big island sport fishing

Sport Fishing Big Island, Hawaii: Ultimate Guide & Charters

Welcome to the Big Island of Hawaii, a paradise for sport fishing. This article will guide you through the best fishing charters for sport fishing, the optimal times to fish, and much more. Let’s explore the amazing opportunities that await you in Hawaii!

The Best Sport Fishing Charters on Big Island, Hawaii

To fully experience the thrill of sport fishing in Big Island, you’ll want to go with a reliable and experienced fishing charter. Here are the top 4 fishing charters on Big Island, each offering unique services and experiences for anglers of all skill levels.

Go Get ‘Em Sportfishing: Cast your Line in Kailua-Kona

Go Get ‘Em Sportfishing, based in Kailua-Kona, offers exciting deep-sea fishing adventures in a tropical climate aboard their 37’ Bertram boat. They target a variety of fish species, including Mahi Mahi, Yellowfin Tuna, Marlin, and Wahoo. The charter is perfect for both kids and experienced anglers, with daily charters available and a 20% gratuity for their crew.

Anglers rave about the knowledgeable crew, comfortable boat, and high success rates when fishing with Go Get ‘Em Sportfishing.

Estimated Price: $700

Book your Go Get ‘Em Sportfishing adventure now!

Hooked Up Sportfishing: Affordable and Fun Fishing in Kailua-Kona

Owned by Captain Chuck Wigzell, Hooked Up Sportfishing offers affordable deep-sea fishing charters aboard their 40ft Uniflite vessel. You can expect to catch Blue Marlin, Striped Marlin, Spearfish, Mahi Mahi, Ono, and Tuna. The best part? They’ll even fillet your catch for free, and you can enjoy your meal at a family-owned restaurant nearby.

Customers have praised the friendly crew, reasonable prices, and excellent fishing experiences with Hooked Up Sportfishing.

Estimated Price: $750

Experience the thrill of fishing with Hooked Up Sportfishing today!

Skillet Sportfishing: Expert Guidance with Captain John Burke

Skillet Sportfishing, led by the experienced Captain John Burke, provides offshore fishing adventures for families and friends. Their 32′ Topaz boat can accommodate up to 6 guests and is equipped with twin 355 HP engines and state-of-the-art navigation technology. Expect to catch Marlin, Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Sailfish, Spearfish, and Wahoo while enjoying heavy tackle, deep sea fishing, and trolling techniques.

Anglers have praised Captain John’s expertise, the well-maintained boat, and the high-quality fishing experience offered by Skillet Sportfishing.

Estimated Price: $838

Join Captain John Burke on a Skillet Sportfishing adventure today!

Tropical Sun Sportfishing: Fish in Style and Comfort

Tropical Sun Sportfishing, led by experienced Captain Ryan, offers year-round fishing aboard their 45′ Bertram sport fisher. The boat is equipped with a new Seakeeper 6 gyro stabilizer, a large cockpit with a 130 fighting chair, and deep blue calm water. You can try a variety of fishing techniques, ranging from light to heavy tackle, with licenses and soft drinks included.

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Clients have commended Tropical Sun Sportfishing for their knowledgeable crew, comfortable boat, and excellent fishing experiences.

Estimated Price: $1,000

Catch the big one with Tropical Sun Sportfishing!

Best Times for Sport Fishing in Big Island, Hawaii

To make the most of your sport fishing trip to Big Island, you’ll want to know when to visit for the best chances of catching your desired fish species. While fishing is possible year-round, there are some seasonal variations in fish species and weather conditions.

Seasonal Fish Species

To help you plan your trip, here’s a quick overview of the best times to catch various fish species in Big Island:

  • Blue Marlin: April to September
  • Yellowfin Tuna (Ahi): May to September
  • Mahi-mahi (Dorado): April to October
  • Ono (Wahoo): March to November
  • Sailfish: December to February

Keep in mind that these are just general guidelines, and you can still catch these fish outside of these months.

Weather Conditions

Big Island’s weather is generally stable throughout the year, with temperatures ranging from 70°F to 85°F. However, you might want to avoid the rainy season (November to March) if you prefer calmer seas and clear skies during your fishing trip.

Best Months to Visit

Taking into account the seasonal fish species and weather conditions, the best months to visit Big Island for sport fishing are April to October. These months offer the best chances for catching a variety of fish species in ideal weather conditions.

So, why wait? Start planning your Big Island fishing trip today.

Types of Fish to Catch around Big Island

Big Island’s waters offer a diverse range of game fish species to target during your sport fishing trip. Here are some of the most popular fish you can catch around the island:

Blue Marlin: The Ultimate Trophy Fish

Blue Marlin is the most iconic and sought-after game fish in Hawaii. These massive fish, weighing up to 1,200 pounds, are known for their incredible strength and acrobatics, making them a thrilling catch for any angler.

