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Fishing Charters on Maui

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Maui Fishing Charters

Every Maui deep sea fishing aficionado knows the adrenaline rush of a fish-strike - the high-pitched whine of the line uncoiling from a smoking reel, the scramble to strap into the fighting chair and the first glimpse of a silver adversary far behind the boat.


Few experiences compare to the drama and exhilaration of finding yourself at the business end of a fishing line attached to a Pacific Blue Marlin.


Where do the Maui fishing charters depart from?

Lahaina and Maalaea harbors are well-known throughout the island chain as the places to find the finest sport fishing charters and deep sea fishing charters in Maui.


If you are staying on the West side of the island in Kaanapali, Napili, Kahana, Kapalua or Lahaina your closest Maui fishing charter is going to be from Lahaina Harbor.


If you're staying anywhere on the southern coast like Kihei, Wailea, Makena or Maalaea or staying somewhere upcountry your closest departure for Maui Sport fishing is going to be from Maalaea.


What types of fish are caught?

The waters around Maui are home to the Pacific Blue, Striped and Short Billed Marlin, the Skipjack and Yellowfin Tuna, Mahimahi, 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.


Types of Maui Sport Fishing Boats:

Fishing boats are available in a variety of sizes and come equipped with a whole range of gear, from basic equipment to the best in state-of-the-art big game sport fishing.


Some boats offer large salons, stereo systems, galleys with microwave oven, refrigerator and freezer, showers, covered bridge, cellular phone, air conditioning, color video fish finders, Penn International reels and rock-away fighting chairs.


Bottom fishing off Maui is fun too!

You drop your line over the side and just about always catch something, although the fish are usually much smaller than the big game varieties found of the Maui sport fishing charters.


Most of the Maui bottom fishing consists of drifts in about a hundred feet of water or so.


The types of fish you will likely catch on Maui bottom fishing charters are Ta'ape Gray Snapper and Trevally as well as a number of other varieties.


People are always happy to catch fish on their fishing charters even if they may only be five pounds or so, but you never know, much larger fish are occasionally caught on Maui bottom fishing charters.


Best Months of the year for fishing in Maui:

Of course, with regard to Maui fishing, every type of fish caught on Maui has its particular times when it is more likely to be caught.


With regard to the most popular types of Maui big game fish however the "golden zone" is May and 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.


If you extrapolate outward a couple of months on each side you will still be in the peak fishing seasons.


That being said, if you're not coming during that time of year don't simply blow off your trip...........remember: a bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work! One additional note: Bottom Fishing on Maui is usually great all year long.


Yearly weather conditions as they relate to Maui fishing:

Maui fishing charters will go our all year long and can, and do catch fish at all times of the year.


Maui fishing conditions on Maui fishing charters can vary considerably depending upon the day.


As a rule you can expect the rougher weather and water conditions to happen during the storm season in the winters.


Storm seas at that time can make things uncomfortable for Maui fishing charters 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.


It is not always possible to pick the best days for fishing on Maui during the winter as one day can be very different from the next so just like all forms of fishing itself, you simply pay your money and take your chances because fishing, as you know, has no guarantees.


During the summer months the seas can be a bit more predictable having a constant predominance of the 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.


Some things you should know about sport fishing on Maui:



  • Private charters book the whole boat for the exclusive use of you and your group.

    If you are a serious fisherman, generally speaking the private charter route is the best way to go. If you charter your own boat you will be guaranteed to know the people you will be fishing with. You will also have more say with the captain regarding the decisions that will be made regarding where you will fish and what type of fish you will be on the hunt for. You also have the advantage on a private Maui fishing charter to have the whole boat to yourself or maybe just one other friend. We have booked charters over the years for a week straight with just one fisherman on board..........pricy, yes..........but you're enjoying your fishing charter with no-one to interrupt.

  • You may choose to go on a "share boat" with a group of people, usually maximum 6.

    This is going to be the least expensive way to arrange for a Maui fishing charter. The share boat charters do have some downsides but not enough to torpedo your fishing adventure. First off most boats usually need four persons before they can confirm a fishing charter. If you are a couple (which is how most people come) you will not be able to confirm your charter until at least another couple signs up. This in itself can skewer your vacation planning because that day will remain in flux until booked. Secondly, you have no control over who else your fishing mates will be and you will have less say with the captain as to what type of fish you will be going after and what areas you will be going fishing on Maui.

  • Fishing trips are 4 hours, 6 hours, or 8 hours.

