Spearfishing Lesson

Introduction about Spearfishing

"I want to try spearfishing, but I don't know where to start as there aren't many people around me who do it."

Handling a Hawaiian sling or a spear gun seems a bit dangerous and makes me anxious.

Even if I manage to spear a fish, I don't know what to do next.

Are sharks safe to encounter?

I don't even know where it's suitable to do spearfishing.

By participating in this course:

Your free diving ability will improve.

Your ability to catch fish will improve.

Your chances of survival on a deserted island will greatly increase, haha.

You'll develop a whole new appreciation for the ocean on a completely different scale.

"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime." - Ancient Chinese proverb


Nice to meet you.
A clear blue sky, calm and crystal-clear sea.
During the summer of my 17th year, on a camping trip to a deserted island with friend, I had my first experience with spearfishing. It was the first time I wore fins and chased fish with a Hawaiian sling. I still vividly remember the joy of finally catching fish by clearing my mind and becoming one with the moment, after countless close misses.
As I approached my thirties, feeling like a man without any particular hobbies or interests, I decided to try fishing in Saipan, drawn by the simple idea of connecting with the sea.
I remember that "first day."
I eagerly purchased a complete set of fishing gear from a local tackle shop and headed to a cliffside cape I had always admired. Despite my efforts, I couldn't catch anything. The sun was scorching, sweat was dripping, and I longed to dive into the beautiful sea below, but the terrain prevented me from doing so. Occasionally, I'd think I had a bite, only to reel in the Earth.
After a fruitless two to three hours, just as I was beginning to feel disheartened, I was caught in a thunderous downpour, drenching me to the bone. To top it off, on the way back, a tree branch in the jungle rebounded, shattering the truck's window glass, resulting in a spectacularly "unlucky day." By the way, the fishing gear I bought cost $150, and the window repair cost another $150. I ended up spending $300 and getting soaking wet in just one day. That day, I decided to quit Rod & Reel fishing.


 I quietly set aside the brand-new Rod & Reel, "If the fish won't come to me, I'll come to you." But once again, despite my enthusiasm, starting off on my own, I had never properly done freediving before. Even at a depth of -5 meters, I struggled to find prey, often struggling and surfacing gasping for air. And the underwater gun, purchased without any consultation from the same tackle shop, turned out to be a nightmare—it was so slow that the fish easily escaped.

That's a gun designed to deliver a kill shot when reeling in a big catch during trolling, not intended for shooting underwater. But it was too late to realize that when I made the purchase.


Even though I couldn't catch anything, since I was physically active this time, I didn't think of quitting. However, during this self-taught period, I hardly made any progress.

After a while, I met a local fisherman named Ed, and he started taking me out. Ed, diving about 10-15 meters down, would accurately shoot and hit the target fish. The traditional wooden gun he lent me had excellent accuracy and range, and by imitating his diving technique, I soon became proficient at catching parrot fish. It was as if all the previous struggles were erased, and I started enjoying clean catches effortlessly. I realized the importance of observation and having the right equipment.

Then, I was fortunate enough to receive guidance from Felix, the island's top freediving fisherman. He taught me techniques like breathing and patiently waiting for fish to approach the seabed. On the first day, I was able to catch fish that lurked in holes even at 20 meters depth. From then on, it became much more enjoyable, and I started going out with him regularly, gradually improving my skills while being completely absorbed in it.

Observing someone diving motionless at the seabed is truly invaluable. Through repetition, the brain begins to recognize what humans are capable of, not through thought but through constant observation, making it a natural image over time.

The joy of spearfishing comes from quietly approaching the targeted fish, waiting patiently with a clear mind until the target approaches, encountering unexpectedly good fish, the thrill of chasing an escaping target, the satisfaction of a catch, fighting with powerful fish, and finally securing the catch. Each experience adds to the enjoyment.

Moreover, the beauty of spearfishing lies in the ability to choose the fish. Each species presents a different level of difficulty in catching, and larger individuals of the same species are more cautious, having lived longer and grown bigger, making them harder to catch.

Here, catch limits for each fish species are also defined, making it an eco-friendly and sustainable fishing method.

With the aim of promoting spearfishing, which is so enjoyable, profound, and has been traditionally practiced and recognized as a sport worldwide, my mentor and I founded a spearfishing association that was previously nonexistent on Saipan. We reached out to local spearfishermen, secured sponsorship from local businesses, and enlisted sponsorship from top manufacturers that my shop had agency contracts with, to organize annual tournaments.

Over the years, our performance gradually improved in the Guam tournaments we participated in as a team, and we each advanced through the individual qualifiers, representing Saipan in the Micronesia Olympics in 2010 (which also includes spearfishing as a sport, held every four years). In the same year's Saipan tournament, my mentor and I achieved overall victory.

