mahi mahi

Oahu Fishing Season: What is the Best Time to Fish?

Aloha! Oahu is an angler’s paradise, boasting a variety of marine life and ideal weather conditions for fishing year-round. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just beginning your journey as an angler, the sights, sounds, and scents of Hawaii’s waters will make it unforgettable!

This article will give you all the info you need about fishing in Oahu: from what species are best to catch during different seasons to where to find the most productive spots to tips on how to get started. So take a screenshot of the Oahu fishing season overview and the Oahu fishing calendar, grab your rod, pack your bait, and let’s go!

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Oahu Fishing Calendar

Hawaii is a year-round fishing destination, but some months are better suited to catching specific fish species than others. The Oahu Fishing Calendar outlines the best times to hook some popular fish off the Oahu coast.

Fish Jan Feb Mar April May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Blue Marlin Fair Fair Fair Good Good Peak Peak Peak Good Fair Fair Fair
Black Marlin Good Good Fair Fair Fair Fair Fair Fair Fair Fair Fair Fair
Striped Marlin Peak Peak Good Fair Fair Fair Fair Fair Fair Fair Fair Good
Mahi Mahi Fair Fair Good Peak Peak Good Good Good Good Fair Fair Fair
Wahoo (Ono) Fair Fair Good Good Good Peak Peak Peak Good Fair Fair Fair
Skipjack Tuna (Aku) Fair Fair Good Good Good Good Good Good Good Good Good Good
Yellowfin Tuna (Ahi) Fair Fair Fair Good Good Peak Peak Peak Good Good Good Fair

When to target specific fish species

Based on the fishing calendar, you can plan what fish to target on your fishing trip to Oahu.

Blue Marlin

If you’re after Blue Marlin, your best bet is from April through June for prime conditions. July and August offer peak opportunities with good conditions from February to May.

Black Marlin

For Black Marlin, plan your visit anytime between January and February; otherwise, you can enjoy fair fishing all year round.

Striped Marlin

The Striped Marlins are at their most plentiful between January and March, with December also providing decent odds.

Mahi Mahi

The peak season for Mahi Mahi occurs from May through July; however, you may see them throughout the year (excluding September).

Wahoo (Ono)

May until July presents ideal conditions for Wahoo fishing; nevertheless, it’s possible to find quality catches throughout the rest of the year.

Skipjack Tuna (Aku)

You’ll have a great chance at catching Skipjack Tuna all year round in Hawaii – they’re abundant in waters off Oahu!

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Yellowfin Tuna (Ahi)

The Yellowfin Tuna frequently bites from April through June, with peak season lasting from July to September.

Whether you’re an experienced angler or just starting on your first fishing trip – Oahu never fails to impress!

Oahu Fishing Season

hawaii fishing season

Fishing in the Hawaiian islands is an exciting experience that offers something for everyone.

There are four seasons on Oahu—summer, fall, winter, and spring—each of which brings unique benefits to fishing fanatics.

For example, during summer, there are typically more consistent weather conditions and warmer water temperatures, making targeting species like mahi-mahi, tuna, wahoo, blue marlin, and sailfish easier.

In contrast, fall sees cooler waters, while winter and spring often bring higher winds and choppier seas. Nevertheless, all of these conditions can be beneficial when it comes to catching a variety of fish.

Conditions by Season

Here’s a look at some of the great things each season has to offer:

  1. Summer – Consistent weather with warm water temperatures makes it ideal for targeting gamefish such as mahi-mahi, tuna, wahoo, marlin, and sailfish.
  2. Fall – Cooler waters provide a perfect environment for trolling lures or drifting bait for bottom feeders like snapper, grouper, and amberjack.
  3. Winter – Stronger winds create turbulent waves, stirring up plankton, which attracts larger predators from deep below.
  4. Spring – Warmer air temperatures mean longer days and calmer seas, perfect for sight fishing around coral reefs and shorelines.

Best Time to Fish in Oahu

red snapper hawaii

The best time for a successful catch depends on what type of fish you’re looking for.

  1. Blue Marlin – June to August
  2. Mahi Mahi – April to July
  3. Yellowfin Tuna (Ahi) – June to August and October to December

Now keep in mind that some species, such as Skipjack Tuna (Aku), can be caught year-round with good chances of success. So when planning your trip, it’s essential to consider what kind of fish you want to reel in.

The fishing calendar of Oahu will help you determine the best time to cast your lines and ensure you come home with a nice haul.

Popular Fishing Techniques

Before heading out on waters around Oahu, knowing about the different fishing techniques available and the regulations you need to follow is essential.

If you’re looking for a fun and exciting way to spend your day in the waters of Oahu, trolling is a great option. Trolling is a great way to catch fish while cruising along the shoreline, and it’s a common technique used by many fishermen. You’ll use a long line with multiple baited hooks attached, which allows you to cover more water while searching for fish.

You’ll need a boat that can reach speeds up to 10 knots, plus lines with test weights up to 150 lbs and leaders up to 200 lbs. To get the best results, look for FADs (Fish Aggregating Devices), human-made structures in the water that attracts fish, or other structures or debris, as these are popular spots for fish.

