Fishing in Hawaii is a refreshing activity done from the beach or boat. Hawaiian waters still yield large marlin, tuna, tarpon, bluefin and oama. Fishing can be as simple or as complicated as you wish it to be in Hawaii. Use a simple bamboo pole from the beach, or head out onto the azure Pacific with a charter and all the latest technology and tackle. Watch the locals to see what they are doing and pay attention. They use several techniques that yield good catches. No license is required for salt water fishing from the beaches in Hawaii.
Beach and Shore
Drive the coastal roads around the islands and look for groups of people standing knee high in the water with skinny bamboo poles. Use this information to get into the water yourself and fish for the small oama. If you want to fish for larger species like mackerel or akule, use the oama you catch as bait. Add a reel to go for even larger species using the whipping technique of casting. Use a thin, lightweight rod and reel with several sinkers on the line. Whip the line forward and back and then release going forward. Look to catch papio, ulua, bonefish and barracuda with this technique.
Fly fishing has not caught on in a big way yet in Hawaii, but Oliver Owens, operator of Shoreline Adventures, reports success fly fishing the flats and shallows of the various islands using flies and fly-fishing setups. Oliver recommends practicing catch and release with fish caught in the flats to help build up the fisheries for continued success with fly fishing in Hawaii. Use gnats or blowflies for oio, papio or kaku.
Charters and Boat FIshing
Capt. Jeff Rogers, of Fish in Hawaii, suggests using the bottom bite technique (using a static line with sinkers dropped down to within a few feet of the ocean floor) to almost always guarantee catching fish. Use a combination of lure and bait, such omao. If the bottom bite technique isn't working, then get the charter captain to begin trolling. Jeff also suggests using smaller, high-performance rods and reels for midsize fish.
Article Written By Eric Cedric
A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.