How to Spear Fish From Your Kayak | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
Skills
These expert spearfishing anglers hold up their hard won trophies. These expert spearfishing anglers hold up their hard won trophies. Photos: Courtesy Anglers

Turn your fishing kayak into a spearfishing platform.

With all the hoopla over kayak fishing it’s easy to forget that the modern sit-on-top kayak was first developed as a dive platform. With minimal investment, your fishing kayak could be your diving kayak. These three dive masters offer advice on taking the fight to the fish.

 

GREG GADREAU'S KAYAK SPEARFISHING TIPS

LOCATION 

New England 

ACCOLADES 

Spearfishing tournament veteran, Massachusetts Freedivers board member 

TARGET 

Striped bass, bluefish, tautog, scup, flounder, sea bass 

REEF IN REACH 

Hunt deep rock reefs and shipwrecks that are close to shore. I also look for sand flats and jetties just beyond the surf break. 

PERFECT PLATFORM 

Ocean Kayak Big Game II allows me to put speargun, mask, fins and weight belt inside the kayak. 

SURVIVE THE DIVE 

Fly a dive flag from the kayak. I attached a screw-in flagpole base to the bow of my kayak. The dive flag is on a three-foot pole that screws into the base. 

GEAR 

Mares Phantom Speargun, 3mm and 5mm open-cell wetsuit.

 

JIM RUSSELL'S KAYAK SPEARFISHING TIPS

LOCATION 

Monterey Bay, California 

ACCOLADES 

California State record holder for monkeyface prickleback, North California Kayak Association Diver of the Year, coordinator NCKA Pay It Forward charity. 

TARGET 

Rockfish, cabezon, lingcod, halibut 

REEF IN REACH 

Rocky shores and kelp beds. Many species can be found in water as shallow as 10 feet deep. 

PERFECT PLATFORM 

Look for a kayak with a clutter-free deck. No cleats, pad-eye, hooks or accessories to snag a wetsuit and gear on the way in or out. 

SURVIVE THE DIVE 

Never take a loaded speargun into the kayak. Always load and unload the speargun in the water. 

GEAR 

Speargun: Pathos Laser Open Pro 75 has a short shaft overhang so I can poke around in rocks and crevices. Fins: Bluetec Blades. I’m a big guy so I need a super stiff and super-light carbon fiber fin to push me to the bottom and back to the surface.

 

ROB FORT'S KAYAK SPEARFISHING TIPS

LOCATION 

Coromandel, New Zealand 

ACCOLADES 

Pro guide for YakfishNZ.com 

TARGET 

John dory, butterfish, yellowtail kingfish, trevally, snapper, lobster 

REEF IN REACH 

Coromandel Peninsula, Great Barrier, Mercury and North islands. 

PERFECT PLATFORM 

Look for a kayak that paddles fast and efficiently. Save your energy for diving. 

SURVIVE THE DIVE 

Diving and paddling are physically intense activities. Be sure to stay within your physical abilities. Learn to paddle correctly to improve performance and endurance. 

GEAR 

Choose a mask with black silicone seal. Clear silicone allows light into the mask making it harder to see and hunt fish swimming below. Wear neoprene socks to prevent chafing in the fin footbed. Gloves with Kevlar will hold up to fish spines and lobster claws.

Early Summer Issue2This article first appeared in the Early Summer 2015 issue of Kayak Angler magazine. For more great kayak fishing content, subscribe to Kayak Angler's print editions and digital editions, download issues on your device or view this issue for free on your desktop here.

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