    Generally speaking, your best bet if you're seriously interested in catching fish is to take a longer charter. The six-hour Maui fishing charters are really the shortest we would recommend for this reason: Although fish can be, and are caught just after leaving the harbors, the best fishing zones are usually in the deeper water an hour away on the back side of Lanai or Kahoolawe. By the time you reach the fishing grounds you've already spent an hour of your charter and with an hour to get back only leaves you about two hours to fish the more likely places to catch fish. If you take a six-hour charter you literally double your fishing in the best spots and of course an eight hour tour will give you six hours there. With all being said and done, the longer the Maui fishing charter, the better your chances are for catching fish.

  • Fishing trips can leave in the morning or afternoon.

    Fish of course can be caught at any time of day but usually the morning charters offer the best in the way of calm ocean conditions and lack of wind.

  • All equipment, licenses, instruction and ice are provided by the boat, everything else is left for you to bring.

    You will need to prepare your lunch to bring on board and bringing beer along is a time honored tradition. The odd Hawaiian custom of not allowing bananas on board is relentlessly adhered to as they are said to bring bad luck and your clothing should be appropriate for the day. Most fishing charters on Maui take place in the heat of the day and so sunscreen is a must. Some type of waterproof jacket will often be well advised on days that are overcast.

  • The "tag and release" option is usually left up to you.

    Discuss this with the captain at the beginning of your trip so there will be no surprises.

  • The general custom on Maui fishing charters is to allow the boat to keep the fish.

    This enables them to make up for the cost of lost lures and ever-increasing fuel costs. The crew will usually make sure you are given enough filets from the fish to take home to enjoy a great fish-fry but once again this should be made known before the charter begins on any specific Maui fishing boat.


Pride of America Cruise Ship:

Sport Fishing and Bottom Fishing Charters departing from Maui do not pick up at the cruise ship but may be reached via a Rent-A-Car that Tom Barefoot's Tours will arrange for you and that will pick you up at the Harbor. View the 'restrictions' area after you click on each of the Maui Fishing Charter companies listed below for specifics regarding the cruise ship itinerary.

Look for this symbol in the tour descriptions below to indicate if it is Pride of America compatible.

Fishing Charters Sorted by Specific Tour


Fishing Charters Sorted by Company

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Lopaka's Aloha Adventures

1 Activity Option

Lopaka's Aloha Adventures Hog Hunting

Experience wild pig hunting in the traditional "Hawaiian style," on a 4 hour hunt through pristine Honokohau Valley of the West Maui Mountains, using knives or spears and dogs only. These animals are not fenced, fed or watered and are 100% wild. Walk through beautiful lush fern country rarely visited by even most locals. Catch is not guaranteed but is likely. You'll have the choice to tag and release or put it down.
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(2 Reviews, 5 Stars)

Start Me Up Sportfishing

2 Activity Options

42' L.O.A. Bertram Sportfisher

Spanning both the islands of Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii, the company 'Start Me Up Sportfishing' offers sport fishing tours out of Lahaina and the Kona Coast. Each boat is a 'fishing machine', 43' Bertram Sport Fisher. These folks are serious fisherman and have a complement of daily departures that range from 2, 4, 6, 8, and 9 hours in duration. Charters can either be shared or private and carry a maximum of 6 passengers.
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(1 Review, 5 Stars)

Luckey Strike Fishing Charters

3 Activity Options

50' Delta Marine

The "Lucky Strike" is one of the larger fishing boats in Maui's fishing fleet. She is a fifty foot Delta Marine fishing vessel that is equipped with two marine heads, a spacious cabin, enclosed fly bridge, global positioning system, fish finder, auto pilot, Penn International gear, radar, two fighting chairs and large fish coolers.
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(9 Reviews, 4.8 Stars)

Strike Zone Sportfishing

2 Activity Options

43' Delta Sportfishing Yacht

The 43' Delta 'Strike Zone' which operates out of Maalaea Harbor on Maui will take you out for sport fishing or for bottom fishing. Charters for either types of fishing can be arranged and even for a charter offering both on the same trip. Pure sport fishing will accommodate only 6 fisherman but the bottom fishing charters can accommodate 12 to 16 fisherman and a few guests for a maximum of 20 passengers on board.
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(1 Review, 4 Stars)

Aloha Blue Charters

3 Activity Options

40' Power Catamaran

Aloha Blue Charters is unique in that it provides a 40' jet drive boat for use as a snorkel boat to Molokini and surrounding Maui snorkel locations but also is an ideal vessel for bottom fishing excursions and is also used for whale watching during whale season. It carries a maximum of 35 passengers on its snorkeling tours and has enough room on board for its fishing trips to allow for 10 separate anglers.
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(1 Review, 4 Stars)

Rascal Sportfishing

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43' Bertram

One of the great boats we have to take you fishing out of Maalaea Harbor is the "Rascal." The Rascal has been in operation for quite some time, and has an excellent reputation for catching fish.
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Hinatea Sport Fishing

2 Activity Options

41' Hatteras Twin Diesel Sport Fisher

One of the oldest run companies and most reliable sport fishing boats in the Lahaina fleet is the Hinatea. This is a large fishing boat, a 41' Hatteras Sport Fisher. With Twin Cummins Turbo-charged Diesel Engines this boat has all the power necessary to get out to the deep waters.
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UFO Parasail

1 Activity Option

Parasail, Custom Speed Boats

UFO Parasail offers exciting parasail flights on both Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii. Maui tours only operate between May and early December when the whales are not visiting these waters but the Big Island is in operation year round. You will have an opportunity to fly on a parasail pulled by 800' or 1200' of line and will be in the air either 8 to 10, or 10 to 12 minutes.
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Wailea Boating Company

1 Activity Option

36' Power Boat, 36' Powerboat (Private Charters)

If you're like many people you won't want to share your fantastic Maui ocean experience with others but would prefer to make it a day for just your own family or perhaps just for you and a couple other friends. The Wailea Boating Company may just be the boat for you as you'll be able to discuss the itinerary of your boating adventure with your captain and go off and enjoy the day. The 36', six passenger vessel is clean and comfortable.
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Kainani Maui Sailing Charters

2 Activity Options

Kainani Maui Sailing Charters

Her modern yacht shape, spacious interior, and blue water sailing capabilities make her the perfect Hawaii sailing charter boat. She is also available for Memorials at Sea or Ash Scattering Services and special requests.
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Freedive Hawaii

3 Activity Options

Freedive Hawaii

Join Benjamin Zyons and his staff for some Spearfishing and Free diving in Hawaii's proving grounds. Surfers can improve their standard with the surf survival course. Learn to hone your ocean exploration skills one breath at a time.
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This video segment is going to be about Maui and Fishing Charters.

Fishing is really popular on Maui, It always has been. Basically, we have two different kinds of fishing that are offered. The most popular without question is the sportfishing. This is what everybody thinks of I think when they think about Hawaii fishing. We go up trolling on a fishing boat, you're going at speed, you've got the lines trolling, and you've got lures on the lines and the fish go after them. The big fish go after them and thinking that they're smaller fish, and that's how you get the big fish. It's pretty exciting, sometimes a little bit boring continuously going and going, but as soon as you get one on the end of the business line of the fish. You're really in a situation where it's excitement plus. You've got that sportfishing as the one kind.

The other kind that we have is bottom fishing. Bottom fishing is a little different. You take the boat out, you go to a place where you think fish are going to be on the bottom. You just throw the line overboard, and you go down so many feet to get to the bottom, and then you're fishing fish off the bottom. The difference primarily is that you're getting much smaller fish when you're doing the bottom fishing, but also you're catching more, almost catching fish when you go out bottom fishing. Maybe not quite the excitement that you get when you're doing the big game fishing or the sportfishing. But yet they're great. They're usually smaller days, maybe a half day or something like that as rule for the bottom fishing. The rest of about what are we going to be talking about is sportfishing because that's the main thing.

People that go out sportfishing, go out in increments in a half-day, 3-quarter day, or a full-day. This is either 4 hours, 6 hours, or 8 hours. If you're out for 8 hours and you got something big hooked up, you're going to be staying out a little bit longer too. Those are the way they're segmented, but also they're divided into share boats or private. Most of the boats that we have here on Maui, not all but the majority of them carries 6 people. That's the maximum member that you're going to be able to take. On a share boat, you're going to have a couple, or maybe going with a couple and you've got the boat full. On a private, that's where one guy or two guys could take the entire boat as a private, they don't deal with other people, jus them and the crew and it gives you a little bit more of a say and what kind of fish you want to go after. What kind of day you wanted to look at, talk to the captains that will probably advise you as for where are the best fishing would be for the day, and you could take as advice or not. Basically, you're in charge of what's going on and can go out there and pretty much be by yourself. Over the course of years, many people just take boats out by themselves and just prefer that way. Serious fisherman, I had one guy one time I've remembered years ago went out by himself for 10 days in a row on a private 8 hour. The guy was serious to fish, that's all he wanted to do and he had a great time. But you can have a great time too on the share boats, and they're much less expensive to take those.

