Kauai Deep Sea Fishing FAQ's

Hawaii Deep Sea Fishing FAQ's (Kauai) "New Kauai Fishing Information June 2020"

Where do the Kauai fishing charter leave from?
Most Kauai fishing charters will depart from Nawiliwili Harbor in Lihue or Port Allen Harbor on the south shore. (15 minutes from Poipu) 

Where do most fishing charters go on Kauai?
Kauai offers great fishing everywhere on the island due to the natural underwater topography and deep water close to shore. The big game fish come from these deep waters and provide you a great opportunity to catch one. Some areas of the island the water will drop off 1000' in a matter of just one-quarter mile off shore, then drop again to 3000' within a mile off shore and then to 6000' just three miles off shore. This brings the possibility of finding the very largest fish within minutes of your Kauai sport fishing departure.

From Nawilwili, the boats run from Anahola to Makahuena along the 40 fathom and 1000 fathom ledges.  It literally takes 10 minutes to be in the fishing grounds, and your trip will be spent fishing instead of running to and from a place where you think fish might actually exist. The FADS(Fish Aggregation Devices) are also close to shore and since the Marlin like the waters where the FADS are placed, the fishing begins just outside the the harbors.

What types of fish are caught in Kauai?

Deep water surrounds the island of Kauai as sharply as the cliffs of the Grand Canyon, and as a consequence, the Mahi Mahi, Ono and Ahi, usually found at sharp drops and pinnacles, are much closer to shore than on the other islands.
The island of Kauai lies right in the middle of the migration patterns of pelagic (open ocean) game fish. Kauai has a variety of game fish to pursue. Six species of billfish (Blue, Black, Striped, Short-nosed Spearfish, Sailfish, and Swordfish), five species of tuna (Yellow fin, Bigeye, Skipjack, Wavy back, and Albacore), Mahi mahi, and Ono. There are many near-shore species to fish for as well. Such as, Uku (Green Job fish), Ulua, (Giant Trevally), Kahala, (Amberjack), Mano (Shark).These are the same fish you'll find on the dinner menu at your favorite seafood restaurants.



Some of the more common fish that are caught in Hawaii are: 

Yellow Fin

Ahi, also called Yellowfin Tuna.  Highly prized for flavorful meat – excellent both in sashimi and cooked – as well as the fight when hooked and being landed by the angler, Yellowfin is often sought after by those on our charters. One can easily identify Ahi by the dual dorsal fins and bright yellow finlets along the spine of the fish. 

  Skipjack, Tuna, Aku

Aku, also called Skipjack Tuna.  Difficult to land because of the soft tissues that surround their jaws, Skipjack put up a moderate fight. Their flesh is oily and dark, appealing to those who like the taste of mackerel. 

  Blue Marlin

Blue Marlin.  The Blue Marlin is highly prized by sport fishers as they put up a great fight when hooked, leading to a battle between human and fish to bring in the Marlin. Blue Marlin are challenging for even those most accomplished at offshore sport fishing and are avidly sought after when we head out.  

Mahi Mahi, Dorado  

Mahi Mahi, also called Dorado or Dolphin Fish.  A colorful fish, easily identified by the hump on the head, Mahi Mahi is prized for its flesh, which makes for excellent eating. For many people, Mahi Mahi is the fish most closely associated with Hawaii, as it features prominently in the local cuisine. 

Ono, Wahoo  

Ono, also called Wahoo.   Usually caught through trolling, Ono are related to mackerel but do not school, in contrast to other mackerel species. Wahoo are characterized by a slender and tube-like face and mouth, they also have a slender and long body shape. 


Sailfish.  An incredible fish, which is highly prized by anglers because of the fight it puts up once hooked, the Sailfish is characterized by the massive leaps and jumps it makes when being landed. Easily identified by a massive dorsal fin, sports fishers have long sought out this fish and landing a Sailfish leads to many, many stories told by the lucky angler. 

Striped Marlin

Striped Marlin    The Striped Marlin is occasionally caught in the Atlantic Ocean but is more often landed in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The Striped Marlin is visually stunning, with vertical blue stripes on the sides which appear vibrant when it is excited or during the fight to land it. It also has a pointed, high dorsal fin, which makes it easy to identify.



Water Depths (feet)

Sea Currents

FAD's (Fish Aggregation Devices)

The State of Hawaii has placed Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) in the waters surrounding the main Hawaiian Islands. These buoys attract schools of tuna and other important pelagic fishes, such as dolphinfish (Mahimahi), wahoo (Ono), and billfish. FADs allow fishermen to easily locate and catch these species.

Sea Surface Heights



Hawaii Deep Sea Fishing