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Planning Spearfishing Trips - Domestic Travel

Planning Spearfishing Trips - Domestic Travel

Planning Spearfishing Trips - Domestic Travel

Planning spearfishing trips can be a challenge, especially if you are fairly new to spearfishing. Traveling to dive is always an interesting experience, but it offers new challenges of targeting different fish in different conditions than you are used to diving. No matter if the trip is considered a success or failure, trips to new places always make you a better and more prepared diver in the future. Here are some basic considerations that you need to consider when you are going spearfishing.


Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Depending on how big your country is, air travel may be a necessary means of transportation. There are definitely some benefits to air travel. It gets you to your destination quickly with limited hassle. The main problem is oversized and overweight luggage fees. If you're flying, there is really no way around luggage fees when it comes to dive equipment, especially when spearguns are involved. The other downside is that once you are off the plane you still need to get away from the airport. That can mean a rental car, cab, or some other means of getting around which will cost additional money. 

Cars are an alternative for travel closer to home. A small road trip can be a fun time, and if you do it right you can split up who is driving and divide the cost of gas between a group. You can usually bring more gear in a car than in a plane, plus you end up having the car as a "base" of sorts that you can work out of. No need for a rental car if you have your own car. Really, the only downsides are that gas is expensive and driving takes a while. 


Food and Lodging for Planning Spearfishing Trips

Planning a spearfishing trip requires considering food and lodging. Some of this is based on the type of trip you go on. If you are doing a trip that is self guided, you will need to do some extensive planning. Remember that you go through more calories when you are diving than in a normal day, along with a lot more water. Lodging can be anything from a tent to a high class hotel depending on your location and budget.

The alternative to planning your own trip is to get on trips that dive shops are running. These tend to be more inclusive trips with a more rigid structure. The benefit to being catered to is that you don’t have to deal with big plans as much. You can just be along for the ride. These kinds of trips can range from lodges with charters to live-aboard trips. There is certainly something relaxing about not having to plan every detail of a trip. The challenge with these kinds of trips is that they tend to be more expensive and you definitely give up some control for the benefit of the group. 


Charters, Guides, and Shore Diving

One of the biggest considerations in spearfishing travel is getting local knowledge. It is extremely hard to just roll into a new area and figure out how to get after big fish. Local knowledge can be found a couple different ways. If you are going after offshore species, it definitely pays to use a charter boat. If the captain and crew are experienced with spearfishing, or do spearfishing on their own, they will be that much better off in showing you the local area. Keep in mind that you should communicate expectations with any person you are hiring to make sure you are on the same page. It keeps everyone from having a bad time, and limits bad decisions on when and where you want to dive. 

Hiring a local guide is also an option for trips. What is the difference between a charter and a guide? Good question. A guide is with you in the water showing you what needs to be done and helping you in the water. Many charters have guides available, but guides are not a guarantee. Be sure to ask for a guide if that is something you want. Guides can also work independent of charters. There are some places where guides can help with shore dives. In some areas, this can produce fish. It just depends where you are. One thing is for sure, local knowledge is always valuable. If you want to do a DIY trip, try to get information from a local either directly or through research. Here is an example of a great blog post going over spearfishing Rhode Island

If all else fails, you should check with the local dive shop to see what you can expect from the area. The information you get may be limited, but it definitely beats knowing nothing. 



Even with local knowledge, it is valuable to do some research on your own. There is a conflict of interest whenever you are paying someone to take you diving. They have the inherent desire to make money regardless of your success. So you may want to research past conditions to narrow down the window of when you want to travel. Weather is a big factor. In many countries there is over a century of data for normal weather during any given time of year. You can look at this information to help give you a good window to try and plan a trip.


Season Considerations

Do your research on local seasons for your targeted species. Every state manages its own fishery, which means there are different rules in every state, and often different rules for counties within that state. If you are targeting a certain species you should probably make sure it is legal to harvest that fish when you are planning your trip. You can also identify what kinds of licenses you need as well. 


Visibility Considerations in Planning Spearfishing Trips

Another big consideration in planning spearfishing trips is visibility. No one likes diving in pea-soup colored water where you can’t see your hand in front of your face. Finding what normal visibility conditions are in an area is difficult. There are so many factors that impact visibility. Weather, currents, water temperature, and chlorophyl levels are all big factors in visibility. Because there are some many factors involved visibility is difficult to predict. One way is to look at satellite levels or chlorophyl data, but the best option on this is to ask a local what vis normally tends to be in that area during the time of year you plan on going.
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