Hawaii Deep Sea Fishing FAQ's (Maui) "New Maui Fishing Information June 2020
Where do Maui fishing charters leave from?
Most Maui fishing charters will depart from Maalaea Harbor (5-15 minutes from Kihei/ Wailea) or from Lahaina Harbor (10-20 minutes from Kaanapali/Kapalua Resorts)
Where do most fishing charters go on Maui?
Most of the sport fishing in Maui will be on the leeward part of the island. The fishermen in Maui know these waters well. These strategies will be determined based upon the catch of the previous days, reports from other boats and the changing of ocean conditions that may alter the location of fish. Fishing the FADS (Fish Aggregation Devices) on the West side of Lanai, trolling the Marlin alley along the South shore, hunting for birds off Kuia Shoals on Kahoolawe, or making a run up to the North shore of Molokai are all viable options for day trips out of Maui.
What are the best months to fish in Maui?
Every type of fish caught on Maui has its particular times when it is more likely to be caught. The most popular types of Maui big game fish are caught in the "golden zone" (May - June). This is not to say that other months of the year will not be suitable for fishing on Maui but your greatest likelihood of catching Marlin, Tuna, Mahi Mahi and Trevally will be during these times. Peak Fishing Season generally is from March to September. (see our "Fish Chart") Maui fishing charters go our all year long and can and do catch fish at all times of the year.
What are the weather conditions?
The conditions can vary considerably depending upon the day. As a rule you can expect the rougher weather and water conditions during the storm season in the winter. Winter seas can make things uncomfortable but keep in mind that the days between any storm surge in the winter months can be some of the most delightful days of the year. These days are likely to not have any trade wind conditions to deal with and are often very flat and calm. During the summer months the seas are more predictable having a constant trade winds which blow from the northeast. Summers are quite warm and sunny and the abundance of fish on Maui at these times make a Maui fishing charter ideal.
What types of fish are caught in Maui?
The waters around Maui are home to the Pacific Blue, Striped and Short Billed Marlin, the Skipjack and Yellow Fin Tuna, Mahi-mahi, Wahoo (Ono), Trevally, Shark, Barracuda, and Hawaiian Salmon. These are the same fish you'll find on the dinner menu at your favorite seafood restaurant most nights.
What is Bottomfishing?
Bottom fishing on Maui is done with the boat stopped, sometimes anchored but usually drifting over favored locations known to support fish such as jacks, snapper, wrasse, goatfish, and more. Fish caught bottom fishing are generally smaller than what you’d catch sport fishing, usually weighing no more than 1-5 pounds. You can get lucky though and hook into much larger fish.
Some of the more common fish that are caught in Hawaii are:
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.
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. 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, 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, 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 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.
MAUI SEA CONDITIONS
Water Depths (feet)
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