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Welcome to hawaiiFishing in Hawaii

Fishing in Hawaii is as great as the great beaches the Big Island has and though the Island doesn’t have a lot freshwater fishing spots, whatever limited amount of river, stream, and reservoir fishing it offers are enough to give good results.

Hawaii shore fishing provides a wealth of fishing opportunities which would enchant any angler. What’s more, added to the conventional methods of fishing, Hawaii offers its own techniques passed on from the natives who not only harvested but also cultivated the marine resources.

The real pleasing thing about fishing in Hawaii is it doesn’t require license except for some freshwater fishing resources like Oahu’s Lake Wilson and Nuuanu Reservoir.

Kona coast, North shore, Oahu, Maui and many more offer you best places to fish for some exclusive giants of Hawaii.

Hawaii shore fishing is usually accomplished by pole, or net.

fishing1Pole Fishing in Hawaii

A simple bamboo pole with a hook, line, and a sinker, or other hand pole, can make you enter one of the most popular Hawaii shore fishing acts – oama fishing! This is the most primary method of Hawaiians and their kids learn their first lessons with this method. These simple rigs give good catch to the hook baited with shrimp, squid and so on.

If you go driving along the coast during summer and early fall, you’ll see groups of people in deep water fishing in a circle or standing close to each other; they are fishing for oama, the young goatfish, about 7 inches or smaller even, which is used to eat or is used as a bait for larger fish like papio or ulua.

At the same time you may also see some people fishing with longer hand poles or small spinning reel and rod outfits; they are after halalu or akule, a kind of mackerel.

A simple hand pole gives such an abundance of reef fish that it is impossible to predict what you will be really getting. But the oama, akule and halalu are the most sought after fishes.

Spending time in the fishing supply stores is as much of fun as the fishing itself. Here you can get stocks of information about selection of tackle to use for your hand pole adventures in Hawaii.

You add a reel to your pole, and you have entered a world of fishing which can range from ultra-light to an extraordinarily big game! Whipping or spinning, in which you cast out your line with a bait or a lure then fast reel it in is one mode of reel and rod fishing and the other is dunking – casting out a weighty, baited line and simply waiting for the fish to come to bite the hook. Of course, there are special techniques for different fish that anglers may be after. Whipping or spinning are thus popular Hawaii shore fishing techniques. A fast retrieve spinning reel using bait or a lure might give you anything from papio and ulua to oio bonefish and barracuda. And each one of these fishes gives such a fight that you get addicted to the thrill and can’t help yourself from casting and reeling again and again!



People in some areas of the Big Island, like that of the south side, employ this technique. It uses the largest of surfcasting tackle with which is first cast out a line with a heavy weight meant to get stuck onto the coral bottom. This weight is joined to the main line by a lighter capacity line which is meant to break when the fish is caught.

All the time while fishing, especially at night, baited hooks are slid below the main line into the waters down. You might think, what will happen when they hook up a fish exceeding hundred pounds? It’s simple! They use sliding gaff, a gaff having no handle and connected to a long rope and a ring that slides down the main line. When this gaff is slid below the fish, they pull up swiftly on the rope to gaff the fish and continue to pull the fish up. This method gives some of the biggest fish in the state including pelagics like mahimahi (dolphin) and ahi (yellowfin tuna)!


Nets are popular devices of Hawaii shore fishing. Throw-netting uses a circular net with weights around the perimeter. The net quickly sinks down to the bottom and captures the targeted fish. Then the net is gathered by hand or by pulling a line tied to the center making the net to close-in over the caught fish.


This is another popular Hawaii shore fishing method. In this, a rectangular net with floats on the top and weights on the bottom is used. This has got an enchanting history, where earlier Hawaiians used extremely long lay nets and many people would be required to pull it, quite a festive occasion, which was followed by a big meal on the day’s catch and was called a “hukilau”.

fishing1Freshwater Fishing in Hawaii

Surely, the freshwater fishing in the Big Island doesn’t carry the same repute as its saltwater counterparts, but still there is a lot of freshwater fishing going on and though everyone has seen the serene beauty of Lake Wilson, many might not know about the great fishing this Hawaii’s only lake offers! You will be amazed to see the variety of fishes the lake gives, like bass, tucanare, catfish, bluegill and other freshwater fishes. Lake Wilson is the largest freshwater body, having an area of 400+ acres with such a variety of fishes.

You may be amazed by the idea of visiting Hawaii for its beautiful beaches, exquisite Nature, the turquoise blue marine water, and the festivities offered by the social life there, but fishing in Hawaii is more amazing than you think of! Don’t miss it when you visit Hawaii!