Top 10 Hawaii Islands for Deep Sea Fishing

You don’t need a deep sea fishing license in Hawaii to catch some of the most sought-after game fish from these stunning islands.

Top 10 Hawaii Islands for Deep Sea Fishing
Top 10 Hawaii Islands for Deep Sea Fishing
Team Guidesly

December 14, 2022, 5 min read

Updated on December 11, 2022

Top 10 Hawaii Islands for Deep Sea Fishing
Team Guidesly

December 14, 2022, 5 min read

Updated on December 11, 2022

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Every angler agrees that deep sea fishing is one of the most exhilarating experiences on the water. Deep sea fishing in Hawaii is a highly recommended experience to add to your bucket list because any Hawaiian island will let you enjoy picturesque coastlines and clear blue Pacific Ocean waters teeming with fish.

Hawaii’s waters are known for sought-after big game fish and tropical fish such as Pacific blue marlin, black marlin, striped marlin, Pacific sailfish, yellowfin tuna (ahi), skipjack tuna (aku), bigeye tuna, mahi mahi (dorado or dolphinfish), and wahoo (ono.) Its waters also maintain a diverse marine life and sustains year-round warm weather, making it an ideal fishing destination for anglers at any skill level. 

In this guide, we’ll talk about the best Hawaiian island that will suit your preferences and plans for thrilling fishing tours at the ‘Paradise of the Pacific.’

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Deep Sea Fishing on Each Hawaiian Island

The Hawaiian Islands archipelago is made up of eight main islands, including Hawaii (known as The Big Island), Oahu, Kauai, Niihau, Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe (which is uninhabited.) Only these six islands are visitable, but each offers unique views and climates that provide you with a variety of angling adventures. Here’s what to expect when you’re deep sea fishing on each island and other excellent spots in ‘The Aloha State’:

1. Kauai

Hanalei Pier, Kauai, Hawaii

Fishing in Kauai, Hawaii, means terrific deep sea fishing opportunities thanks to the deep waters being close to its shores. Kauai fishing trips can be made within just a quarter mile of the island as the waters are already as deep as 1,000 feet. The North Hawaii island is in the middle of migration patterns of many sport fish, including five types of tuna, sailfish, mahi mahi, ono, spearfish, swordfish, trevally, and blue green snapper (uku.) Most Kauai fishing charters depart from Port Allen Harbor on the South Shore or Nawiliwili Harbor in Lihue, so if you want a Kauai fish guide, start looking at those areas.

2. Oahu

Oahu’s Leeward Coast is where you’ll see the most deep sea fishing action. This island is where the largest reported blue marlin was ever caught, weighing 1805 lbs, found near Ko Olina. Other sport fishing targets you can find off Oahu’s waters are striped marlin, skipjack tuna, yellowfin tuna, sailfish, mahi mahi, ono, trevally, shortbilled spearfish (hebi), and barracuda. Kaena Point in west Oahu is abundant in ahi. The Penguin Banks in Hawaii Kai Harbour in Maunalua boasts fantastic trolling and bottom fishing. This island also offers whale-watching opportunities as humpback whales visit during the winter. Oahu fishing charters depart from the Kewalo Basin in Honolulu near Waikiki Beach or Ko Olina on the island’s west side.

3. Maui

West Maui is where you’ll find the best deep sea fishing. Fishing on this island is seasonally based though you can catch fish all year. The best time to fish here is from May to June, called the ‘golden zone.’ It is when marlin, tuna, mahi mahi, and trevally are abundant. Many fish in Oahu can also be spotted in Maui; pacific blue, ono, barracuda, sharks, and Hawaiian salmon. Fishing charters are found around Maalaea Harbor and Lahaina Harbor.

4. Hawaii a.k.a. the Big Island

The Big Island is divided into two regions, Kona in the west and Hilo in the east. Kona can be found in the west, where you can find tons of beautiful beaches and otherworldly lava fields. It is the home of Kailua-Kona, a renowned sport fishing town; Hilo contains waterfalls, jungles, and the world’s most active volcano, Kilauea. You can also catch mahi mahi and hebi from the Big Island all year.

5. Molokai

Molokai has the reputation of being the ‘real’ Hawaii as it gets very few tourists and has the largest percentage of an indigenous population. It is home to the state’s longest wharf,  Kaunakakai Pier. You can also visit 700-year-old fish farms in the island’s center. Deep sea targets you can chase in Molokai’s fertile waters are marlin, ahi, ono, and mahi mahi. Bottom fishing using live bait is a popular way to nab some sport fish. Guide services are based around Kaunakakai Harbor.

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6. Lanai

Lanai is one of the smallest inhabited islands; its southwest shoreline was the traditional fishing grounds of Hawaiian royalty. The prized catches from this Martian-like island are mahi mahi, ono, ahi, and marlin. The spring and summer months are best suited for deep sea fishing on Lanai. Charters depart from Manele Harbor early in the morning.

7. Kailua-Kona

Kailua-Kona is the Big Island’s marlin gem. Aside from being a prominent fishing community, it also hosts the International Billfish Tournament. Kailua-Kona is known for having some of the world's largest blue marlin and holds numerous big game records. It is also where you can find the finest charter fleet in Hawaii.

8. Honolulu

Ohau is arguably the most prolific of the Hawaiian islands, and Honolulu is its pride and joy. The state capital is known for its amazing marlin, tuna, and wahoo fisheries. Honolulu Harbor is also the principal marina and seaport for the whole state, letting you easily access local charters and guides. Most fishing activities in Oahu are done in Honolulu’s Kewalo Basin.

9. Haleiwa

Haleiwa is located at Oahu's famous North Shore. The North Shore does not only offer exciting fishing adventures but is renowned for its world-class surfing and big waves. Some big game fish you can find there are ahi, blue marlin, mahi mahi, and aku.

10. Lahaina

West Maui’s Lahaina is known as the Windsurfing Capital of the World, but it also boasts fantastic fishing. Lahaina is where you’ll find plenty of trophy fish and an abundance of blue marlin. There is also plenty of mahi mahi and ono in its open waters.

Other Deep Sea Fishing Destinations

Plenty of other places in the United States offer amazing angling adventures in the deep sea. Rockport deep sea fishing trips are very popular in Texas. Check out Nauti Hookers Guide Service as they guide you into battling fish around Aransas Bay. Reel Off Charters is a premier South Padre Island fishing charter that lets you enjoy miles of clear, emerald water. Coral Sea Charters and Sea Horse Deep Sea Fishing are the guides you should look up if you want to experience deep sea fishing in the Florida Keys.