That’s because, unlike most countries in the world, USA’s coasts offer great spearfishing possibilities year-round. Besides being surrounded by three major bodies of water; the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast mainland, USA is also filled with countless lakes. That’s a lot of water, and fish, for spear fishermen to enjoy. Be it winter, spring, summer or fall Americans can jump in the water, catch a fish and put healthy, sustainable proteins on their tables.
Even during cold February, American fish eating fanatics are fortunate to be able to spear their own dinner without leaving the country. No need for passports, as the southern half of our coasts will still hold warm waters during all winter months. Naturally, like in any other season of the year, a spearfishing day can be ruined by bad weather, so spear fishermen need to count with a little bit of luck for calm seas during the chillier months of the year, when cold fronts and storms are more common.
In some places like south Florida, winter is even the preferred time of the year to spearfish as a cold thermocline pushes bottom fish like grouper and snapper closer to the surface. Not only that, some pelagic species only show up in Florida during the winter. It’s the case of the oceanic wahoo and the cobias that migrate south to avoid low water temperatures in the Carolinas and Virginia coasts.
But attention spearo’s, remember to be up to date with fishing regulations when you plan your dive, as they also change during the year. Sticking to the grouper example mentioned before, during most of the winter months (the best time of the year to catch groupers), the fishery is closed and they cannot be caught by spear or any other fishing method. It’s smart to use seasonality to catch fish as well as to protect them!
Winter Grouper speared w/ my Cherokee Ocean 120 in Florida on the last day of the season (and the year).