One of my favorite hobbies is spearfishing while freediving. There is nothing like the feeling you get when you’re multiple stories under the water searching for that prized fish. Keeping calm while having surges of adrenaline makes for an intense experience to say the least. For those freedivers out there I don’t need to say anymore, but for those unfamiliar with the sport, please see my post on freediving here!
With SlideMoor based in Naples, Florida, we have the good fortune of being near the gulf with an incredible diversity of wildlife and fishing spots. Our beloved waters carry prized fish such as: Gag/Black/Red Grouper, Mangrove Snapper, Hogfish, Cobia, Amberjack, Mackerel, and so much more! Visibility in the Gulf certainly varies, but when you’re afforded good conditions, you can literally walk off the beach or take a boat out a few miles for some stellar spearfishing!
I’ve been freediving in Naples for over 10 years, and still find it to be one of the most untapped places to spearfish and hone my freediving skills. While the visibility is no Keys, I have found that from diving in Naples, I have become increasingly more aware of my surroundings and significantly more comfortable in the water. Additionally, the options for diving in Naples are incredible, and will challenge the most experienced spearos. I’ve dove walking off the beach for Snapper, to 60+ miles out for bigger game, and numerous places in between.
WT Pearson is a good friend, dive buddy, and first-rate freediver/spearfisherman. He has been promoting spearfishing in Naples for some time now with Naples Spearfishing League, organizing tournaments, providing educational content and updates, and sharing spearo stories. WT weighed in on the topic, “Naples spearfishing, much like the entire Gulf side of Florida, is under appreciated for spearfishing. Our fish populations and variety are really amazing to experience first hand. For a freediver, it’s simply learning to mentally overcome the lesser water clarity. Once you can master the psychological component, the spearing can be unbelievable.”
As a recent testament for any doubters out there, WT shot this 35-pound cobia at 55’ in 105’ of water freediving off Naples. Now that’s a catch anyone would be proud of, but it’s just so much better coming out of Naples waters!
The bottom line, if you’re looking for a new experience in Naples, think about taking a quick trip to the Gulf and explore the mesmerizing world the Naples’ waters hold. Dive safe and good luck out there!
Check out Naples Spearfishing Deep Dive on the Wreck PC-463 WW2
If you’re looking for some new spots, Collier County has been making moves on increasing places for fishermen to go. They recently released the new Collier Reef coordinates below: