The Bahamas, a spearo's paradise! Alchemy partner & dive guide Andre Musgrove explains in glorious detail what one needs to know before embarking on such a magnificent trip. Can one use a speargun? Which are the most popular species? Trophy fish? Are there sharks around? Which are the best spearfishing spots? How can one get to those? Which local laws should one be aware of? Read, watch and find out by one of the best dive guides out there!



General Information


So, some general information about spearfishing in the Bahamas. Freediving is the only way you can recreationally spearfish here legally. Breath hold, no scuba equipment, no scuba tanks and no external breathing apparatus. We use primitive gear here, so that's pole spears and Hawaiian slings, also three prong pole spears. I personally enjoy it way more than spearguns - you're not allowed to use spearguns here anyway.



Popular Species



Popular species you can find here in the Bahamas are groupers, hogfish, mutton and pelagic fish such as AP's - african pompanos, permits, wahoo, mahi,  cero mackerel, spanish mackerel, such a variety of fish we have here. Most people come here to hunt  the groupers, so we've got the big black groupers, the yellow fin groupers, nassau groupers, tiger groupers.  Also hogfish and some mutton fish, mutton snapper. If you're hunting reef fish, if you're going out to hunt reef fish and you happen to be on the drop off, anything can pass through there.  Some of the reef goes from, let's say forty or sixty  feet, then a slow decline and all the way down on the drop-off can get anywhere from like 200-300, all  the way down to 6500 feet. Between our water column, between 0 and 100 feet some APs can  pass by, permits can pass by, wahoo could pass by - you just never know.



Pros



We have such good underwater visibility here, we usually have over 80 feet plus underwater visibility. We have year-round sunshine, the weather's usually good, not too windy, where you're completely incapable of going out, so that's a lot better than most places. We have over 700 islands and keys here, so there's a lot of ground to cover and when you know where to go or you have a good guide to guide you, it's really beneficial, because there's so much untouched ground here. It is very different than going somewhere like Mexico, where you have to dive all the way down to 80 feet and the visibility is only like 5 feet, you can't see much and it's cold and all that kind of stuff. We also got pretty warm weather almost year-round. Even in the wintertime the lowest it will get is like 69,  but that's super rare, it's usually around like 74-75 degrees Fahrenheit. And during the summer time it gets all the way up to 88 degrees, so you don't even want to wear your wetsuit kind of thing. The combination of warm water, shallow water, where you can find world-record fish, in like literally 10 feet of water, sunny climate, good weather, clear visibilit and good variety of fish is like the spearfisherman's dream.



Cons



Because we have such a healthy population of fish in the Bahamas, that means we have a balanced ecosystem,we also have sharks. The Bahamas is the shark diving capital of the world. Tiger sharks show up, hammerhead sharks, reef sharks, bull sharks, silky sharks, mako  sharks. Depending on where you are, depending on the island you are, these sharks can pose a problem. If you're spearfishing in a spot that has a lot of sharks you're going to attract them, it's just a part of the game basically, you just need to have the experience and know what to do or have a proper guide with you, who knows what to do in these situations so you don't get hurt, you don't hurt other people, you don't put other people in the position to get hurt and everybody could have a good day. Sharks are only doing what they're basically born to do, they're there to find the opportunity to find food and if someone's gonna be shooting a fish and have it on the line struggling and they don't have to go catch that fish themselves, they're gonna take advantage of the situation, because they have  to survive.



Any Story You Want To Share?



I am out in the south on the islands in the Bahamas and we are going spearfishing during this quarantine time, to go get some protein, get some fish on the boat. We went  out on this rocky flat bottom, I dove down to sixty five feet of water and I saw a fish trap down the bottom, like an old fish trap, all broken up. I was looking around and I was  gonna bounce to come right back up, when I realized there's nothing in there, but I decided to hang out to the bottom and just look around, just in case anything came my way. And right when I decided to go, I saw the shape of a mutton snapper coming towards me. This is rare for me to see personally. Mutton is usually a fish you track down or catch up to shoot. So, the moment it turned broadside I took the shot, it was a good shot to the head but it didn't kill him directly. It was a pretty big sized mutton!




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