Spearfishing in State and Federal Waters
Captain Andy's Federal reef fishing permit allows Niuhi customers to spearfish in state and federal waters. Niuhi customers do not need their own fishing license as they will be covered by the boat's permit. While most other Pensacola boats are restricted to state waters, the Niuhi can take you further and deeper to where the big fish really are.
Florida has arguably the best spearfishing in the United States, and the Pensacola area offers a wide range of spearfishing opportunities not available in other parts of the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic. There are well over a thousand published artificial reefs in the Pensacola area. These reefs range in size from 4-foot reef balls to a 911-foot long aircraft carrier. Target species include Red Snapper, Mangrove Snapper, Black Grouper, Red Grouper, Gag Grouper, Scamp, Cobia, Triggerfish, Flounder, Amberjack, Tuna, Mahi-Mahi, Wahoo and many more. Because of the robust artificial reefing programs in Escambia and neighboring Baldwin Counties, Pensacola has one of the best red snapper fisheries in the world.
Even bug hunters will find sport on the Pensacola Gulf Coast! Florida Spiny Lobster can be found on the deeper natural reefs offshore, and the delicious Slipper Lobster (Shovelnose) can be found on most wrecks and artificial reefs closer to shore. Shovelnose lobster can be taken year-round. They must be taken by hand (no spears) and no egg-bearing females can be brought to the surface. The same prohibitions against spearing and egg-bearing females apply to Florida Spiny Lobster. There is a Federal, and Florida State Season for harvesting Spiny Lobster, and size limitations. You must possess a lobster gauge if you intend to hunt spineys, and all measuring must take place at depth.
Is Your Gun Big Enough?
Most spearfishers in our area prefer wooden guns with at least a 48-inch shaft. Rail gun enthusiasts prefer 90cm guns or longer, with 100cm guns being more common. While it’s certainly possible to successfully take trophy fish on smaller guns, it’s not recommended because of the extra distance and power needed to harvest the heavy-bodied fish that are common here.
Andy Ross is a licensed Captain with well over a thousand dives. Winner of several spearfishing tournaments, Captain Andy has a wealth of knowledge and he'll be happy to share his tips and tricks with the customers on his boat. Call him today in order to schedule your next spearfishing adventure!