Options aplenty for visitors who wish to fish
Many of us have family or friends coming to visit the state of Hawaii this winter season that may wish to go fishing, or maybe you would like to get out and have some fun on the water yourself.
Being home to eight principal islands that encompass a diversity of undersea topography, coastlines, tides and currents, the state of Hawaii has it all.
Fishing around this tropical paradise is consistently good year-round, both inshore and offshore.
This week I’d like to talk about a few excellent, easily accessible, fishing opportunities you, or those visiting, might be interested in found in Hawaiian waters.
Specifically, the unbelievable bonefishing in Oahu and Molokai, and the offshore fishing found off Kona.
Rest assured superb fishing opportunities are available — regardless of what Hawaiian island you go too.
BONEFISH IN HAWAII?
Did you know Hawaii has incredible bonefishing? I didn’t until I did a story on a grander blue marlin caught off Oahu in 2009. After discussing the monster blue, the conversation somehow switched to big bonefish.
Spending a good portion of my life fishing in the Bahamas, I was a little skeptical of the claims of round jaw (common) bonefish up to 20 pounds, shots at fish every day over 10 pounds, and the average fish weighing in the 6-9pound range. That is until I saw it for myself and continue to see it with regular updates from the area.
While big bonefish are found on the Big Island, they are not easy to catch, and you need to know where you are going.
If you or a visitor is interested in catching big bonefish on flyrod or light spinning gear, there are two locations I would highly recommend.
They are the gorgeous flats found off of Oahu and Molokai. The bonefishing on these two islands may be one of Hawaii’s best-kept secrets,
and the guides on these islands are superb.
Bonefishing on Oahu is a must-do! Oahu has extensive flats and four large areas to fish, with over 30 flats ranging in size from small pancake flats to 6-mile connecting flats and barrier reefs.
Sight fishing is incredibly fun, and on the right tides big fish will tail up in the shallow water chasing mantis shrimp and crabs.
Bluefin trevally and golden trevally are abound and will eat the same mantis shrimp fly patterns used for big bonefish. The trevally can get up to 15 pounds. You might even get a shot at the rare sharp jaw bonefish.
My best suggestion would be to contact Mike Hennessy for information – he is the man when it comes to bonefishing on Oahu. If you’re coming in from Kona or another Hawaiian island, Mike or one of his guides, will pick you up and drop you back off at the airport free of charge. Kona has multiple flights to Honolulu every day.
If interested, visit hawaiionthefly.com or email mike@ hawaiionthefly.com for more information. Be advised — great offshore fishing trips can be found on Oahu too.
Molokai is a hidden gem, just north of Maui. The flats off this secluded island are protected by a fringing reef along the entire south shore of the island. With very little boat traffic and fishing pressure, the bonefishing areas are pristine.
Molokai is a beautiful island. There are no traffic lights, no buildings higher than the surrounding palm trees and it’s home to Hawaii’s longest beach, which is 2.2 miles long.
Molokai certainly doesn’t have all the amenities like Oahu, but it does have all the amenities needed for one to have a superior bonefishing experience. And like Oahu, the bonefish around Molokai are big, with the average catch weighing 5-9 pounds.
From the islands of Maui or Oahu, it is easy to make a single or multiple day trips to Molokai for a bonefish adventure. There are daily flights, and a ferry from Maui, that go to this enchanted island.
If you are interested in a great bonefishing experience on Molokai, I would recommend Clay Ching of Hallelujah Hou Fishing 336-1870 or visit hallelujahhoufishing.com.
Kona is one of the world’s greatest fishing destinations. If you have family or friends who like to fish coming to visit, they are in the right place. Honokohau Harbor has charter fishing boats of all shapes and sizes and is home to some of the world’s finest captains and crews
You may have heard the offshore fishing slows down in the winter here, but that’s a relative statement – it’s comparing the winter bite to the red-hot spring and summer spawning season.
In reality, even in the winter, a day fishing the calm waters off the coast of West Hawaii offers greater opportunities for an amazing catch than 80 percent of the world’s fisheries during their prime seasons.
In Kona, when we say we have the “winter blues,” it means the blue marlin are biting, and right now they are, the blue marlin bite has been great. Last week alone, there were over 20 reported marlin catches — and those are only the ones that were reported.
The biggest fish of the week was caught by Greg Low. Low weighed a 622-pound blue marlin he caught with Capt. George Kissner on the Laakea. Two other boats also had nice blue marlin over 500 pounds that were tagged and released, with Gregg Marsolias reeling in his catch fishing with Capt. McGrew Rice on the Ihu Nui, and Kally Couzens, fishing with Capt. Marlin Parker on the Marlin Magic II.
Kona is one of the world’s only fishing destinations where it’s possible to catch a blue or striped marlin, shortbill spearfish, big ahi, mahi-mahi, ono, along with the possibility of a black marlin or Pacific sailfish on any given day.
If you read my grander article last week, you’ll know that grander blue marlin have been caught off Kona yearround, so you never know what you might find fishing the beautiful waters of West Hawaii.
This time of the year is also the time for big ahi. The saying for ahi goes like this — if you want quantity, fish the spring; if you want quality, fish the fall. Huge ahi over 200 pounds can be found around porpoise schools in November and December.
Winter is also a good time for shortbill spearfish, mahimahi and ono. Excellent table fare and a real treat for any holiday guest.
These are just a few options for some fun on the water in our wonderful state.
Trust me, once you have a great day fishing, you’ll be hooked.