Can I Fish in Maui Hawaii?

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Yes, you most certainly can fish in Maui!

Hawaii. Maui is the second largest island in Hawaii, and is known for its gold colored sandy beaches, warm year-round sunshine, and picturesque views. There are many popular activities to engage in on this beautiful island and fishing is one of them. Maui fishing is an incredible experience you do not want to miss out on. The second-largest Hawaiian island has a lot to offer to every type of angler. Maui consistently provides anglers with great weather, great fishing conditions, and great fishing.

While Kona has been legendary for its deep water fishing, Maui is the only place in the world to have posted two thousand pound Marlins in a single tournament; the Lahaina Jackpot Tournament, hosted by Lahaina Yacht Club every Halloween. For Maui deep sea fishing expeditions, there are several charter companies with experienced captains ready to teach you how to fish the Hawaiian way.

Maui Shoreline fishing is a popular and very relaxing activity for both locals and tourists alike. Whether you hire a local Maui shore fishing guide to take you to a more secluded area, or you just want to do a little casting off the beach in front of your hotel, Maui’s shore fishing opportunities are plentiful. Do a little research first. What a great way to enjoy your relaxing sun-filled vacation, casting from one of the many beautiful beaches where you can catch some delicious and healthy fish for dinner! But please be respectful of the signage and guidelines. The locals are quite protective of their fishing spots because for them, fishing can be for survival, not just for fun.

A few spots that come to mind are:

  • Kalama Park in Kihei
  • Baldwin Beach in Paia
  • Lahaina
  • Kahului
  • Molokai

What Kind of Fish Can I Catch in Maui?

Diversity is the word that comes to mind when thinking about the variety of fish you can hook in Maui. From surf fishing in the shallows to Maui deep sea fishing in the beautiful Pacific waters, there is something here for everyone.

Lets begin with some of the most popular fish to angle in the deep blue offshore waters…

Pacific Blue, Striped and Short Billed Marlin – prepare to have some sore arms as they put up a good fight. The beautiful Pacific blue waters here can produce massive Blues weighing up to 2,000 pounds, though caught more often are Marlins that are around 300-400 pounds. For Blues, June-August is the best time to fish for them. For Striped Marlin, it’s best during the winter months. They are smaller than the Blue Marlin, but boy are they acrobatic!

Mahi Mahi – It’s a beautiful blue and yellow colored fish. Their name means “strong” in Hawaiian and that’s exactly what they are! They’re in abundance year round.

Skipjack and Yellowfin Tuna – There are up to 5 species of Tuna to be had on Maui, but the most popular is Yellowfin, better known as “Ahi” in Hawaii, and means fire. You can find them year round, but they are the biggest in the Summer months.

Wahoo – Wahoo is known as “Ono” in Hawaiian. “Ono” translates to “delicious”, and how fitting because they truly are. They have a nice tender type of meat. They are very good swimmers, so sometimes they’re tough to reel in. They can be caught year-round, but you’ll have the best luck with them in May-October.
Then there’s reef and shore fishing. Here are some of the more common ones you’ll find…

Amberjack – These fish in Hawaii are known as “Kahala”. They are a bottom feeder species, the largest of the jacks. Their name in Hawaii translates to “something that catches your eye”. So if you’re doing some reef diving, keep an eye out for these beauties. Normally they are around 20-40 pounds but can get up to over 100 pounds.

Barracuda – They are also known as “Kaku” in Hawaiian. They have a mouthful of sharp teeth that they’re not afraid to use, and are very feisty. So be careful when bringing them in, and do it with an experienced crew. They can be found near the shore, around reefs and sunken wrecks.

Snapper – There are a variety of Snapper to fish for from the shoreline, such as Ta’ape (Blueline Snapper), and Uka (Gray Snapper).

Yellow Spot Trevally – This fish is also known as Papa Ulua and is another member of the jack family. They can reach lengths of up to 2 ft. They are delicious with an oily flesh.

What do I Need to Fish in Maui?

Most shoreline areas in Hawai‘i are open to fishing, unless prohibited or restricted – keep an eye out as there should be signs posted at key public access areas.

The Hawai‘i Fishing Regulations booklet is a great tool, but please note that it does not list all of the areas where fishing is restricted. For example, military bases, wildlife refuges, natural area reserves, harbors, and other areas may not be listed in the HFR, but fishing there could still be restricted.

Another thing to keep in mind is that freshwater streams typically do not have signs posted, but access is restricted by private property rights. Your best bet is to fish in publicly-accessible areas, just to be sure. There are a few locations where Maui shoreline fishing is prohibited. It is wise to take the time to review the most current Maui fishing regulations prior to your trip, State of Hawaiʻi Division of Aquatic Resources is a fantastic resource.

There is no marine recreational fishing license in Hawai‘i for residents, but there is one being worked on for visitors, although it has yet to be implemented. So long as you don’t sell your catch, you don’t need to worry about licensing at this time.