Are you looking to go spearfishing in Mexico? If so, read on to learn the top ten tips for spearfishing in Mexico.
Spearfishing has become a popular sport in Mexico and other places around the world.
While diving underwater, spearfishers (also known as spearos) catch fish by using a speargun to spear the fish. It’s less relaxing than lake fishing but more adventurous than fly fishing.
Spearfishing is for anyone who loves a challenge at sea.
Are you planning a spearfishing trip to enjoy beautiful beaches, oceans, and exotic fish? If so, here are the top 10 tips for spearfishing in Mexico.
1. Get a Permit
Get the paperwork out of the way first.
You’ll hate yourself for planning a trip and spending the money only to forget to check the spearfishing regulations. In Mexico, you need a spearfishing permit.
Many resorts or expeditions will handle the paperwork for you. But be sure to let them know you’ll be there for spearfishing before you arrive.
Don’t forget to familiarize yourself with the regulations for spearfishing in Mexico. Go by the rules and stay out of trouble.
2. Find a Reputable Operation
Avoid some guy with a rusty boat offering spearfishing expeditions for cheap. You might end up being that guy that went spearfishing and was never heard from again.
Do your research and find a trustworthy outfit to book your fishing trip. Check safety ratings and customer reviews. Be sure they have proper licensing, training, and certifications.
When you arrive for your trip, be vigilant. If the outfit’s equipment seems sketchy, choose safety and find another outfit.
3. Safety First When Spearfishing
When you find a trustworthy spearfishing host, do what they say.
Listen to instructions. Follow the rules. Don’t show off or take selfies while hanging over the boat railing.
Safety is a priority with any deep-sea adventure. You’ll be in deep water with breathing equipment and a very sharp spear.
Don’t be a clown. Instead, be safe and admire the underwater clownfish.
4. Get the Right Equipment
Do your research and talk with your expedition outfit. Figure out the best spearfishing gear for your trip and skill level.
Typical spearfishing equipment includes:
- Diving fins
- Weight belt
- Dive mask
- And of course, your spear or speargun.
Trust the expertise of your guide or trip leader. But it always helps to know your way around your equipment before you dive.
If you’re not sure where to start, check out our recommendations for the very best spearfishing gear.
5. Pick Your Spot
Location is everything when spearfishing. When in Mexico, there’s no shortage of great spearfishing locations to suit just about any adventure.
Here are a few prime spots for spearfishing.
Lots of reefs to explore. Calm waters. And there’s no shortage of marine life.
It’s a spearfisher’s dream.
Explore caves and shipwrecks with your spear in hand. You’ll find plenty of sea creatures hidden in nooks and crannies.
Some of the best fishing spots are only a short 20-minutes board ride from shore. Make a day or a half day of your spearfishing tour in Cozumel.
Then return to the beach to relax while you share stories of your spearfishing adventure.
Playa Del Carmen
There are a lot of similarities between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel spearfishing. But some say the visibility isn’t quite as good at Playa.
Don’t let that deter you from this beautiful area. You’ll find plenty of sea life lurking within ledges, coral heads, shipwrecks, and drop-offs.
Just try not to get distracted by the gorgeous deep blue water.
Playa is a great destination for any spearfishing skill level.
Most people know Cancun as a fun vacation spot. Chances are, you (or someone you know) have partied in this popular location.
Cancun is also a fantastic spearfishing destination.
With something for everyone in Cancun, bring your family or friends. Let them relax at the beach or go shopping while you take a day for a spearfishing expedition.
Great visibility, plenty of warm water, and lots of fish await you in Cancun.
6. Choose the Right Charter Level
Pick a charter that offers the best adventure for your skill level.
You don’t want to get caught on a pro-level trip if it’s your first time on a spearfishing adventure.
Don’t be afraid to let your expedition operator know that you’re new to the sport. In fact, we encourage you to let them know upfront!
