Game abounds in the tropical sea regions, and you should have success if you stick to the smaller species. Shy away at first from going after anything too big. Down under the tropic coral ledges are jewfish or giant grouper, weighing as much as 700 pounds. But they are for experts. They head deep down for holes when hit, so if you shoot, don't use a line or they'll drag you with them. Don't tackle anything bigger than 30 pounds or so at the start.
There is danger in the water, but most of it can be avoided by using common sense. Spiny but stationary sea urchins prick like needles and produce a painful poison. Don't let currents sweep you onto one. Don't reach into holes or you may find a voracious moray eel. These monsters can clamp your arm in an iron grip, imprisoning you beneath the surface. But morays seldom attack unless provoked. The same is true of the big rays that stick to the bottoms, though the stinger will lash out with agonizing poison if you step on one. The floating Portuguese man-of-war has a dangerous sting that may produce a shock effect. People with weak hearts have died from these stings.
Always swim in pairs for safety's sake. Should anything happen to you, a partner within sight may be able to save your life. Furthermore, you should learn how to jettison your heavy equipment for quick ascent in an emergency. Loop belts back through buckles so that a light tug will open them and free you of your burden.
Be sure to look up before surfacing. You may strike pilings or overhanging ledges and injure yourself. Use special care in waters frequented by boats. Mark your location with a float of some kind so that all craft can see it easily and steer clear. Oars, keels and propellers have injured many divers swimming just below the surface.
Manners for menaces
Beware of sharks and barracuda. Remember, though they usually will not attack, they often follow a spear-fisherman with curiosity. If you turn slowly and face them, they will almost always move off. There have been many horror-provoking tales about these savage fish. Most are false. Generally the experts advise slow movements and, if you have a lung, deep swimming in the presence of these predators. Thrashing on the surface seems to attract sharks and has goaded them to attack on rare occasions. Undue thrashing in shallow water is tempting to barracuda. Don't put temptation in their way.