big island fishing

Big Island Hawaii Fishing Guide: Everything you need to know

Aloha, fishing people! The Big Island of Hawaii, also known as the Island of Hawaii, and offers some of the most diverse and exciting fishing opportunities in the world. On the Big Island, you’ll find a wide range of fishing styles and techniques to suit your preferences, whether you are a beginner or a pro. Let’s explore what Big Island fishing has to offer.

Cast Your Line: Big Island Fishing Charters, Tours, and Opportunities

Types of Fishing Charters and Tours Available

When it comes to Big Island fishing, there are several types of fishing charters and tours to choose from:

  1. Deep sea fishing: Venture offshore and experience the thrill of hunting big game fish like tuna, marlin, and mahi-mahi.
  2. Sport fishing: Test your skills against the powerful ulua, bonefish, and trevally that swim in Hawaii’s waters.
  3. Shore fishing: Enjoy a relaxing day of fishing from the coastline, targeting species like ulua, bonefish, and goatfish.
  4. Spearfishing: Dive into an underwater adventure, targeting local species with expert precision. Read more about Big Island spear fishing here.

Popular Charter Companies and Tour Services

There are numerous fishing charter companies and tour services available on the Big Island, each offering their unique experience. Some popular options include:

  • Skillet Sportfishing
  • Go Get ‘Em Sportfishing
  • Hawaii Beach Fishing
  • Norh Shore Tour Guide

You can find more Big Island fishing charters here.

Cost and Duration of Charters and Tours

The cost and duration of fishing charters and tours on the Big Island can vary widely depending on the type of fishing and the company you choose. Half-day charters typically range from $150 to $350 per person, while full-day charters can range from $250 to $600 per person. Custom and private charters are also available, with prices varying accordingly.

What to Expect on a Fishing Charter or Tour

When you embark on a Big Island fishing charter or tour, you can expect a thrilling and memorable experience. Most charters include experienced captains and crew, top-of-the-line fishing gear, and the opportunity to learn about local fishing techniques and culture. Some charters even offer the option to have your catch prepared and cooked for you at a local restaurant!

Additional Fishing Opportunities

If you’re looking for even more ways to enjoy Big Island fishing, consider trying one of these options:

  1. Freshwater fishing: Check out the island’s lakes and streams for rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, and other freshwater species.
  2. Fishing equipment rentals: Rent rods, reels, and tackle from local shops to fish on your own.
  3. Kayak fishing: Rent a kayak and explore the island’s shoreline and nearshore waters while casting your line.
  4. Fly fishing: Test your fly-fishing skills in Hawaii’s unique saltwater environment.

Big Island Fishing Techniques and Target Species

Deep Sea Fishing


Deep sea fishing on the Big Island is an adrenaline-pumping experience that involves venturing offshore to hunt for big game fish. With deep waters just a few miles off the Kona coast, you’ll have the chance to reel in some truly impressive catches.

See also  Sport Fishing Big Island, Hawaii: Ultimate Guide & Charters

Target Species

When deep sea fishing on the Big Island, you’ll be targeting species such as:

  • Tuna (yellowfin and bigeye)
  • Marlin (blue, black, and striped)
  • Mahi-mahi (dorado)
  • Ono (wahoo)

Techniques and Equipment Used

Deep sea fishing techniques on the Big Island typically involve trolling with lures or live bait. High-quality fishing gear, including heavy-duty rods, reels, and tackle, is essential for success in these challenging conditions.

Best Locations

The Kona coast is the best location for deep sea fishing on the Big Island, thanks to its proximity to deep waters and abundant marine life. Both private and shared charters are available to take you to prime fishing spots.

Sport Fishing


Sport fishing on the Big Island involves targeting powerful and hard-fighting species such as ulua (giant trevally), bonefish, and peacock bass. This type of fishing can be done from shore or by boat and is a true test of skill and endurance.

Target Species

When sport fishing on the Big Island, you’ll be targeting species such as:

  • Ulua (giant trevally)
  • Bonefish
  • Peacock bass
  • Trevally (papio)

Techniques and Equipment Used

Sport fishing techniques on the Big Island can include casting, jigging, and trolling, depending on the species you’re targeting. Light to medium tackle is typically used, with spinning or baitcasting reels and a variety of lures and baits.

Best Locations

Some of the best locations for sport fishing on the Big Island include:

  • South Point (Ka Lae)
  • Hilo Bay
  • Kawaihae Harbor
  • Kealakekua Bay

Shore Fishing


Shore fishing on the Big Island offers a relaxing and accessible way to enjoy the island’s abundant fishing opportunities. With miles of coastline to explore, you’ll have plenty of chances to cast your line and reel in a variety of species.

Target Species

When shore fishing on the Big Island, you can expect to target species such as:

  • Ulua (giant trevally)
  • Bonefish
  • Goatfish (weke, kumu)
  • Jacks (papio)

Techniques and Equipment Used

Shore fishing techniques on the Big Island typically involve casting with spinning or baitcasting reels, using a variety of lures or natural bait. Light to medium tackle is recommended, with rods ranging from 7 to 12 feet in length.

