Fishing Guide

Fishing in Hawaii
Seal and pups

For most travellers heading to Hawaii, Molokai or any of the other islands, if catching fish is on your mind then your bound to be thinking of the waters surrounding the islands. There are at least a dozen great fish that you could spend your days trying to outwit. For example the Giant Blue Marlin forage in the warm surface waters and feed on an assortment of small plants and other fishes. Studies have indicated that blue marlin prefer the surface of the water and remain above most of the time. Tag and release studies on blue marlin indicate they have extensive geographical ranges. They are proven to be fighters and will give any fisherman a run for their money.

  • July and August are the best months for blue marlin,

  • May and December are best for striped marlin,

  • May is best for black marlin.

  • June July and August are best for Ono, and

  • Mahi-Mahi is best caught in April and May

    The standard practice in the islands is that all catches are the property of the charter vessel. For an extra fee, the captain can be talked into having the fish mounted for you or cutting off a portion of the fish and preparing it for your own cooking pleasures. Heck, if you get a good boat, they might even cook it for you.

    Maui is well known in aquatic circles as the best place in the Islands for angeling, especially for Blue Marlin. Hawaii with it's steep drop offs from shore has a great advantage as well in that you don't need to be terribly far from shore and once you land your catch a speedy boat ride back can ensure the freshness of your catch. Hawaii (the islands) are the only place on earth to catch these magnificent fish year round.

    At the Pier or beach using your rod and reel is certainly the easiest and cheapest way to catch your dinner, With the prevalence of camping around the perimeters of the islands you may be able to get out of your tent and throw a line for breakfast, then head out on a hiking, biking, or backpacking trip for the day. There are no commercial outfits that will help you with that, though there are many tackle shops that can guide you to the best destinations, Of course there's always the tried and true method of striking up a conversation with the locals and they might just reveal their prize spot. Try the state parks first for great fishing piers.

    There are some things that every fisherman needs to know before travelling to Hawaii, especially those that are planning to spend time on the shore. There are several restricted areas, such as Hanauma Bay Marine Life Conservation District MLCD) on Oahu, Manele/Hulopoe MLCD on Maui and Kealakekua Bay MLCD on the Big Island where no angeling of any kind is permitted. Always remember that sea turtles are an endangered species that are absolutely protected, Hawaiian monk seals may not be killed, harmed or molested, and it is illegal to collect any live corals.

    The Hawaiian Islands have a very limited program, the shore seems to be open game, but the freshwater fishes are strictly controlled. There are only 4 locations available for freshwater fish and they are:

  • Kokee Public Fishing Area (Kaua'i), with 13 miles of streams, two miles of fishable ditches and a 15-acre reservoir. The only species available is rainbow trout, and the season is only open during August and September, with a daily bag limit of seven fish.

  • At the Wahiawa Public Fishing Area in central Oahu (better known as Lake Wilson), a 300-acre reservoir has bass, bluegill, channel catfish, tilapia and carp, among other fishable species. The reservoir is open year-round, but there are size restrictions on different species throughout the year.

  • Also on Oahu, the Nuuanu Freshwater Fish Refuge at Nuuanu Reservoir #4 has approximately 25 acres that is stocked with catfish and tilapia. The reservoir is open three times a year, beginning in May, August and November. A lottery is held by the Division of Aquatic Resources to determine times for anglers; applications are made several weeks in advance of each opening date.

  • The Waiakea Public Fishing Area on the Big Island is located near Wailoa River State Park in Hilo. The 26-acre springfed pool offers brackish and saltwater species like mullet, papio (trevally) and moi (threadfin). There is a total bag limit of 20 fish, of which not more than 10 may be mullet.

    National Wildlife Refuges National Parks The Islands
    Hakalau Forest Wildlife Refuge
    Kealia Pond Wildlife Refuge
    Kakahaia Wildlife Refuge
    James C. Campbell Wildlife Refuge
    Pearl Harbor Wildlife Refuge
    Hanalei Wildlife Refuge
    Kilauea Point Wildlife Refuge
    Haleakala National Park
    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
    USS Arizona Memorial


  • Hawaii State Parks:
    Akaka Falls
    Hapuna Beach Rec Area
    Kalopa Rec Area
    Kealakekua Bay Historical Park
    Kekaha Kai (Kona Coast)
    Kohala Historical Sites Monument
    Lapakahi Historical Park
    Lava Tree Monument
    MacKenzie Rec Area
    Manuka Wayside
    Mauna Kea Rec Area
    Old Kona Airport Rec Area
    Wailoa River Rec Area
    Wailuku River
    Maui State Parks
    Haleki'i-Pihana Heiau Monument
    Iao Valley
    Kaumahina Wayside
    Polipoli Spring Rec Area
    Pua'a Ka'a Wayside
    Wailua Valley Wayside
    Molokai State Parks
    Kalaupapa National Historic Park
    Oahu State Parks
    Aiea Bay Recreation Area
    Diamond Head Monument
    Hanauma Bay Underwater Park
    Iolani Palace Monument
    Ka'ena Point
    Kahana Valley
    Kaka'ako Waterfront
    Keaiwa Heiau Recreation Area
    Kewalo Basin
    Kukaniloko Birthstones Monument
    La'ie Point Wayside
    Makapu'u Point Wayside
    Malaekahana Recreation Area
    Nu'uanu Pali Wayside
    Pu'u Mahuka Heiau Monument
    Pu'u Ualaka'a Wayside
    Royal Mausoleum Monument
    Sacred Falls
    Sand Island Rec Area
    Ulupo Heiau Monument
    Wa'ahila Ridge Rec Area
    Wahiawa Freshwater Rec Area
    Kaua'i State Parks
    Ahukini Rec Pier
    Ha'ena State Park
    Na Pali Coast
    Russian Fort Elizabeth Historical Park
    Wailua River
    Waimea Canyon
    Waimea Recreation Pier

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