Hawaii is a beautiful tropical escape. Its islands are filled with miles of green pastures, colorful plants, large hills, and volcanic mountains. Not only that, but it has miles and miles of blue waters along the coasts where locals and tourists come together to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. You may find some enjoying the resorts, taking in the island’s nature, or enjoying their day on the beach. And then you have the ones seeking the outdoor adventure of a lifetime by going Marlin fishing in Hawaii.
Marlin fishing in Hawaii gives a hands-on experience with some mighty creatures of the sea. These fish are sought-after because of their unique build, large size, and intense power and strength. Experienced anglers and individuals just getting into fishing, all are aware of the power these fish hold. Indeed, they’re a bucket list fish for many. Let’s find out how you can tick it off.
Why should you go Marlin fishing in Hawaii?
First things first. Why Hawaii? And why Marlin? I’ll answer the first question to begin with…
Hawaii is an excellent spot to go Marlin fishing because of the geographic features the area holds. The waters reach deep depths, providing miles of water for these species to roam around. Hawaii also holds most of the world’s reefs, so they are booming with all different kinds of species, further populating the surrounding waters, which brings in these Marlin.
There are a variety of Marlin species in Hawaii, with the most popular being Blue, Black, and Striped Marlin. All three species are pretty similar but there are a couple of things that can set them apart…
Blue are the biggest, then Black, and then Striped. When it comes to their bills, they each vary a little. The Blue Marlin also has the longest bill, with Black coming in second with a shorter bill. The Striped Marlin’s bill is mostly similar to that of a Black Marlin, but their faces are a bit smaller.
The key difference that you’ll notice between these three is their color – hence their names! Black Marlin have a black strip along the top of their body. Meanwhile, Blue Marlin and Striped Marlin have similar striped looks. However, Blue Marlin has smaller blue stripes while Striped Marlin are darker in color and their stripes are larger.
While the three are popular in Hawaii, Blue Marlin top the list as they’re most abundant. Blues are very aggressive and tough fighters, which many anglers like, as they put up intense and challenging battles. The rewarding feeling of successfully catching a Blue Marlin is like no other.
Marlin can also be turned into a great filet that can fill your stomach. Popular recipes and cooking styles include sushi, oven-baked, grilled, smoked, ceviche, tacos, and many more With a fish that big, you can feed a whole family and more! And, as they’re so abundant in Hawaii, the regulations aren’t as strict here as on the mainland.
Hawaii Marlin Fishing Seasons
Marlin are actually found year-round in Hawaii, therefore you can find luck hooking up to one any time of the year. However, the species present may vary. There are certain times of the year when you may find more of a certain Marlin species compared to others. But the summer will be the best time of year overall. During these months, pretty much all Marlin species will be out and about.
A good reason why you should go Marlin fishing in Hawaii in the summer is because a lot of their prey will be on the prowl as well. Favorite meals of Marlin include tuna, mackerel, jacks, mahi, flying fish, and squid. A lot of these species are very prevalent during the summer and their populations will be high, therefore Marlin will be more present trying to catch ’em.
You’ll find Marlin scanning waters, looking for tasty meals. And if you have what they’re looking for, you can easily catch their attention. Marlin use their long bills to slice through their prey, stunning or killing it, before eating it afterwards.
Time of Day and Tide
Another thing to look at when it comes to Marlin fishing in Hawaii is the time of day. During the day, Marlin may dive a little deeper to reach cooler temperatures and avoid the beaming rays of the sun. They’ll also do this to look for prey that may be doing the same thing – especially squid. Earlier morning near sunrise will probably provide the best results. Usually, you’ll have to troll your bait or drop it down deep to have the best chances at hooking some Marlin.
Marlin aren’t only present during the day, however. They have been known to feed at night, too. One difference when it comes to day and night fishing for Marlin – at night they come closer to the surface to feed. This means you don’t have to drop your bait as low and you can use lures or bait that are closer to the surface. This may provide more heart-racing moments if you can see or hear them approach!
Another thing to consider is the tide. When you’re deep sea fishing, the tide may not seem like a big deal, but it can be influential to your fishing results. You want a strong tide that pushes the current, even if you think you’re far out and it won’t matter. When you have a strong current, it will push lots of bait fish out to deeper waters, as well as stir up nutrients from the bottom. Here, many fish will be in a feeding frenzy, which will attract the Marlin. Some say it’s best to fish around full moon tides, as Marlin are extra strong around this time.
How to Go Marlin Fishing in Hawaii
Before you get out on the water, you’ll need to get yourself a Hawaii saltwater fishing license – unless you’re a Hawaiian resident or work in the military, that is. All other non-Hawaiians over the age of 15 will need to get a license.
Now to get into how to go Marlin fishing in Hawaii. First, you’ll need to know where to go. As most of Hawaii’s waters have deep depths and plenty of marine life, really anywhere a bit offshore should provide good results. And, in Hawaii, you can be hundreds to a thousand feet deep just a few minutes from shore!
A couple of key hotspots for Marlin fishing in Hawaii include Kailua-Kona, Kauai, Maui, Honolulu, and more. Not only will you have great chances at hooking some nice Marlin, but you’ll have beautiful scenic views and gorgeous water to accompany you. You may even see other sea life passing by as well.
The best way to catch Marlin is by trolling out a live or dead bait and letting the boat drag them along. This will allow you to reach a good length as you come across varying areas in the water. Down below, if you come across a spot where Marlin are hanging, they can then come up to grab your bait.
You don’t have to use real bait though. Artificials work very well too. Anything that can capture the attention of a Marlin, such as lures with bright, flashy colors with pieces that can flow throughout the water can work well.
You can choose between light or heavy tackle, as some Marlin may not be too big. But it may be best to just use heavy tackle in case a big one takes your bait. You can’t really predict what size will bite, so in my opinion, if you know there’s chances of big ones being around, it’s best to just use the larger setup. If booking with a charter, they’ll most likely already have a variety of gear for you to choose from.
As mentioned earlier, wherever you go, try to find somewhere with deeper depths, other surrounding fish, and some water movement from currents. If you find this, you shouldn’t have any issue locating some hungry Marlin.
Marlin Fishing in Hawaii: An Adventure Like No Other
Marlin fishing in Hawaii is a bucket list trip for many. And for locals, it’s almost like being on a tropical vacation each day! Whether you already go deep sea fishing in your region, or perhaps if you even fish inshore only, Marlin fishing in Hawaii will be a unique trip. This gorgeous location with miles of deep blue waters carries plenty of species out there all hungry and waiting for some bait to swing by. Marlin being the biggest and the best of them.
While you can fly down to Hawaii, it’s a great idea to book a fishing charter that can take you directly to the hotspots and even provide the gear for you. These locals know their way around Hawaii’s waters and can get you on big fish. You can limit your search to Marlin specifically and you’ll be met with many captains eager to help you create your next fishing memory. Come Marlin fishing in Hawaii for your next angling adventure. And what an adventure it will be!
Have you ever been Marlin fishing in Hawaii? How big was your catch? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!