These events occurred within the first five years of starting spearfishing. However, spearfishing comes with a significant negative aspect compared to other leisure activities: its remarkably high fatality rate. Even in recent years, I have lost not just one or two friends. It's a sad reality, but accidents happen with self-taught individuals. We only have one life, and a single mistake can take it away from you. I have witnessed numerous tearful and heartbreaking funerals attended by grieving families.

Fortunately, I have extensive experience as a diving instructor and have learned about blackout mechanisms and rescue techniques. Many people hesitate to spend money on safety aspects such as training, dive computers, and boat fees. Of course, spending money on these things doesn't guarantee complete safety. However, it's a harsh reality that over 80% of accidents are caused by neglecting these factors. Investing in them alone significantly improves safety.

Money is extremely important. Accidents can ultimately rob you of your life, your future, and end up costing significantly more money for a funeral.
Continuing spearfishing without proper training is akin to driving without a license. Not having a dive computer is like driving a car without a gas gauge or speedometer. People who think "I've learned enough from Youtube" are not realizing the risk they're putting their lives at stake for free.
To put it bluntly, by the time you realize the sorrowful sight of grieving families and your own funeral as a soul watching, it's already too late. I would be happy if people didn't skimp on safety and instead valued their lives, experiencing the wonderful moments in the sea. If they do, they will surely be surprised by how amazing the ocean is and how enjoyable spearfishing can be.

In this course, we draw upon over 30 years of spearfishing experience from Felix Sasaomoto, who is not only the Micronesian spearfishing champion but also my mentor and buddy, combined with my 20 years of instructional experience. We continuously update the content to ensure it remains top-notch.

In places like Saipan and across Micronesia, fishing often refers specifically to spearfishing, a practice deeply ingrained in people's lives. While methods like angling, trolling, and netting are common, spearfishing is the only method recognized as a sport in the Micronesian Olympics.

The Basics of Spearfishing Spearfishing is a popular activity in many parts of the world, and is used for a variety of purposes. Some spearfish for sport, others for food. Spearfishing has been around for centuries, During way back to early civilization, back then sharpened sticks were used to spear, whereas now there are elastic and high powered spearguns available.  

We offer a skindiving class for the beginners that are unfamiliar with free diving. We recommend taking it before spearfishing. This class covers the basics of free diving safely and efficiently. We also offer packages that cover both courses.

Modern spearguns all have safety switches, and after learning the basics of the speargun it will be much safe for everyone.

How to catch? Is that easy?

No, its not easy. 
Spearfishing is something that takes time. This is one of those things you cant rush. Taking your time to feel and understand this sport is the way to go. There are three types of spearfishing methods. Cave shooting, Dive bomb, and Bottom hunt. We normally have beginners start from cave shooting. When their skill level goes up we work on the next step.

About Sharks
*Fish and shark behaves are different depending on what region 
*This is about the sharks behavior in the Marianas.

We often get the question....Is there any sharks? Are they OK? 
Yes, Sharks are everywhere. If there is no shark... no fish either... "Jaws" which is a Great white shark. This shark lives in cold waters, so they don't come around Marianas waters.To see a tiger shark's very very rare. Only the expert classes are in the area where they could show up. Till this day there has been no recorded shark attack here in the Marianas
*The only sharks we encounter are the White tip shark, Black tip shark and sometimes gray reef sharks. Black and White tips shark often come to the shallows. black tips lives in shallow water,

* I'm a certified Shark feeder in Grand Bahamas about ten years ago. I've hand feed over ten-foot Caribbean Reef sharks and also made them fall asleep. to make them fall asleep you must learn how to calm yourself down in the beginning.

to convey the feeling. one leg touch her body same time one hand rubs the tip of the nose where the nerves are concentrated. If you are not calm enough the shark wont fall asleep or behave.then they will just swims away. If you succeed the shark will becomes straight and heavy like a log all of a sudden. the shark will sleep comfortable for about a minute. 

the Shark feeding program and experience of spearfishing in the northern islands like Pagan leads me to believe that sharks are like dogs. if your scared they will come up to you.

if your willing to stand your ground they will leave. they can sense your fear. so try not to be scared. that's the most important rule. if they come to close poke them with the tip of your shaft so they keep there distance and leave.

sharks are attracted to the vibration of a fish when shot and struggling. blood is one of the reasons they follow. Its not you the shark is following its the dead fish on your stringer. taking your time and placing a kill shot will avoid the shark knowing what just happened. they never even come. if you succeed with a kill shot.

shark wont attempt to get the fish even if the shark is next to it. in our case we go get the fish before the shark has a chance to take it. if the shark happens to get the fish let him have it.

