Hawaii Fishing License: Everything You Need to Know

Welcome to the wonderful world of fishing in Hawaii! As you probably know, fishing is a big part of Hawaii’s culture and economy. In this article, we’ll give you an overview of what you need to know about Hawaii fishing licenses, including the recent changes in the law for non-residents. Most importantly we answer the qeustion “do you need a fishing license in hawaii?” Let’s look at the most recent changes first.

Update: New Law on Marine Recreational Fishing Licenses for Non-Residents

Update 2021 – Here are some recent changes in the law that affect non-residents who want to fish in Hawaii:

  • If you’re not a Hawaii resident, you now need a license to fish in Hawaiian waters. This includes charter boat clients, so if you’re planning a fishing trip, make sure you have your license ready.
  • The good news is that the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources (DLNR DAR) is working on developing a new licensing system, but it might take up to a year to be fully implemented. It’s worth noting that most states in the US require fishing licenses, so this change brings Hawaii in line with the rest of the country.
  • By the time you are reading this, the new licensing system may already be in place, so check their websites for the most recent information.
  • As for the cost, license fees for non-residents can range anywhere from $20 to $70. The revenue generated from these license sales will go towards supporting fishing opportunities in Hawaii, which is great news for anglers. In fact, it’s estimated that non-resident fishing licenses could bring in around $1 million in annual revenue!
  • Keep in mind that these license revenues must be deposited into a special fund, ensuring that the money is used to support and maintain Hawaii’s fishing resources. So, not only are you enjoying the thrill of fishing in Hawaii, but you’re also contributing to the preservation and growth of the local fishing industry. Win-win!

Hawaii Fishing License Overview

First things first, let’s talk about the basics. If you’re planning to fish in Hawaii’s saltwater, you’re in luck! You don’t need a license for saltwater fishing. However, if you’re aiming to catch some fish in Hawaii’s lakes and reservoirs, you’ll need a Freshwater Game Fishing License.

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Keep in mind that some areas in Hawaii are restricted for fishing, so make sure to check the regulations before you cast your line. Both residents and non-residents are allowed to purchase fishing licenses, and young anglers below 9 years old don’t need a license to fish. Pretty cool, right?

Hawaii Fishing License Costs

Now that you know the basics, let’s talk about the cost of getting a fishing license in Hawaii. If you’re a young angler between 9 and 15 years old, you’ll only need to pay $4.00 for a license. For Hawaii residents aged 15 and above, the cost is just $6.00. Not too bad, right?

If you’re a non-resident, the license will set you back $26.00. But if you’re only visiting Hawaii for a short period, you can opt for a 7-day tourist license at $11.00 or a 30-day tourist license for $21.00. With these options, you can enjoy fishing in Hawaii without breaking the bank.

Where to Buy Hawaii Fishing License

So, where can you get your hands on a Hawaii fishing license? It’s actually pretty easy! You can purchase your license online through the Hawaii.gov portal (for freshwater fishing). Just follow the steps, and you’ll be ready to fish in no time.

If you prefer the old-fashioned way, you can also buy your license in person from authorized license agents. This might be a good option if you have any questions about the licensing process or if you want to get some local tips on the best fishing spots.

Hawaii Fishing Rules and Regulations

Now that you have your license, let’s talk about the rules and regulations you need to follow when fishing in Hawaii. For example, did you know that the Waikiki Diamond Head shoreline is open for fishing only on even years? (so it’s closed for 2023).

The fishing season for Ama’ama, also known as the Hawaiian striped mullet, runs from April to November. So, if you’re planning to catch some Ama’ama, make sure you’re fishing during the right time of year.

Keep in mind that each island in Hawaii has its own set of rules and regulations, so it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the local guidelines. For example, commercial fishing with nets, explosives, and electrical charges is regulated in Hawaii.

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If you’re fishing at Waimea Bay, you’re allowed two fishing setups or two rods and reels. This gives you more chances to reel in some exciting catches.

For more information on Hawaii fishing rules and regulations, don’t hesitate to contact the State of Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources. They’ll be more than happy to help you out and ensure that you have a great fishing experience.

Hawaii Fish Size and Limits

Before you start reeling in fish left and right, remember that Hawaii has specific fish size requirements and limits you need to follow. These regulations vary for each island, so make sure you’re aware of the local guidelines to help protect Hawaii’s fish population and avoid any potential fines.

Fishing Gear and Regulations

When it comes to fishing gear, In Hawaii, snagging is allowed in some areas but prohibited in others. If you’re an aquarium enthusiast, you’ll be happy to know that personal aquarium collection is allowed. However, you must use legal gear and methods, and commercial aquarium sales are not permitted.

Boat Registration

If you plan to fish from a boat, don’t forget to register it with the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation. They’ll provide you with all the necessary information and requirements to ensure you’re good to go.

Reporting Violations

Unfortunately, not everyone follows the rules. If you witness any fishing violations, make sure to report them to the Department of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) at 643-3567. By doing so, you’re helping preserve Hawaii’s precious fishing resources for future generations to enjoy.

Do You Need a License to Spearfish in Hawaii?

Good news for spearfishing enthusiasts! When it comes to spearfishing in Hawaii, you don’t need a special permit, nor do you need a saltwater fishing license.

That’s right, you’re free to enjoy this exciting activity without worrying about obtaining a license. However, keep in mind that there are still some regulations you’ll need to follow.

Regulations and Restrictions for Spearfishing in Hawaii

Before you grab your gear and hit the water, be aware of the rules and restrictions for spearfishing in the Aloha State.

Firstly, make sure to adhere to size minimums and respect any prohibited areas. It’s also essential to know which species are off-limits for spearfishing, including:

  • Ula (Spiny Lobster)
  • Ula Papapa (Slipper Lobster)
  • Kona Crab
  • Samoan Crab
  • Kuahonu Crab
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Now, if you’re considering spearfishing on scuba, be extra cautious. This practice is not permitted on the western side of the Big Island.

Costs Associated with Spearfishing in Hawaii

Here’s more good news: there are no permit fees for spearfishing in Hawaii! Keep in mind, though, that if you happen to catch a shark, you’ll need to pay taxes associated with it. And, as the saying goes, you may need to pay “tuition in the school of hard knocks.” In other words, learning from your mistakes and experiences is part and parcel of becoming a skilled spearfisher.

So there you have it! No need for a special license or permit for spearfishing in Hawaii. Just be sure to follow the regulations and restrictions, and you’re all set to enjoy this thrilling adventure in the beautiful Hawaiian waters.

Other Information

In case you’re wondering, you can collect aquatic life for your personal aquariums in Hawaii. However, selling caught fish is not allowed. As mentioned earlier, snagging is prohibited in certain areas, so always make sure you’re familiar with the local regulations before casting your line.

Best Fishing Spots in Hawaii

Now that you’re all set with your license and familiar with the rules, let’s talk about some of the best fishing spots in Hawaii. Trust me, you’re in for a treat!

Lake Wilson in Oahu is home to 17 different fish species, including the beautiful peacock bass. Nawiliwili Harbor in Kauai is perfect for sport and deep-sea fishing enthusiasts. For a great fishing experience off the pier or on a charter, head to Pearl Harbor.

If you’re looking for some unique fish species, try your luck at Waiakea Pond in Hilo. And if you prefer a more secluded spot, check out Waialua Bay Pier in Oahu.

Now that you’re armed with all this information, go out there and enjoy the incredible fishing opportunities Hawaii has to offer.