Best Locations

Some prime shore fishing spots on the Big Island include:

  • Punalu’u Black Sand Beach
  • Spencer Beach Park
  • Waipi’o Valley Beach
  • Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park

Stay in the Loop: Big Island Fishing Reports and Calendar

Importance of Staying Up-to-Date on Fishing Reports

Keeping up with the latest fishing reports is crucial for a successful fishing trip on the Big Island. These reports provide valuable information about current fishing conditions, recent catches, and what species are biting. By staying informed, you can increase your chances of having a productive day on the water.

See also  Big Island Deep Sea Fishing: Ultimate Guide, Charters & Tips

Resources for Finding Accurate and Reliable Fishing Reports

To find accurate and reliable fishing reports for the Big Island, consider checking out the following resources:

  • Local fishing charter websites and social media pages
  • Online fishing forums, such as Hawaii Fishing Forum and iFishHawaii
  • Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) website
  • Read our Hawaii Fishing Guide.

What to Look for in a Fishing Report

When reviewing a fishing report, pay attention to the following information:

  • Dates: Make sure the report is recent and relevant.
  • Locations: Look for specific fishing spots or regions mentioned in the report.
  • Species: Take note of which fish species are currently biting.
  • Techniques: Learn about the most effective fishing techniques being used.
  • Conditions: Stay informed about current weather and water conditions that may affect fishing.

Overview of Seasonal Fishing Patterns on Big Island

Fishing on the Big Island is generally great year-round, but certain species are more abundant during specific seasons:

  • Tuna: Best time to catch yellowfin tuna (ahi) is from May to September, while bigeye tuna can be caught year-round. Read more about Big Island tuna fishing.
  • Marlin: Blue marlin season runs from June to October, while black and striped marlin are more common from December to April.
  • Mahi-mahi: Best months to catch mahi-mahi are from March to May and October to December.
  • Ulua: Giant trevally can be caught year-round, but peak season is typically from April to June.

Effect of Weather and Water Conditions on Fishing

Weather and water conditions can have a significant impact on fishing success. Keep these factors in mind when planning your trip:

  • Wind: Strong winds can make casting difficult and affect the movement of baitfish, which in turn influences the behavior of predatory fish.
  • Swells: Large swells can make fishing from shore challenging and potentially dangerous.
  • Water temperature: Different fish species prefer different water temperatures, so pay attention to temperature changes that may affect their movements.
  • Rain: Heavy rainfall can affect water visibility and fish activity, especially inshore, but may also create opportunities for freshwater fishing.

See the Big Island fishing calendar here.

Reel in the Fun: Big Island Fishing Events and Community

Overview of Fishing-Related Events on Big Island

The Big Island’s vibrant fishing community hosts numerous events throughout the year that celebrate the island’s fishing heritage and bring anglers together. These events range from tournaments to workshops and educational events.

Popular Annual Fishing Tournaments

Some of the most popular fishing tournaments held on the Big Island include:

  • Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament (HIBT)
  • Rock ‘n Reel Hawaiian Open Fishing Tournament
  • Big Island Marlin Tournament (BIMT)
  • Firecracker Open Big Game Fishing Tournament
See also  Big Island Spear Fishing: Full Guide, Top Charter and Tips

Fishing Workshops and Educational Events

Workshops and educational events focused on fishing are held periodically on the Big Island, offering opportunities for anglers to learn about topics such as fish identification, fishing techniques, and conservation practices. Check local event listings and the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) website for information on upcoming workshops.

Community Fishing Events

Community fishing events, such as family fishing days and shoreline fishing derbies, are another great way to get involved in the Big Island fishing community. These events often include fishing clinics, gear demonstrations, and friendly competitions.

Know Before You Go: Fishing Regulations and Licensing

Overview of Hawaii Fishing Regulations

Fishing regulations in Hawaii are designed to protect the state’s valuable marine resources and ensure a sustainable future for recreational and commercial fishing. These regulations include licensing requirements, catch limits, and size restrictions for various species.

Licensing Requirements for Different Types of Fishing

In Hawaii, a fishing license is required for the following types of fishing:

  • Freshwater fishing: A freshwater game fishing license is required for fishing in streams, reservoirs, and other freshwater habitats.
  • Commercial fishing: A commercial marine license is required for those fishing for profit or selling their catch.

Recreational saltwater fishing does not require a license for residents or non-residents, but certain species may have specific regulations, such as catch limits and size restrictions.

Where to Obtain a Fishing License

Fishing licenses can be obtained through the following methods:

  • Online: Visit the Hawaii Electronic Fishing Licensing System (eFISH) website.
  • In-person: Purchase a license at a local Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) office or select fishing supply stores.
  • By mail: Download, print, and mail the appropriate license application to the DAR.

Catch Limits and Size Restrictions

Catch limits and size restrictions vary depending on the fish species and the type of fishing. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with these regulations before heading out on the water. Detailed information about catch limits, size restrictions, and other fishing regulations can be found on the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) website.

Conclusion: Experience the Diversity of Big Island Fishing

The Big Island offers a wealth of diverse fishing opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. From deep sea fishing for massive marlin to casting for bonefish from the shore, there’s truly something for everyone. We hope this guide has inspired you to explore and enjoy the incredible fishing scene on the Big Island. Remember to fish responsibly, respect local regulations, and, most importantly, have a fantastic time!