Spearfishing in Little Inagua, Bahamas

in Adventure Travel / Bahamas / Life at Sea
9 Comments
red snapper spear fishing

With absolutely nothing on the island of Little Inagua to entertain us, we entertained ourselves by exploring the water around it and trying our hand at spearfishing to see if we could catch ourselves some dinner. We were inspired by our last fishing trip to Hooper’s Bay, where we watched our friend Brian spear two lionfish and a lobster while Ryan and I mostly flailed around, scaring the fish away.

Except this time we didn’t go home empty handed. I speared my first fish, which turned out to be too small to eat (I swear, the fish shrink as soon as you get them out of the water), and I caught a 2-pound parrotfish, which turned out to be the perfect dinner-sized fish. And our friend Morgan speared another parrotfish, and a brown-spotted fish we think we identified as a rock hind.

All in all, it was a successful day, made all the more so by a few things I learned on our last outing, as well as some new tricks I picked up this time around:

  • It’s better to fish without a wetsuit. I was less buoyant this time, making it easier to dive and swim along the ocean floor.
  • It’s very difficult to spear fish in open water. If you can find fish sitting under rocks or in coral heads, they’re much easier targets.
  • Once you’ve hit a fish, push the spear in deeper to keep the fish from wriggling off the spear. I learned that after losing two fish.
  • Lift the fish immediately out of the water after you’ve speared it so as not to attract any sharks.
  • After 4 or 5 catches, it’s probably a good idea to move on to another area in case any sharks picked up the scent.

That last lesson was learned at the end of the day when Morgan spotted a shark nearby and we decided we’d rather go home with dinner and all our limbs. But the sharks must have known they’d get their fill sooner or later because 5 or 6 of them suddenly appeared and circled Hideaway while I cleaned our day’s catch and threw the guts overboard.

So I guess we all got dinner that night — three lovely fried fish for us, and a load of entrails for the sharks. Needless to say, though, there was no after-dinner swimming in Little Inagua.

cleaning fish on deck

The messy job of cleaning fish is best done on the foredeck.

spear fishing bahamas

Morgan, using his fishing book to try to identify his fish.

descaling red snapper

Before gutting my parrotfish, I descaled him…

descaling fish on deck

…which was a messy job

gutting fish on deck

But not as messy as gutting the fish…

gutting fish turf to surf sailing blog

…which was disgusting

cleaning fish on sailboat blog

All that mess got washed overboard with a little sea water…

sharks in the water sailing blog

…which brought on the sharks

swimming sharks sailing blog turf to surf

Time for a swim?

fried snapper dinner s:v hideaway

The best part is — once all that cleaning, gutting and cooking is done — you get to eat!

 

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8 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • Bob baker (visiting Normans Cay) where daughter lives) April 3, 2013, 6:50 am

    Way to go guys ! Try trolling for those dauphin. That’s the great eating !

    • Tasha April 3, 2013, 4:41 pm

      I’m trying! I seem to lose all my lures without catching a fish though!

      • Bob baker (visiting Normans Cay) where daughter lives) April 4, 2013, 8:45 am

        Try to get some Ballyho fron one of the larger islands and troll
        With them. Most places that have it will have it already with a strong leader.

        • Tasha April 4, 2013, 10:16 am

          Will do! Thanks!

  • Leigh April 4, 2013, 12:46 pm

    Congrats on your catch and thanks for the tips! Like Ryan, my husband also enthusiastically bought a spear gun, which hangs in our V-berth, threatening anyone who dares to sleep there.

    • Tasha April 4, 2013, 3:30 pm

      We love it so much we bought a second one in Luperon so we can both hunt fish!
      Tasha

  • Fish June 2, 2016, 3:18 pm

    Nice catch! They look so delicious 🙂 especially the parrotfish. I love it!
    Fish recently posted…DUO Tide Minnow Slim 200 Prism Ivory ReviewMy Profile

    • Tasha June 5, 2016, 2:53 pm

      They were delicious! I don’t think we’ve been spear fishing since then — we must get back to that soon!

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