Yellowfin Tuna (Ahi): The Delicious Fighter

Yellowfin Tuna, also known as Ahi, are highly prized for their delicious meat and challenging fight. These powerful fish can weigh over 200 pounds and are known for their incredible speed and endurance.

Mahi-mahi (Dorado): The Colorful Acrobat

Mahi-mahi, also known as Dorado, are a favorite among anglers due to their beautiful colors, acrobatic leaps, and tasty meat. These fast-growing fish usually weigh between 15 and 30 pounds but can reach up to 80 pounds.

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Ono (Wahoo): The Speedy Predator

Ono, also known as Wahoo, are fast and aggressive predators known for their razor-sharp teeth and impressive speeds of up to 60 mph. They typically weigh between 20 and 80 pounds and are highly sought after for their firm, white meat.

Sailfish: The Elegant Glider

Sailfish, known for their large dorsal fins and breathtaking leaps, are another popular game fish found in the waters around Big Island. While not as common as other species, Sailfish put up an exciting fight and can weigh over 100 pounds.

Other Game Fish Species

In addition to the fish mentioned above, you may also encounter other game fish species such as Striped Marlin, Shortbill Spearfish, Giant Trevally, and Amberjack during your sport fishing trip in Big Island.

Techniques and Equipment for Sport Fishing in Big Island

To successfully catch the various fish species found in Big Island waters, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with different fishing techniques and equipment. Here are some popular methods and gear used for sport fishing in Hawaii:


Trolling is a popular technique for targeting pelagic fish species like Marlin, Tuna, Mahi-mahi, and Wahoo. It involves dragging lures or bait behind the boat at different speeds and depths to attract and catch fish.

Live Bait Fishing

Using live bait, such as small fish or squid, can increase your chances of catching big game fish. Live bait is usually trolled, drifted, or suspended beneath a float to entice predatory fish.

Deep Sea Jigging and Bottom Fishing

Deep sea jigging and bottom fishing are techniques used to target fish found near the ocean floor or along underwater structures. Heavy tackle and weighted lures or bait are used to reach the desired depth where fish like Amberjack and Giant Trevally reside.

Fly Fishing

Fly fishing is a specialized technique that involves using lightweight, artificial flies to mimic the appearance and movement of insects or small fish. Although not as common in Big Island, fly fishing can be an exciting challenge for experienced anglers targeting species like Mahi-mahi or Tuna.

Essential Gear and Tackle

To ensure a successful sport fishing trip, you’ll need the appropriate gear and tackle, such as:

  • Heavy-duty rods and reels
  • A variety of lures and bait (live or artificial)
  • Strong fishing line and leader material
  • Terminal tackle (hooks, swivels, sinkers, etc.)
  • Gaffs or nets for landing fish
  • A reliable pair of pliers and a sharp knife

Regulations and Conservation in Big Island Sport Fishing

To protect the marine ecosystem and ensure sustainable fishing practices, it’s essential to be aware of the regulations and conservation efforts in place in Hawaii:

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Fishing Licenses and Permits

While no fishing license is required for recreational saltwater fishing in Hawaii, you should still be familiar with the local fishing regulations and guidelines.

Catch and Release Practices

Catch and release is a popular practice in sport fishing that helps preserve fish populations. When releasing a fish, handle it gently, minimize time out of the water, and use barbless hooks or circle hooks to reduce injury.

Size and Bag Limits

Some fish species have size and bag limits in place to ensure sustainable fishing practices. Make sure to familiarize yourself with these restrictions before your trip.

Organizations and Initiatives for Sustainable Fishing

Several organizations and initiatives work towards promoting responsible fishing practices and conserving Hawaii’s marine resources. Examples include the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council and the Hawaii Marine Recreational Fishing Survey.

Tips and Tricks for a Successful Sport Fishing Trip in Big Island

To make your sport fishing trip in Big Island a memorable experience, here are some helpful tips and tricks:

Preparing for Your Trip

Research the best fishing charters, book your trip in advance, and familiarize yourself with the targeted fish species, techniques, and regulations.

Working with the Fishing Charter Crew

Listen to your captain and crew’s advice, as they have the local knowledge and experience to help you succeed. Communicate your expectations and preferences to ensure a fantastic trip.

What to Bring with You

Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, comfortable clothing, non-slip shoes, a camera, and any personal items you may need during your trip. Don’t forget snacks and drinks, although some charters may provide them.

How to Maximize Your Chances of Catching Fish

Be patient, stay alert, and follow your captain’s instructions. Experiment with different lures, baits, and techniques to increase your chances of landing a trophy catch.

Conclusion: Experience the Excitement and Allure of Sport Fishing in Big Island, Hawaii

Sport fishing in Big Island, Hawaii, is an unforgettable experience filled with excitement, adventure, and beautiful scenery. By choosing the right fishing charter, visiting at the best time, and practicing responsible fishing, you can create lasting memories while enjoying the thrill of catching impressive game fish.