Spearfish Off Florida

Hunt and grill your own

Ignore the crowded beaches by taking spearfishing lessons. Via Shutterstock     Photo: Joanne Weston

The Sell: Stalk your own dinner in Florida’s reefs and wrecks.
The Grit: Most spring breakers head to Fort Lauderdale for the sun, surf, and nightlife. Ignore the crowded beaches by taking spearfishing lessons. Lauderdale Diver offers $150 full-day lessons followed by full or half-day expeditions (starting at $50 per person, two-person minimum) to the beach reef or, by boat, to the third reef line. Hunt the snapper, grouper, and jacks that call the reef and shipwrecks home with snorkel or dive gear provided by the outfitter. The guides will teach you to spear, filet, and cook your catch. If you head out alone, confer with a local shop on the day’s fishing restrictions—most fish have a minimum and, occasionally, maximum size restriction, as well as a daily limit, in an effort to prevent overfishing. Fuel up afterwards at Southport Raw Bar, a local favorite that serves fresh seafood daily, and then cut loose at the infamous dive bar, Elbo Room. Head to Hollywood Beach and explore its 2.5-mile boardwalk that’s home to seaside cafes, shops, and jet ski rentals. If you want to escape most of the crowds at night, rent a room at Desoto Oceanview Inn (starting at $199 per night), a quaint inn 100 feet from the beach.
The Verdict:
Anyone lacking a good fish story should go and book the guides.

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