The best places to do it
1. The Florida Keys
If you don’t have a passport, the continental US’ southernmost point offers surefire spearfishing success. In most locations along the 120-mile island chain, visibility goes all the way to the bottom, with yellowtail and mutton snapper, amberjack, black grouper, mahi-mahi, and cobia the top catches. And do we need to tell you how great the Keys are for the non-fishermen in your family?
2. Ascension Island
Halfway between Brazil and South Africa, this stretch has been closed to commercial fishing for years, and nearly everyone in the diving community considers it the Mecca. (World-famous French-Canadian diver Valentine Thomas, who’s done more than any woman before her to publicize female participation, she went from a hedge fund employee in London to world record holder after just a handful of trips to Ascension.) But at $10,000 for a 10-day trip, Ascension is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most fishermen.
3. Central America & the Caribbean
For those on a budget but still after tropical adventure, these are surefire hot spots. Warm water, remarkable visibility, and an endless variety of fish -- snook, king mackerel, roosterfish, parrotfish, sea bass, and lobster, among others — make Panama a particular hotspot, with the Gulf of Chiriqui and the Hannibal Banks regularly topping many spearfishing itineraries.