In most cases they only take the fish. but in reality with our experience you better worry about not catching anything then a shark. about 50% of participant will have no catch. the other half will have really small of a fish which a shark doesn't pay attention to.

many people believe urine attracts the sharks which is BS. Sharks have a very powerful sense of smell. there is no shark that I've ever seen attracted to my urine. Urine equals food to some fish. even if you don't urinate they will sometimes come.
*Sharks, Rays. and Turtles are protected in the Marianas.
*sharks "means white tip and black tip sharks here. we have a few gray reef sharks. tiger sharks are rarely seen. the chances of seeing these sharks are only in the middle and upper levels lessons.

*In Micronesia, "when you say lets go fishing! "Fishing" means spearfishing. That's how common Spearfishing is for the island life.
The angling fishing is called "Rod and Reel".
people enjoy to rod & reel consists of bottom fishing, trolling, cliff fishing,and even beach casting. throwing net are also common but only spearfishing is in the category of Micronesian Olympic Games.


【Spearfishing Gear】

 1. Mask & Snorkel:A good spearfishing mask for the experts will be low Profile for deep dives. If you’re fishing shallow then almost any mask with Good vision works. choose a snorkel with no purge. Simple is good.
2. wetsuits come in different thickness. Choosing the right one Depends on the water where your fishing. 1.8 to 3.5 is whats Recommended for our waters
3. Fins: fins are very important. using long fins are good for deep dives or just swimming in strong currents. when diving deep the oxygen compresses and your weight stays the same. this means the deeper you go the heavier you get.. which makes it harder to paddle up.
4. Float:having a float is important in lots of ways. you will be easy to Find and also you will have something to hold on to in case anything happens.you will have a place to put your fish.
5. Speargun:using the right size speargun is key to having successful spearfishing Day. If your gun is to long you can’t maneuver in cracks or holes. If your Gun is to short then you can’t make long shots at big fish. This all depends On how you plan to fish。
6. Gloves:this is a very helpful piece of gear. Glove helps to load the Bands mush easier. Holding on to fish and rocks will be safer.
7. Weight belt:It is very important that you use the right amount weights. When at the surface you should be naturally floating. when you reach thirty feet you should be neutral(not floating not sinking) once you pass thirty You should slowly sink the dipper you go. The deeper you go the faster You will fall so please know your limit.
8. Boots:sock booties or shoe booties? Both are good to use. Sock booties Are more for the shore diver who don’t step on much rock and for boats. Shoe booties are good for walking or the reef and using almost anywhere.


  【The target fish】

Food Fish of the CNMI


【Potentially Hazardous Fish】


Potentially Hazardous Fish of the CNMI

How to kill the fish...Ikejime 
Ikejime is a method of paralyzing fish to maintain its quality. The technique originated in Japan, but is now in widespread use. It involves the insertion of a spike quickly and directly into the brain, thereby causing immediate brain death. A fish brain is usually located slightly behind and above the eye. When spiked correctly, the fish fins flare and the fish relaxes, immediately dies for a more humane death.. Destroying the brain and the spinal cord of the fish will prevent reflex action from happening. Movement of the muscle consumes Adenoid triphosphate(ATP) in the muscle acid is produced, thereby making the fish sour. The blood contained in the fish flesh retracts to the gut cavity, which produces a better colored and flavored fillet. This method is considered to be the fastest and most humane method of killing fish.


In reef Course 
This is good course for the beginners. This is for those who want to just try it for the first time. You can start where you can stand. This is a great activity for families or a group for friends.

②Outer-reef Course
This is a good course for the more advanced snorkeler or free diver because it takes you to some deeper waters found outside of the reef.
You can keep only what you like or you can keep all of the fish you catch! There are some local restaurants here, Sally's(BBQ & Local), Umi-bozu(Japanese), and Furusato(Japanese) Restaurant, that they will prepare your fresh catch for you!

③Half day Boat Course
This is a great course for those who have experienced spearfishing. We will take you to some of best spots which fits your level. The boat depart 2pm and coming back by 5pm.

④All day Boat Charter
This course is recommended for advanced spearfishers only because it takes you to the back of the island of Saipan. Though this area is known for rougher surf and strong currents, the spearfishing sites are pristine and mostly untouched.

-The use of a scuba unit while spearfishing is strictly prohibited in the CNMI.
-We cannot offer courses to certain popularly requested areas as they are marine conservation areas and any fishing is strictly prohibited. These areas include the Grotto, Bird Island, Managaha Island, and other sites that are restricted to access by boat. 
-We practice sustainable fishing habits by catching only fish that are suitable for eating or selling to vendors. This means that we only intentionally aim at and intend to catch fish of a certain kind and size. 
-For your own safety, please listen carefully and follow all and suggestions given to you by our Instructor, or Captain. 
When contacting us or making reservations, please include the following information:
- Your Name
- Hotel
- Room number
- The number of participants
- Desired dates and course
-Skill lever/or how deep is your Max.
 Royce Gumabay
Spearfishing Instructor

Born and raised in Saipan.
Started spearfishing in 2015.

