they’re crucial for ascension and diving in such high wave water like in Bali.
Finally, you’re going to attach a floating flag to your speargun so it can alert the others about your whereabouts underwater.
In Bali, this can save you from a disaster, and the greatest thing is that it’s widely understood between the Balinese spearfishing society.
Licensing Required for Spearfishing in Bali
Aside from Bali’s Safari and Marine Park, up till now, there’s no active rule that prevents or prohibits spearfishing anywhere else in Bali. However, there are some rules and regulations that you might need to know before arranging a trip to Bali.
First, recently, the Indonesian government has banned bringing active spearguns into Indonesia, so you’ll have to buy or rent them locally from Indonesia, the good news here is that spearguns are offered at a low price compared to some developed countries.
Despite the ban, many tourists claim that due to a loophole in this law, you can bring your speargun through customs only if you remove the shaft and rubbers from it, and sign some legal papers that state that they’ll only be used as fishing equipment.
However, based on the price of spearguns in the country, and the hassle of this paperwork, let alone the wasted time doing it, pulling off such a trick seems like an overkill that isn’t worth the jeopardy.
Furthermore, you’re not allowed to set a trap in the ocean water without holding a valid license for it. Since lobsters hunting depends mainly on setting traps in the water, that makes spear hunting lobsters not allowed without a license.
Consequently, if you’re planning to spear down some lobsters for dinner, make sure that your spearfishing guide holds the required licensing for it.
Can You Spearfish Without a Tour Guide in Bali?
Although there are no rules in Bali preventing anyone from going on a spearfishing adventure on his own, it’s always best advised to go with a more experienced tour guide.
This accounts for many factors, the obvious one would be safety reasons, even the most experienced spearfishers and professionals never go on a spearfishing trip on their own. Having a companion can be great for a variety of reasons.
First, they can help you if anything went wrong or not according to the plan. They can also give you a helping hand to land a bigger bounty for the day. Bali’s underwater is full of surprises and a bigger fish can always be a smoother catch if you get the right help.
Another reason to always go with an expert local tour guide is that nobody knows Bali and its shores better than the Balinese themselves.
Hiring a local guide will grant you a full Balinese experience, which leads to having the most out of your vacation while staying safe and sound.
There you have it, a complete guide on spearfishing in Bali, having all the information you need before planning on the vacation of your life. One that you can count on.
Booking the best spearfishing trip with the required licensing will totally be worth your money. So get yourself ready for the amazing masterpiece of Bali, whether it’s above or below the ocean.
Here are a few of my top recommendations, I found super useful when spearfishing: