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Top Fishing Charters in Maui

Fishing in Maui

Maui may not be as famous as the neighboring Big Island but it still has a huge amount to offer anglers. Maui fishing charters get groups on the fish of a lifetime every week of the year. Billfish never leave town and Tuna are always on the menu. And there’s more to “The Valley Isle” than its big game fisheries. Local coral reefs are home to a huge range of food fish, and even shore fishing will hook enough hard-fighters to keep seasoned sport fishers happy. This may be Hawaii’s second largest island, but Maui fishing is far from second best!
 
Most Maui fishing trips leave from the port towns of Lahaina and Ma'alaea, on the island’s southwest coast. These waters are saved from the strong winds that batter the north of the island. If you’re visiting during the winter, it won’t just be fish that you’ll find in these sheltered waters. They are also home to huge populations of humpback whales, making for a great view on the way out to the fishing grounds - as if the island itself wasn’t stunning enough!

Types of Fishing

You can have a great time fishing basically any spot around Maui. So many different species swarm these islands that they’ve earned their name, “The Paradise of the Pacific.” How you fish will depend on what you’re after but here are the main styles you can expect on your trip.
 

Deep Sea Fishing

No prizes for guessing what tops the list. Big game pelagics rule the waves across the “Aloha State” and Maui sport fishing charters will get you on more monsters than a day in Jurassic Park. 
 
You may be surprised to hear that travel times are actually a thing in Maui. You won’t find the instant abyss that many of the islands are famous for and could have to travel for almost an hour to get to the best fishing grounds. However, if you can somehow endure this epic journey, you will find much lower fishing pressure than you would fishing out of Kona or Honolulu. 
 
The season hits its peak during the middle of summer but deep sea fishing is a year-round activity in Hawaii. You can expect Blue and Striped Marlin, Shortbill Spearfish, Ahi (Yellowfin and Bigeye Tuna), Ono (Wahoo), and Mahi Mahi, whatever time of year you visit.
 

Wreck & Reef Fishing

If you don’t have time to head offshore, or just fancy something different, Maui reef fishing trips can be great fun and send you home with a ton of tasty fish! You’ll be going after the “Deep 7” - a group made up of various Snappers, Jobfish, and the Hawaiian Grouper. You can also find Amberjack and various Trevallies and Wrasses, all within easy reach of town. The “Deep 7” have a tightly-controlled closed season that changes every year. This closed seasons usually runs throughout the summer, right when the Billfish bite is at its best. So it’s not like you’ll be short of fish to catch!
 

Shore Fishing

If you want to catch a range of game fish without setting foot on a boat, you’re in luck! The great thing about the shore fishing Maui has access to is the wide range of species you can target. Bonefish, Triggerfish, Parrotfish, Needlefish, Trevallies, Wrasses - the list just keeps going. You don’t have to head to remote spots to find them, either. Even fishing from Lahaina Beach can land you some great catches.

Fishing Techniques

Maui fishing guides blend traditional local techniques with 21st-century innovations to get you on some of the biggest fish on the planet. A lot of the go-to tactics for landing trophy fish were developed here in Hawaii. They are used to this day with devastating effect onboard Maui fishing charters.
 
Hit the reefs, and you have the choice of spearfishing or bottom fishing. Maui bottom fishing charters will bag you the best range of species, heading to deep-water reefs to target big Snapper, Grouper, Jobfish, and more. Spearfishing in Maui may not send you packing with such a huge haul but the rush of each catch is like nothing else. You will be fishing local waters, going after Triggerfish, Gray (Mangrove) Snapper, and other shallow reef species.
 
Spearfishing can also be great fun offshore but is not recommended for beginners - or even capable amateurs. If you’re new to spearguns, do yourself a favor and try a trolling trip instead. Trolling is hands down the best deep sea fishing Maui has to offer. Monster Billfish tear up the topwaters all summer long chasing baits and lures. Ahi and Ono are often caught on metal jet head lures, which were actually invented in Hawaii. Blue Marlin go for lures just as eagerly, but you will often be trolling live, bridled Tunas to bring the biggest ones in.

Need To Know

You don’t need a license to fish in Hawaii's seas, whether you’re on a charter or fishing from shore. Many of Hawaii’s reef fish are prone to ciguatera poisoning, making them toxic to eat. Deep-water species are usually safe, and your captain will always advise you on whether or not you should eat a specific fish. Large fish caught from shore or from piers are best released to save both you and your catch from a world of trouble. 
 
Hawaiian charter boats always split the catch between the client and the crew. It is legal to harvest and sell Billfish in Hawaii, so these may also be kept. If you’re a strong believer in catch-and-release, it’s best to discuss what will happen to the fish ahead of time. Your captain normally won’t mind releasing healthy fish, but they may change their tactics to increase their chances of survival.
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Maui Fishing Seasons

Even in the depths of winter, the Maui fishing calendar reads like an all-star guest list. Bigeye Tuna are at their peak, as are tasty reef species like Amberjack and Blue Line Snapper.

Shortbill Spearfish are around in big numbers by February, and Marlin are always a possibility on deep sea fishing trips. This is a great chance to see humpback whales, too!

Get in some productive bottom fishing for Hawaii’s “Deep 7” or head offshore in search of Ahi, Ono, Shortbill Spearfish, and Striped Marlin. You’re never short of big fish in Maui!

With the winter rains over and the summer crowds still on their way, April is a great time for shore fishing. When you’re done, head to the East Maui Taro Festival to try delicious local dishes.

Locals celebrate the ocean and everything it brings them in the traditional Olukai Hoolaulea festival in May. Check it out then head offshore to see what the ocean will bring you!

Big game season is well underway by June, with huge numbers of Blue Marlin offshore. This is some of the best Marlin fishing Maui sees all year, so get out there and enjoy.

The Striped Marlin bite starts cooling off in July, but the Blue Marlin are still biting like crazy. Shortbill Spearfish are also around in big numbers, making a Billfish Slam a real possibility!

Huge Ahi (of the yellow-finned variety) put offshore anglers through their paces in August. Far below them, Swordfish lurk in the dark, waiting for something flashy to drift their way. 

Fishing from shore can hook you anything from Gray Snapper to Bluefin and Giant Trevally in September. Offshore, the Ahi bite goes out with a bang, in a fury of boiling topwaters.

The Lahaina Yacht Club has been bringing competitive anglers together for over 40 years to enjoy the Fall Jackpot Tournament. Head out in search of monster Billfish in this exciting event.

The busy beaches and big crowds of summer seem a distant memory by November. This is actually one of the nicest times to visit, though, and a great time fish from shore or on the reefs.

Hawaii has to be the best place in the world to spend the holidays. Bag some monster bottom fish for dinner, then relax on the beach into the night - there’s no chance of a White Christmas here!

Maui Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Maui

"Awesome trip Crew was very friendly"

Thomas Terras fished with UFO Adventures - Cooper V on July 10, 2017

Be prepared to catch fish and have a great time !

Top Fishing Techniques in Maui

  1. Deep Sea Fishing
  2. Bottom Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Maui

Amberjack

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Snapper (Red)

Tuna (Skipjack)

Top Maui Destinations