<Felix Sasamoto>
 Felix T. Sasamoto Jr.
Spearfishing Instructor

Born and raised in Saipan.
Over 40 years of spearfishing experience.
He knowns as a champion Spearfisherman in the Marianas.

You can learn a lot from his top-ranking mentality and skills, he has become a living legend in spearfishing.

'07,'08,'09 Guam Tourney, CNMI Rep. for Micronesian Olympic Game '02(Tahiti),'06(Saipan),'10(Palau)
2-Times Gold medalist in Micro Game(Saipan) on '06 
"Sasamoto - Asai Team" won 1st place in category fish in Guam tourney on '08'
"Sasamoto - Asai Team"  won 2nd place team category in Guam on '09

☆Social Contribution Activities 
◉2006-12' Marianas Apnea Spearfishing Club(M.A.S.C) Founding Vise-President
◉2012-14' NPO Marianas Apnea Spearfishing Club(M.A.S.C)President
◉2007-14' 1st- 7th Annual Spearfishing Tournament Organizer
◉2008 Spearfishing Lecture at Elementary / Jr. High / High School
<Morito Asai>

 Morito Asai
Spearfishing Instructor / General Manager

Born and raised in Osaka, Japan.

Spent more than half of his life in the Ocean

Started scuba dive and worked as dive master in Cairns, Australia. 
By age of 20, came to Saipan and certified 1854 scuba divers, guided over 10,000 divers in 16 years of scuba instructor experience without a single accident. 
Started spearfishing in 2005.

☆Social Contribution Activities 
◉2006-12', 2016-18' Marianas Apnea Spearfishing Club(M.A.S.C) President
◉2007-12' 1st- 6th Annual Spearfishing Tournament Organizer
◉2008 Spearfishing Lecture at Elementary / Jr. High / High School
◉2009 Skindiving Lessons for Tinian Students Summer Camp
◉2017-18 Free Spearfishing Rescue Training for youth divers

☆Record of Awards
◉2010 1st Place Team (Total Weight) ◉2010 Micronesian Game(Palau) CNMI rep.
◉2014 1st Place individual (Heaviest Tournament Fish) 
◉2017 1st Place Team (Heaviest Tournament Fish)
◉2018 1st Place Team (Heaviest Tournament Fish)
◉2018 1st Place Team (Overall Champion)


* No Scuba fishing
* No Fishing in MPA(Marine Protected Area)
* No shooting for prohibited species(Rays, Sharks, Turtles, and some more fish)


  1. I don’t even know where to start?

You can start by taking a skindiving course. After that you will know weather you going to continue or not

  1. What is Aquasmith?

Aquasmith is a spearfishing Store/School( we do not do scuba)

  1. Where can I find all the gears?

Aquasmith sells everything a spearfisherman needs and more. If your looking for top of the line Spearguns come visit Aquasmith

  1. How do I know when its good to fish?

Check the weather channel for wind direction. Normally you want to go fishing at the other end of the island where the wind is not coming from

  1. Whats the difference of night fishing and day fishing?
During night fishing the fish are in rocks an or around them. You can get really close at night. Catching them is much easier. Using a pole spear is much more efficient when fishing at night. Daytime requires

more effort and skill. Long guns are used for long shots cause unlike night time the fish keep there distance

  1.  Are long fins necessary?

Long fins are not necessary unless diving deep or moving in strong currents. Long fins can be used freediving, spearfishing, and even just snorkeling. diving depths of 30 feet or greater will require the diver to kick hard at first when descending and ascending. This is what the main reason for long fins are.

  1. What a good speargun for beginners?

Normally shorter guns are for beginners or smaller fish. I would recommend a 75cm or a 90cm size speargun for first timers. why?

  1. Do wet suits help?

Yes wetsuits help in more then one way. The suit is made to keep you warm and comfortable while fishing long hours. The camo on them also help conceal the fisherman. This way fish come even closer for the shot.

  1.  I smoke and was wondering if I can do it?

  Even smokers can do this. Its not a big deal unless you trying to become a competitive diver     

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Charges ( p/p )

Reservations cancelled less than thirty days before the date of arrival will require you to pay the following charges

20% of Course fee

Three days in advance

50% of Course fee

 No show or same day  100% of Course fee

Our location: Garapan, Saipan

e-mail. aquasmith111@gmail.com

Our store is located on Garapan street 2nd floor of the M2M building. AQUASMITH is the largest spearfishing store in the Micronesia. 

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