The Big Island of Hawaii has a lot of coastline. Some of it is protected from specific types of fishing. This guide will help you find the spots that are ok for spearfishing Big Island and those that are not. Fortunately for spearfishermen there is more coastline where spearfishing is allowed than not. When spearfishing Hawaii it’s not always obvious where you can and can’t go based on popularity or location. Some sites only prohibit spearfishing in a part of the bay while the other part is fair game. This guide is a summary of this map published by the Department of Land and natural Resources a Hawai’i state agency that sets rules and regulations.
Kona Honu Divers is home to Kona Freedivers. Our dive shop specializes in spear fishing Kona waters where there’s some of the best spearfishing in the world. We carry all of the spearfishing gear you’ll need to hunt in local waters. There are many people hunting here which means the fish can be pretty savvy when you’re holding a gun. If you’re new to spearfishing Hawaii you may want to check out our guide below.
If you’re looking for which fish to target check out our Guide to Fish Selection
Places where Spearfishing is Prohibited on The Big Island:
- Lapakahi State Park
- Ka’upulehu (4 Seasons/Kukio)
- Old Airport
- Kailua Bay
- Keauhou Bay
- Kealakekua Bay (Captain Cook)
- Hilo Bay
Places Where Spearfishing is Not Allowed on the Big Island
See below for detailed descriptions of places where spearfishing Big Island is not allowed. Click on the place for a detailed site map showing the restricted areas. Typically the island is better for reef hunting From the airport south since it drops off faster and there is typically less sandy bottom. North of the airport the island slopes more gently which means more sand and typically lower visibility. This can be better for hunting certain types of fish but often you will encounter fewer fish in these spots doe to the lack of reef structure for the fish to hide in.
Lapakahi State Park
There are 2 Zones for this state park located up north on the Hamakua coast. This is the northern most site where Big Island spearfishing is prohibited.
- Zone A: No Spearfishing
- Zone B: No Spearfishing
Ka’upulehu (4 Seasons/Kukio)
This rest area was established to allow the fish in the area to replenish. It is commonly known as Kukio to the south and to the north 4 Seasons resort area.
When it comes to Kona spearfishing the following 3 sites do not allow spearfishing in the Kailua-Kona area.
Old Kona Airport
While it may be a good place to snorkel, dive, and Freedive, Old A’s as the locals call it is mostly barred from spearfishing.
Located in downtown Kailua-Kona this bay is home to many boats, cruise ships, hotels, and tourism traffic. There are often schools of Akule that linger in the shallows. it’s permitted to spearfish in zone B only.
There is no spearfishing allowed in this boat harbor or to the adjacent southern coast along the Sheraton Hotel
Kealakekua Bay (Captain Cook)
This recently established marine life conservation district is a tourism hotspot that is now highly regulated. It is the only site south of Kona where spearfishing is prohibited.
- Zone A: No Spearfishing allowed
- Zone B: No Spearfishing allowed
On the east side of the Big island the diving is a bit rougher. One place were the waters are calmer however does not permit spearfishing. There is no spearfishing allowed in downtown Hilo harbor area.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you Spearfish in Hawaii?
Yes! Spearfishing in Hawaii is not only legal there are no permits required to do it. The regulations are also pretty lax. The only limitations are a few size minimums and prohibited areas. Spearfishing on scuba is also prohibited on some coasts on select islands.
How much does it cost to go spearfishing in Hawaii?
It’s free to spearfish in Hawaii as there are currently no permits required. The only payments you will ever have to make are taxes to ‘the man in the grey suit'(sharks) and tuition in the school of hard knocks as the popularity of spearfishing here can make it difficult to stalk savvy fish. Check out our fish selection guide to learn more about how to get started.
Do you need a fishing license to spear fish in Hawaii?
Which Hawaiian Island is best for spearfishing?
The less populated islands will typically be easier to spearfish as the amount of predatory pressure on fish will be lower. This means islands like The Big Island of Hawaii, Molokai, and Lanai will be better than smaller, more populated islands like Oahu, Maui, and Kauai. The Big Island probably has the best mix of accessibility, good conditions and healthy reefs. It’s also better for pelagic spearfishing because the deep water is nearer the coastline.
Where can I Go spearfishing in Kona or on the Big Island?
Everywhere there isn’t a prohibited area is fair game. That means most of the Big Island’s 265 mile coastline is open year-around to hunting fish with a speargun or polespear. Typically south Kona will have more reef for hunting most fish while north of the airport there’s more sandy bottom and fewer fish. It’s difficult for us to make specific recommendations because there are so many factors involved in choosing a site. Just make sure you have the right gear and are following local rules and regulations. See our Guide to Fish Selection for more info on what to hunt for and our spearfishing big island Gear Guide on essential tools for spearfishing in Hawaii.
Is Spearfishing on Scuba Legal in Hawaii?
On the Big Island of Hawaii’s western side spearfishing is not permitted while wearing scuba.
Kona Freedivers and Kona Honu Divers is dedicated to creating a comprehensive Hawaii spearfishing guide to make your spearfishing journey less complicated. If you want to learn more about Kona spearfishing or Hawaii spearfishing check out our blog on Kona Freedivers or better yet check out our Kona Freedivers Reviews YouTube channel which is full of how-to’s and reviews.
Big Island spearfishing involves a lot of exploration. This is because our coastline is so extensive and much of it can only be accessed by 4 wheel drive or by boat. When it comes to spearfishing Hawaii the island of Hawaii has some of the best spearfishing available. This is because of our beautiful sunny coastline. The calmness and clarity of the water makes diving an absolute dream. Our coast is studded with coral drawing fish and larger critters into the shallows.