maui fishing

Maui Fishing Guide: Charters, Calendar, Species & Hotspots

Welcome to the beautiful island of Maui, where the sun shines, the waves crash, and the fish are always biting. With its diverse fishing scene and an abundance of fish species, Maui is a dream destination for anglers of all skill levels.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the various types of fishing adventures available on the Valley Isle, as well as the best times to visit and the most popular fish species to target.

Types of Fishing Adventures in Maui

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner looking for a fun day on the water, there’s a fishing experience in Maui that’s perfect for you. Here are some of the most popular options:

Maui Fishing Charters

A Maui fishing charter is an excellent choice for those who want a guided fishing experience. With knowledgeable captains and crew, you’ll have the opportunity to learn new techniques, target specific fish species, and enjoy a day on the water with friends or family.

Sport Fishing in Maui

For the more competitive angler, sport fishing in Maui offers the thrill of battling big game fish like marlin, tuna, and mahi-mahi. With top-of-the-line boats and equipment, you’ll have everything you need for an adrenaline-pumping day on the water.

Deep Sea Fishing Adventures

If you’re looking to venture further offshore, deep sea fishing in Maui is the way to go. With the chance to reel in massive fish like yellowfin tuna and blue marlin, this is an experience you won’t soon forget.

Maui Fishing Trips for the Whole Family

For a more laid-back experience, consider a Maui fishing trip that caters to anglers of all ages and skill levels. These trips often include a mix of fishing techniques and target a variety of fish species, making them perfect for families or groups with diverse interests.

Lahaina Fishing Charters

Departing from the historic town of Lahaina, Lahaina fishing charters offer a range of fishing experiences, from half-day trips targeting smaller game fish to full-day excursions in search of big game species.

Maui is only one of many Hawaiian islands where you can fish.

When to Fish in Maui: A Calendar for Anglers

While fishing in Maui is excellent year-round, certain fish species are more abundant during specific times of the year. To help you plan your trip, we’ve put together a Maui fishing calendar that highlights the best times to target each species:

  • Yellowfin Tuna (Ahi): April to November
  • Bigeye Tuna: Year-round, with peaks in spring and fall
  • Blue Marlin: June to September
  • Striped Marlin: December to April
  • Mahi-Mahi: April to October
  • Ono (Wahoo): March to September
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Popular Fish Species in Maui: What’s Biting?

Maui’s waters are teeming with a variety of fish species, making it an angler’s paradise. Here are some of the most sought-after fish you can expect to encounter on your Maui fishing adventure:

Tuna Fishing in Maui

Tuna fishing in Maui is a popular activity, with two main species being targeted: yellowfin tuna (ahi) and bigeye tuna. Both species are prized for their delicious meat and can be caught using techniques like trolling and live baiting.

Yellowfin Tuna (Ahi)

Yellowfin tuna, or ahi, are known for their speed and strength, making them a thrilling catch for any angler. Ahi fishing in Maui is best from April to November, when these fish are most abundant.

Bigeye Tuna

Bigeye tuna are similar in appearance to yellowfin but can be distinguished by their larger eyes and plumper bodies. These fish can be caught year-round in Maui, with peaks in spring and fall.

Billfish: Marlin Magic

Maui is home to two species of marlin: blue marlin and striped marlin. These powerful, acrobatic fish are a favorite among sport fishermen and can be caught using techniques like trolling and live baiting.

Blue Marlin

Blue marlin are the largest of the marlin species and can weigh up to 1,000 pounds. The best time to target these impressive fish is from June to September.

Striped Marlin

Striped marlin are smaller than their blue counterparts but are known for their incredible leaps and acrobatics when hooked. The prime season for striped marlin in Maui is from December to April.

Mahi-Mahi: A Colorful Catch

Mahi-mahi, also known as dolphinfish, are a favorite among Maui anglers for their vibrant colors and delicious meat. These fish can be caught using techniques like trolling and live baiting, with the best season running from April to October.

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Ono: The Tasty Wahoo

Ono, or wahoo, are known for their speed and delicious, firm meat. These fish can be caught using techniques like trolling and live baiting, with the prime season running from March to September.

Fishing Hotspots on Maui: Where to Cast Your Line

Maui offers a variety of fishing locations to suit every angler’s preferences. From bustling harbors to secluded shorelines, here are some top spots to consider for your next Maui fishing adventure:

Lahaina Harbor

As mentioned earlier, Lahaina Harbor is a popular starting point for many fishing charters. With its convenient location on Maui’s west side, it offers easy access to productive fishing grounds and a range of trip options.

Ma’alaea Harbor

Located on Maui’s south shore, Ma’alaea Harbor is another popular departure point for fishing charters. With its close proximity to deep waters, anglers can expect shorter travel times and more time spent fishing.

South Maui

The waters off South Maui are known for their abundance of fish species, making it an excellent choice for anglers looking to target a variety of fish. Popular spots in this area include Makena, Wailea, and Kihei.

North Shore

Maui’s North Shore offers a more rugged and secluded fishing experience, with spots like Ho’okipa and Paia providing excellent opportunities for shoreline fishing and spearfishing.

Maui Fishing Techniques and Equipment: Tools of the Trade

To make the most of your Maui fishing adventure, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the various techniques and equipment used by local anglers. Here are some popular methods and gear you may encounter:


Trolling involves dragging lures or baited hooks behind a moving boat to entice fish to bite. This technique is commonly used when targeting big game fish like marlin, tuna, and mahi-mahi.

Live Baiting

Live baiting involves using live fish or other creatures as bait to attract larger predators. This technique can be highly effective when targeting species like tuna and marlin.


Jigging involves dropping a weighted lure to the ocean floor and then quickly retrieving it with a jerking motion. This technique is often used when targeting bottom-dwelling fish like snapper and grouper.

Fly Fishing

Fly fishing is a specialized technique that uses lightweight, artificial flies to imitate insects and other prey. While not as common in Maui as other methods, fly fishing can be an exciting way to target species like bonefish and trevally.

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Spearfishing is an ancient technique that involves diving underwater and using a spear or speargun to catch fish. This method is popular among Maui locals and offers a unique, hands-on fishing experience.

Kayak Fishing

Kayak fishing is a growing trend in Maui, offering anglers a more intimate and eco-friendly way to explore the island’s waters. With a kayak, you can access remote fishing spots and target a variety of fish species.

Fishing Regulations and Conservation: Preserving Maui’s Ocean Bounty

To ensure the sustainability of Maui’s fish populations, it’s crucial for anglers to follow Hawaii’s fishing regulations and practice responsible fishing techniques. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Familiarize yourself with Hawaii’s fishing regulations, including size and bag limits, gear restrictions, and seasonal closures.
  • Practice catch-and-release fishing when possible, and handle fish with care to minimize stress and injury.
  • Participate in local conservation efforts and programs, such as marine debris cleanups and habitat restoration projects.

The Ultimate Maui Fishing Experience: Memories to Last a Lifetime

Fishing in Maui offers a unique blend of excitement, relaxation, and connection with nature. Whether you’re reeling in a massive marlin, casting a line from the shore, or diving beneath the waves with a speargun, the memories and experiences you create while fishing in Maui will stay with you for a lifetime.

Additional Resources

To help you plan your Maui fishing adventure, be sure to check out these helpful resources:

Additionally, consider joining online fishing forums and communities to connect with fellow anglers and learn from their experiences. Happy fishing, and aloha!