What You Need to Know About Spearfishing in Tonga
Crisp clean water, large pelagics and getting to spend some time at some remote Pacific Islands is just what any keen spearer wants, right?! Tonga can certainly provide with most of the highly-sought game fish available all year round in The Kingdom’s waters. Whether you’re a beginner or have been freediving all your life, there are options for spearfishing to suit all levels in Tonga. Find out more in this complete guide to spearfishing in Tonga!
While you’re here, you might also want to bookmark our complete bible to fishing in The Complete Guide to Fishing in Tonga.
5 Reasons to Spearfish in Tonga
- It’s possible to catch a wide range of South Pacific game fish, such as marlin, giant trevally, sailfish, dogtooth tuna, yellowfin tuna and much more!
- The water is warm, with water temperatures not venturing too far from the 24°C (75.2°F) mark year-round
- The water clarity in Tonga is spot-on, with visibility rarely falling below 30 m (100 ft)
- There are half-day to multi-day options for spearfishing available, so you’re bound to find something to suit
- Spearfishing charters are well geared up for an epic day on the water, so if you don’t have all of your own gear with you, charters will still be able to sort you out.
What Fish Can You Spear in Tonga?
Tonga’s tropical blue water and coral reefs provide the perfect environment for those fish species you’ve always dreamed of catching: marlin, giant trevally, dogtooth tuna… You can tick a wide range of game fish off the bucket list on a spearfishing trip in Tonga, including:
- Dogtooth Tuna
- Blue Marlin
- Black Marlin
- Pacific Sailfish
- Yellowfin Tuna
- Giant Trevally
- Coral Trout
- Green Jobfish
- Red Bass
- Mangrove Jacks…
… And a ton of other reef fish in the mix! Take a look at What Types of Fish Can You Fish for in Tonga? for more information.
The Best Time for Spearfishing in Tonga
With consistently warm air and sea temperatures combined with the fact that most game fish species can be found in Tonga’s waters all year round, there’s never really a bad time for spearfishing in Tonga. Nevertheless, if you’re aiming for one species in particular, then there are times when certain fish species are more prolific than others.
Here’s a quick list of the popular fish species for spearfishing in Tonga and when are the best months to target them:
- Blue Marlin – June to December
- Black Marlin – June to September
- Pacific Sailfish – June to March
- Wahoo – August to November
- Mahimahi – June to February
- Yellowfin Tuna – August to February
- Dogtooth Tuna – July to January
- Giant Trevally – July to March
- Coral Trout – July to October and January to April.
For more details about specific game species and the best time to target them, check out The Best Time for Fishing in Tonga.
Where to Do Spearfishing in Tonga
As spearfishing is such a specialised type of fishing, there are only a select few charters that offer it as an activity, incidentally all on the island of ‘Eua!
An island in the southern part of Tonga, just a short flight or half-day ferry journey from Tongatapu, ‘Eua is a playground for spearfishing. Unlike other islands in Tonga, ‘Eua’s reef drops into the deep blue just metres away from shore, meaning that you can get to some stellar drop-offs and spearfishing spots after just a short boat ride.
Spearfishing Tonga, also known as Blue Water Retreat, offer multi-day spearfishing holiday packages based out of their resort on the island, which include accommodation, spearfishing trips almost daily with two guides and a skipper, meals and island tours. Although it’s best to bring your own gear, the team has some gear if needed. As trips are fully customisable, it’s possible to arrange freediving and spearfishing training with their experienced guides on request.
For a more local experience, Kiko from ‘Alakoka Tahi Moana Guesthouse offers bareboat spearfishing trips providing his years of fishing knowledge and skipper skills to the table; you just need to bring the gear and your freediving experience. If you’re successful, they’ll cook up your catch at the guesthouse for free.
What You Need to Bring on a Spearfishing Trip
Spearfishing is physically demanding, therefore, the sport is best suited to those who are physically fit and have good breath-hold. Past spearfishing and/or freediving experience is advised in order to increase your chances of a successful catch.
As for equipment, the general rule is that it’s best to bring any of your own gear that you have and are familiar with. Otherwise, spearfishing charters like Blue Water Retreat tend to have gear, from wetsuits to spearfishing guns, weight belts, snorkel, masks, floats, lines and more. On the other hand, those who take trips with Kiko or a customised trip with one of the other fishing charters in Tonga need to bring all of their own gear.
Spearfishing Gear for Tonga
If your chosen fishing charter does not provide spearfishing gear, here are the recommended equipment to bring:
- Spearfishing gun – a larger gun with a minimum of three rubbers is recommended
- 35 l float
- 75 ft bungee
- 75 ft hard line
- Weight belt
- 3 mm full wetsuit or similar
- Snorkel and mask
Limited spearfishing gear is available to purchase in Nuku’alofa (Tongatapu), such as at the ‘Uiha and Sons Ltd fishing shop below JeZAmi Hotel (Salote Road).
Other Things to Take on a Spearfishing Trip
In addition to the list above, other items to bring to your spearfishing tour include:
- Reef-safe sunscreen
- Reef shoes
- Change of clothes
Light refreshments and drinks are usually provided with the fishing charter.
More About Spearfishing in Tonga
That’s it for our complete guide to spearfishing in Tonga. What else do you need to know? Perhaps you’ll find the following guides useful:
- 5 Best Fishing Charters in Tonga
- 5 Best Fishing Resorts & Lodges in Tonga
- How to Choose the Best Fishing Tour in Tonga
Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in The Complete Guide to Fishing in Tonga.