Book a trip that caters to beginners. You’ll learn safety protocol. And they’ll teach you about equipment and technique in a safe learning environment.
Chances are, you’ll be with other beginners, too. Feel free to ask questions, make mistakes, and look silly as you start. You’re all in the same boat (literally).
Instructors will help you practice diving and show you where to find fish. They’ll also show you what to do when you find one, and you’re ready to start throwing your spear.
Starting at a beginner level helps you learn the best way to spearfish. With good instruction, patience, and some practice, you’ll enjoy the sport much more during future outings.
After you’ve got a few trips under your diving weight belt, promote yourself to a more challenging fishing trip.
These adventures will skip the skills instruction and let you get in the water right away.
Instructors and guides are on hand for safety and support. But you’ll already have an idea of your equipment needs and how to dive and spear.
Book your trip at an “experienced” or “intermediate” level and enjoy the opportunity to develop your spearfishing skills.
If being underwater with a spear is your second home, you’re ready for the big time spearfishing expeditions.
If you practically have gills and the heart of a sea god, you’ll find spearfishing trips and locations that are unavailable to beginners and intermediate divers.
Places like Holbox only allow professional level spearfishers.
Treat yourself to an extra hint of danger and extreme exotics. Choose a pro-level tour outfit for the ultimate challenge.
Before you go, your tour operators should ask you some questions. They’ll want to know your prior experience, where you’ve been, and how many trips you’ve taken.
But that’s a good sign. It’s for your safety. And it helps your guides deliver the best spearfishing experience to you.
7. Know Your Fish
When spearfishing in Mexico, know your fish.
There are some restrictions about which fish you can legally hunt.
Common legal fish include lionfish, wahoo, grouper, amberjack, and snapper. You’re also safe to hunt mahi-mahi, yellow jack, hogfish, permit, and mackerel.
Be careful with barracuda. You can spear them, but they bite back.
8. Say No to Tanks
You might notice we didn’t include scuba tanks in our list of recommended equipment.
Mexico does not permit diving with scuba tanks. It’s a strictly free-dive sport.
While you might fish in deep water, spearfishers aren’t deep-sea divers. Diving with a tank and a sharp pointy spear is a dangerous combination.
9. Eat What You Catch
Unlike fly fishing or chilling in a boat on a lake, spearfishing is not a catch-and-release sport.
Your spear causes a good-sized hole in your fish. It’s cruel to spear of fish and leave it in the ocean.
When you catch a fish, haul it to the surface and into the boat.
Your support crew will help you prepare the fish for consumption. If you don’t want it, the crew will gladly take it.
Know that spearfishing is not a harmful sport for the environment. It’s also not meant as a cruelty for sea life.
10. Make Spearfishing Friends
Spearfishing is a unique sport. While it might not appeal to everyone who loves diving, you’ll find a fun, adventurous community of spearfishers.
Plan meetups or annual trips to different locations in Mexico. Find your favorites and visit again.
Book your trips to meet new spearfishers. Dive and spear. Then enjoy time together after your trip while you enjoy the fish from your adventure.
Your Spearfishing in Mexico Adventure Awaits
Now that you know a little about spearfishing in Mexico, we’re sure you’re excited to plan a trip.
Whether it’s your first trip or one of your favorite places, there’s nothing like Mexico for spearos of all skill levels.
For years, seasoned spearos have enjoyed spearfishing in Mexico. It’s a favorite destination no matter which location is your adventure spot of choice.
While equipment and technology changes and improves over time, the heart and design of the sport remain true to its ancient roots.
Don’t be afraid if you’re a beginner. Mexico is a great vacation destination. And it’s a great place to learn the sport of spearfishing. Book a beginner spearfishing trip while you’re there and give it a try.
Use our website as your resource for equipment and tips. Check out our How-To Spearfish – A Beginners Guide for basic spearfishing tips and information.
We hope you find or continue your love of spearfishing — no matter your skill level or destination!