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Bottom fishing or deep dropping is another excellent way to fish in Oahu. This technique involves dropping bait tied to a fishing line at the bottom of the ocean or lake, where you can find some of the largest fish. Potential target species include Onaga, Ehu, Sharks, Wrasse, Goatfish, Amberjack, and Green Jobfish.

Deep dropping is similar to bottom fishing, but you’ll be using heavy weights to take your bait deeper into the depths of the sea.

Deepwater spearfishing might be what you’re after! Spearfishing is a thrilling and popular technique many anglers use and requires you to dive deep and hunt for various fish species. You’ll hunt at FADs, deep water reefs, and rock shelves here. Possible species to encounter include Snappers, Parrotfish, Green Jobfish, Wahoo, and Giant Trevally. Prepare well by packing all standard gear such as wetsuits, gloves, spearguns, masks, and knives.

Additionally, certain types of gear may be required depending on the type of fishing you plan on doing. For example, you may need an extra rod if you plan on trolling.

Follow Oahu’s Fishing Regulations

Oahu may have some fishing regulations in place to ensure responsible fishing practices. These may include size limits, bag limits, closed seasons, and proper licensing.

Please read about the fishing regulations on Oahu on the website of the Department of Land and Natural Resources in Hawaii.

Make sure to check the local regulations before heading out on your next fishing excursion.

Also, if you are going on an Oahu fishing charter, you should know that sharing the catch with captains and crew is standard practice or policy. Hawaii fishing tours also have a tipping culture, which is often expected and appreciated.

Fishing in Oahu offers many opportunities to land incredible catches, so ensure you have prepared before setting off!

Best Fishing Spots in Oahu

Kaneohe Bay
Hanauma Bay on Oahu

There are plenty of great places to cast your line in Oahu and around Honolulu and Waikiki, and here are some of the best places to fish.

At Waialua Bay Pier, you can try your luck at catching goatfish, papio, barracuda, ulua, and sea bass.

For more experienced anglers, Kaena Point is an excellent spot to look for ulua and reflective tape.

In Waimanalo, Makai Pier is an excellent place to get sardines and papio.

And if you’re looking for ulua, Bamboo Ridge near Hanauma Bay is one of the top choices.

Heeia Pier in Kaneohe is another popular spot, with hammerheads and goatfish swimming around its waters.

Alternatively, Laie Point in Laie is known for its large population of ulua.

Bass lovers should visit Lake Wilson in Wahiawa, where they can catch them from boats or inner tubes.

For surf fishing, Haleiwa Alii Beach Park is the place to be – remember to bring extra weight when you go.

Ewa Beach Park in Ewa Beach meanwhile has plenty of papio, oio, and omilu.

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Lastly, Pokai Bay in Waianae offers excellent conditions for ulua, so don’t forget to slather on sunscreen before heading out.

So whatever type of fish you’re after, these nine locations offer some of the best fishing spots on Oahu.

Where to Go Deep Sea Fishing in Oahu

Deep sea fishing is also great in Oahu. Here are the best spots.

Suppose you’re up for a challenge, head to Makua, where you’ll find Waianae Trolling Alley. Here you can catch Yellowfin Tuna and FAD.

If you’re feeling lucky, then make sure to check out Haleiwa, known for its Blue Marlin, Striped Marlin, and Spearfish.

Finally, don’t miss Penguin Banks, where you can try getting Wahoo, Mahi Mahi, Yellowfin Tuna, and Skipjack.

No matter what kind of fish you want to try catching, you can be sure that these spots will provide you with an unforgettable experience.

You can find deep sea fishing charters in Oahu here.

Book Your Fishing Trip to Oahu Today!

Getting ready for a fishing excursion can seem overwhelming, but with the proper preparation, you’ll have everything you need for a successful outing. Here are some essential steps:

  1. Prepare your tackle box: Stock it up with lures, hooks, weights, lines, and other helpful things you need while on the water.
  2. Charter a local fishing boat with a captain: Chartering a private or shared boat is a great way to go fishing with an experienced fisherman who knows where the fish are hiding. It’s also easier to stay safe and legal and follow all relevant environmental guidelines during your trip when the captain knows everything about fishing in Hawaii.
  3. Research fish species: Knowing what type of fish you’re likely to encounter will help you decide which bait or lures to use, and you can discuss with the captain and crew, and they may be able to take you to the type of fish you want that is most abundant.
  4. Use the fishing calendar and book your trip during peak season.

See these posts for more information:

Hawaii Fishing Season: The Best Time to Go Fishing in Hawaii

Best Oahu Fishing Charters for Sport Fishing and Deep Sea Fishing 2023

Kauai Fishing Charters: The Best Hidden Gems and Adventures in Hawaii

Best Maui Fishing Charters: Deep Sea and Sport Fishing Hawaii

Fly Fishing in Hawaii on Big Island: A Comprehensive Guide

10 Best Deep Sea Fishing Charters On Big Island Of Hawaii & Kona

The Best Hawaii Fishing Charters

You’ll be one step closer to catching that dream catch by taking these simple steps! Remember always to practice responsible fishing and respect nature.