Magnificent Maui Sport Fishing

Maui has a deep connection to the sea, including fishing for subsistence and for recreation. The island offers a unique and diverse fishing experience with a range of options to suit every angler. Discover everything you need to know for your inaugural fishing expedition to Maui here!

When to Go

Amazingly, you can catch the big game fish of Maui year round. However, you may find winter months a bit more challenging due to wind and swells. Some species will spawn in early June, making late summer a bit better bite. If you are serious about bringing some catch back to shore, plan for 8+ hours out on the water. Experienced captains will have a good line on where the fish are biting and when. Many times this involves getting pretty far out into the channel. Even on a calm day, this can get pretty bumpy, especially in the afternoon, so if you are even a little prone to seasickness, start taking Dramamine the night before, then one hour before leaving shore. Alternately, you can experience shore fishing or kayak fishing closer to shore. We’ve had the best luck leaving pre-dawn, and being at the first fishing spot at sunrise, making it back around lunch time.

Top Fish Species to Target on Maui

Maui presents a rich tapestry of fish species to hook, from surf fishing in shallow waters to deep-sea excursions, catering to all preferences. Here are some of the most popular species.

Mahi Mahi:  Fish so nice they named it twice, Mahi Mahi, with their striking colors, not only promise a delightful catch but also make for great photographs against Maui’s scenic backdrop. These vigorous fighters are abundant year-round, making them a perennial favorite among anglers. Trolling with live bait or artificial lures is recommended for best results.

Yellowfin Tuna: Known locally as “Ahi,” Yellowfin Tuna are another prime target for Maui’s anglers. These robust fish grow particularly large during the summer months, providing an exciting challenge. Their consistent biting habits make trolling with live bait or artificial lures effective tactics.

Wahoo: Dubbed “Ono” in Hawaiian, meaning delicious, Wahoo are prized not only for their culinary appeal but also for their agility and speed. Fishing for Wahoo is a year-round activity, with peak seasons spanning from May to October.

Amberjack: Referred to as “Kahala,” Amberjack offer a thrilling pursuit near Maui’s reefs. These powerful fish provide a vigorous challenge, with weights ranging from 15 to over 100 pounds.

Barracuda: Common in nearshore Maui waters, Barracuda, or “Kaku” in Hawaiian, are renowned for their energy and toothy demeanor. Anglers can target them close to shore, around reefs, or near wrecks using various techniques such as trolling, bottom fishing, or casting.

Marlin: Renowned for their spirited fights, Marlin—particularly the prized Blue Marlin—are among the most coveted game fish in this region. The meat is stronger flavored than some of the more delicate white fish, but Blue Marlin are definitely the most photogenic! Maui’s waters have yielded behemoths weighing up to 2,000 pounds, though encounters with smaller specimens around 300 pounds are more common. For those aiming for Blue Marlin, the optimal period is June to August. Winter months offer opportunities for Striped Marlin, known for their acrobatics and thrilling battles.

Planning Your Maui Fishing Adventure

Maui offers myriad ways to enjoy its rich fishing opportunities, whether by chartering a boat, fishing from shore, kayaking, or even spearfishing.

Charter Fishing: Chartering a boat with a local captain is an excellent way to explore Maui’s extensive offshore waters. It provides flexibility to navigate to where the fish are most active, ensuring a productive outing under the guidance of experienced professionals.

Shore Fishing For a relaxed fishing experience, Maui’s numerous beaches offer ample opportunities to ca:st lines for Trevally, Snapper, and other species. It’s a convenient way to combine leisure with fishing during your beach visit.

Kayak Fishing: Kayak fishing adds an element of adventure and closeness to nature. It allows anglers to engage in surface trolling or fly fishing while enjoying the scenic beauty around Maui’s waters.

Spearfishing: A more adventurous option, spearfishing in Maui involves diving to target game fish like Snapper and Grouper. It requires comfort underwater and familiarity with snorkeling techniques.

Who to Fish With

We don’t want to play favorites with one fishing company over another (or our fishing buddies might not invite us to their next barbeque). You can check out the most recent reviews on Yelp here. Some review sites promote charters that pay them, and they may not even be located here, so it is best to do your own research through reviews or asking people that fish here.

One caution, we have heard of some charters not letting passengers keep any fish. While it’s reasonable for the boat to keep some, if not a lot of fish are caught, they may not share with passengers at all. If you are in a mixed boat charter, meaning there are other people fishing you don’t know, and you don’t catch any, you likely won’t be taking any home even if others do. It is recommended that you ask in advance if you can keep everything you catch. Fishing is expensive, and this will clarify things in advance. Typically on a boat, many lines are cast, and anglers will take turns landing a fish. There may be a fighting chair or belt to slip into. It is a good idea to ask the captain or crew about their process if not covered in their briefing, as things differ from charter to charter.

Also, it is customary to tip your charter. This can vary depending on the size of the crew and size of your party, and to some extent whether you caught fish.

It is also possible to rent gear and fish from shore. The benefit is a relaxing day on the beach hanging out and enjoying the sand and surf, and hopefully a bite or two. However, unless you have friends on the island, that could involve a lot of expense in addition to renting the pole- buying tackle, bait and bait bucket, a cooler, ice, a sand chair, etc.

Fishing Regulations

There is no marine recreational fishing license in Hawai‘i for residents, and although one is in the works for visitors it hasn’t been implemented yet. So you don’t need to worry about that as long as you don’t sell your catch. There are a few locations where shoreline fishing is prohibited. Read the fishing regulations.

Why Choose Maui for Fishing?

With its breathtaking landscapes and abundant marine life, Maui offers an unmatched blend of vacation relaxation and exhilarating fishing experiences. Whether you’re a novice or seasoned angler, Maui promises an unforgettable fishing adventure against the backdrop of its stunning natural beauty.


2024-07-06T02:28:08+00:00July 8th, 2024|Beach, Ocean, Wildlife|

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