What You Need to Know About Spearfishing in Niue
The excitement of freediving for pelagic whoppers vividly seen through crystal clear waters is unmatched in Niue. If you’re serious about spearfishing, then you need to give spearfishing in Niue a try. This island in the South Pacific might be small but it’s home to big game.
The rocky coral atoll is surrounded by a narrow reef dropping off into the deep blue around 100-200 m from shore. That means you’ll be freediving in no time, targeting wahoo, mahimahi, yellowfin tuna or even marlin at the island’s drop-offs, bluewater drifts or offshore FADs.
Learn about it all, as well as the fishing restrictions, in this complete guide to spearfishing in Niue.
5 Quick Tips for Spearfishing in Niue
- Most spearfishing charters require you to bring your own gear, where it’s often recommended to bring a spearfishing gun, 35 l float, a 75 ft bungee, a 75 ft hard line, weight belt and 3 mm wetsuit or similar. Weights can usually be supplied in Niue
- Bigger guns with a minimum of three rubbers are recommended for Niue’s spearfishing charters
- Some fishing charters listed below are licensed to watch and swim with whales, so you are able to swim with humpbacks during the whale season if the opportunity arises
- Note that it is illegal to spearfish off the rocks or reef without the appropriate permission
- Spearfishing charters in Niue cost approximately NZ$450 for two people.
We go through some of these tips below, as well as in The Ultimate Guide to Spearfishing in Niue.
What Fish Can You Spear for in Niue?
To keep Niue’s fish population sustainable, there are strict rules in place for fishing in Niue. Visitors to the island can only spearfish with a licensed fishing charter, which means that spearfishing in Niue is almost always for targeting large pelagic fish.
Some of the game fish species usually successfully targeted in Niue include:
- Dogtooth tuna
- Yellowfin tuna
- Marlin (if you’re lucky)
Learn about Niue’s trophy fish in What Types of Fish Can You Fish For in Niue?
Protected Fish Species in Niue
There are some species not to fish for in Niue, as they are protected under Domestic Fishing Regulations (1996). These include:
- Live Coral
- Eggs carrying crustaceans
- Soft cell stage crustaceans
- Giant wrasse
- Niuean banded sea snake
- Large spotted green/brown moray eel.
Note that there are also fish size and quota limits concerning crayfish, uga and clams, which you can learn more about in The Guide to Fishing in Niue.
Niue Spearfishing Rules/Laws
Spearfishing is not something that you can freely do from shore in Niue. There are strict laws and cultural customs when it comes to fishing, including spearfishing.
Getting Permission to Spearfish
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that spearfishing from shore in Niue’s surrounding reefs is strictly prohibited unless you get proper authorisation from the appropriate village council.
The most straightforward way to get the appropriate permission to spearfish in Niue is with one of the fishing charters. We talk more about that in the “Spearfishing Charters in Niue” section below.
Rules and Regulations About Spearfishing in Niue
- No spearfishing without a local guide
- No spearfishing in traditional fishing areas (avanuis or avi ulihegas)
- No spearfishing on inshore FADs
- No fishing (including spearfishing) on a Sunday
- No reef foraging without permission from a local authority
- Taking baby or female crayfish is forbidden
- No touching vaka (canoes) without permission from the owner
- No whale interactions (swimming with, swimming towards, etc.) unless you are with an operator licensed to swim with whales.
More cultural customs can be seen in Niuean Etiquette: Niue Customs & Traditions.
When is the Best Time for Spearfishing in Niue?
With clear warm waters all year round, there is never really a bad time to go spearfishing in Niue. However, if you are targeting a certain species, then there are certainly better times than others. For instance, the best seasons to target some of Niue’s top game fish are the following:
- Wahoo – winter
- Mahimahi – winter
- Yellowfin Tuna – summer
- Dogtooth Tuna – summer
- Marlin – fringes of summer
For more details on the fishing seasons, see What is the Best Time of Year for Fishing in Niue? Plus, learn more about Niue’s climate in Niue Weather, Seasons & Climate + Weather by Month.
Spearfishing Charters in Niue
Niue offers a small but excellent range of fishing charters with local Niuean guides who have 20-30+ years of fishing and spearfishing experience behind them. They have the boats, safety gear, refreshments and knowledge for an epic morning or afternoon out on the water. All you need to do is to bring your gear and a sense of adventure.
Niue Fishing Charters
Up the anty with an exciting bluewater spearfishing experience with Niue Fishing Charters. Their spearfishing charters take spearfishers of all levels out to Niue’s drop-offs, bluewater drifts and offshore fads to target any kind of pelagic fish, mostly successful in wahoo, mahimahi (in the right fishing season) and dogtooth tuna.
Tours with experienced local, Brendon Pasisi, almost always include an in-water guide to help with ground-baiting and operating a flasher rig. As for safety, the boat carries the usual safety equipment, first aid and oxygen kit.
While anglers can bring their own gear, weights, weight belt and other spearfishing gear can be arranged with prior notice given.
Niue Fishing Charters spearfishing trips last approximately four hours, with a morning or an afternoon trip available.
Fish Niue Charters
Join local fisherman, BJ Rex, on a specialised spearfishing charter. Better suited to experienced freedivers, Fish Niue Charters takes you out to Niue’s dedicated spearfishing FADs to target species like wahoo, yellowfin tuna and marlin.
Tours are on a 6.3 m Stabicraft powered by a 115 HP 4-stroke Yahama motor. All of the usual safety gear is provided.
Passengers must bring their own spearfishing gear, including a weight belt but Fish Niue can supply weights.
Their five-hour tour has two trips available, either one in the morning or one in the afternoon.
Paul Pasisi Charters
Local guide Paul Pasisi brings more than 30 years of fishing in Niue, as well as 20 years of spearfishing chartering, so you’re in good hands. Join him on his custom-built open hardtop pontoon boat which was built for Niue’s sea conditions.
Spearfishing trips with Paul Pasisi Charters are approximately four hours and can take up to four people on the boat. No fishing gear is supplied so make sure everyone brings their own gear and gun.
Compare more fishing charters in the 10 Best Fishing Charters in Niue.
What Gear Do You Need to Bring for Spearfishing in Niue?
Due to the specialised nature of spearfishing, most spearfishing charters in Niue require you to bring your own gear. One exception is that Niue Fishing Charters can organise a gun, weights and a weight belt on request, while other charters can usually just provide the weights.
Spearfishing Gear for Niue
- 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 wetsuit or similar
- Snorkel and mask
Other Things to Take on a Spearfishing Trip
- Reef-safe sunscreen
- Reef shoes
- Change of clothes
Light refreshments and drinks are usually provided with the fishing charter.
More About Spearfishing in Niue
That’s it for our guide to spearfishing in Niue. For more about fishing on “The Rock”, take a look at the following guides:
- 10 Best Fishing Charters in Niue
- How to Choose the Best Fishing Tour in Niue
- The Best Time of Year for Fishing in Niue
Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in The Ultimate Guide to Fishing in Niue.