An epic spearfishing trip is closer and easier than you think. With new commercial flights from South Florida to the Bahamas, you can go on the trip of a lifetime in just a three day weekend.



Just an hour and ten-minute commercial flight from Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach will put you in the Abacos, the northern chain of Bahamian islands known for epic, yet accessible, spearfishing. This spring, the team at Florida Freedivers hopped across for an amazing weekend of diving to chase hogfish, grouper, lobster, and conch.

The team touched down at Marsh Harbour airport, collected our gear, and caught a cab. Marsh Harbour is one of the larger cities in the Abacos and has one of the more accessible and budget-friendly grocery stores in the area. We loaded up on food at Maxwell’s and Kalik at 700 liquors and headed west.

Our destination was Little Hog Cay, a private island owned by Wayne and Gina Reuvers, just northwest of Spanish Cay. We arrived at the Cooper’s Town port and were picked up by Wayne, Gina, and their captain, Bronson. The short boat ride across the Sea of Abaco to Little Hog was a true Bahamas welcome. We threw a rod out, bagged a cuda (the Bahamians love to eat them), and watched as dolphins chased and played with the boat. We arrived at Little Hog, dropped our bags, and headed right out to the coral heads. From take-off to our first dive was a short three hours.

This is an area where you don’t need numbers or a secret spot. There are thousands of productive coral heads on the ocean side of the Abaco islands. You simply find the first coral head you see and then just swim from head to head. While swimming to the next head, you also happen to come across seabeds teeming with conch. And we kept the best part for last; there’s not much diving here deeper than 20 feet, and you can find big hogs and groupers in 10 to 15 feet. We keep the boat close, following divers, to recover fish and pick up and move when necessary.


On the trip, we brought along two of our team divers, Virgil Price and Alli Penovich, along with our store manager, Larry Williams. My stepson, Jacob, and I rounded out the trip. We were stocked full of fresh freediving and spearfishing gear, along with some of the newest products to test out.

Most of the team opted for Waihana wetsuits; 3.5mm and 5mm suits kept us warm in the spring water. Larry chose the super-soft and stretchy Cressi Lampuga. When the water drops below 75 and the air is even chillier, a good wetsuit is a necessity. If you’ve ever taken a Florida Freedivers class, you know that heat loss is a major obstacle to freediving. On top of that, much of the spearfishing is in and around coral heads, and a wetsuit provides some additional protection.

For firepower, we brought along numerous polespears including the Headhunter Nomad, Headhunter Predator, Black Reef Vandal, and the all-new Koah Pierce roller. The Nomad is the go-to spear for many of us due to its durability and power. Our guide, Don Rolle, prefers the speed and stability of the carbon fiber Black Reef Vandal. My stepson, who is only 15, chose the Headhunter Predator based on its speed and maneuverability. Larry chose the Koah Pierce to test it out as he worked with Koah on its design.

And we brought all this gear with us in the Remora gear bag and a Sporttube 2.



Don Rolle, a prolific Abaco spearfishing guide, came along to lead the trip. Don has been a spearfishing guide in Spanish Cay and Green Turtle Cay for decades. He’s our go-to guide in the area and has the ultimate spearfishing boat, a 32-foot Panga with a tremendous amount of room and a soft, dry ride. Don is like a human GPS and can locate his favorite coral heads from memory. If there’s any question on how to spearfish in this area, Don Rolle is the answer.

We spearfished for a day and a half and loaded the cooler until the lid wouldn’t close - twice. We bagged all sorts of species, from hogfish, Nassau grouper, black grouper, yellowfin grouper, and lobsters up to ten pounds. The area under the rear seat of the boat was consistently loaded with dozens of fresh conch, which inevitably turned into conch salad by the end of every day.

One of the highlights of the trip was when Jacob nabbed his personal best hogfish. He stalked the fish all by himself and launched the Headhunter Predator into his first double-digit hog. He’s been diving for a couple of years but just hadn’t had his chance.


On the third day of the trip, the weather turned sour. Thirty-knot winds churned up the water and made spearfishing impossible. So the team decided to take the day off; we already had enough fish to feed an army and headed to Spanish Cay for a day of exploring, drinking Kaliks, and a massive dinner of all our fresh catch.

My family has been going to Spanish Cay for years, and it looks like that will continue into the next generation. The people who run Spanish, Suzanne, Scott, Felix, and Dera take an island paradise to the next level with amazing hospitality and great food.

Spanish Cay is a very unique island - it’s private, but has a public marina. There are homes, condos, and hotel rooms for your stay. A small grocery store and an amazing restaurant make for comfortable days and rowdy evenings. Even better, it’s one of the few islands in the Abacos with a private airstrip and customs. An hour after you land, you can be cleared, checked in, and out on the water.

We often think we need to spend a lot or travel pretty far to have an epic trip, but we’re all lucky here in Florida. A $400 commercial plane ticket and an hour and ten minutes of your time will put you in epic spearfishing country with numerous options for diving, boating, beaching, and island-hopping. If you have a three-day weekend or a couple of days for a trip, you have to check out this world-class spearfishing destination.