Generally, you can take a maximum of 6 people. Usually, you need a minimum of 4 people to confirm which makes a little bit more difficult. If you're a part of two and you want to go out sportfishing and we call around to try to find a boat, and nobody is on the boat at all. We can't take the boat out. We need another couple at least to confirm the boat so that you can go out fishing. A lot of times though, people can go ahead and decide to go, "how about if I buy the other two people to make it four people but there's only two of us?" Well, that will get you out and actually, that's going to be a lesser price then if you went on a private. Of course, if another party of two came along, they put them on that boat and then you would be with another couple and you paid for four of the seats. Generally, the breakeven point is going to be about five seats. Purchasing five seats as a share is going to be approximately the cost of taking an entire boat as a private. But anyway, you can have it one way or the other.

Let's take a look at the islands here. From Maui, these are the leeward sides, this is generally the best places to go fishing where it works a little bit calmer. It can be really rough over here, people go out to Hana and do fishing and so on. Usually on their own or commercially, but it's just not the best weather conditions or sea conditions for going out and enjoying a day.

We usually fish in these areas. The two areas that you'll go out of are either Lahaina Harbor or Maalaea Harbor, those are the two spots. You've got a little bit more access to the Pailolo Channel and backside of Lanai if you're going out of Lahaina, and in Maalaea, you've got more access off to Kaho'olawe and so on. We catch in abundance and either one of these areas. One of the things that are kind of curious about the fishing here is that this is the top of a giant mountain, all of these islands and then what separates the islands is really kind of narrow channels that happened. There really shallow, they're between Lanai and Maui it's about 110-120 feet and it's deepest points is about 600 feet in the Pailolo channel and some points in between in here. So you're in the fairly shallow water. Generally speaking, your bigger fish like you catch on Kona and so on that are going to be found in the deeper water. We have deeper water here too, but it's located more around the periphery of where this underground mountain comes up. So you get on the backside of Lanai, the back side of Kaho'olawe, in these areas you're getting into the deep water and you get maybe a little bit better fishing at times. We catch giant fish right here just off the coast of Lahaina sometimes. You'll never know what's going to happen. The deeper water is better.

You've got this little paradox in the sense where you're mostly for serious fishing, you're heading out to the deeper water. That means from either Lahaina or from Maalaea harbor, getting out to these areas that are deeper is going to take some time. Maybe it takes about 45 minutes, maybe it takes an hour or depending on where you go or the speed of your boat. But that kind of plays into what kind of day you might actually go out fishing. If you take a half day which is four hours. Let's say, it takes an hour to get out to the deeper water here, and the back side and the buoys that they have out here.

Now you've spent and hour going out, and an hour going back and then two hours left to really kind of fish the deep water. Half of your charter, half of your day has been and probably less than perfect conditions for fishing. If you do the 6-hour, then you've got two hours out and back, but you got 4 hours, right? That will double your fishing time but you haven't doubled your price. The price doesn't double between the 4-hour to a 6-hour, and of course, if you're out for an 8-hour, you're out there for 6 hours or more. If you're really a serious fisherman and you really want to catch fish. If that's your desire, you're really want to go for the full day. But they're fun anytime that you take and go out. I think 6 hours are really kind of the right amount of time even for somebody who is not really interested in fishing that's going along for the ride with you. It's not too boring, for fisherman they don't think about that way at all but just a passenger it might be a little bit different. Anyway, that's the 4, the 6, and the 8 hours. What kind of fish do we catch here? We catch everything that you catch in the Hawaiian islands. We catch the big fish the Marlin, those happen here, we catch the Skipjack and the Yellowfin Tuna, the Aku and the Ahi. We catch the Wahoo, the Mahi-Mahi and all of the fish that you would see in one of the major restaurants on the island.

As far as times of here to fish, the better time is going to be summer time. That's actually in May and June are great months getting into summer. Those are also good on the periphery in those months, it's good. It is lesser the rest of the year, that's just the way it is. In general, that's not to say you can't catch fish all year long and we do, but if you're to make a generalization that would probably be the summer time is the best. Don't let that deter you if you're going to be here in September or October, November. It is still fun to go out and just the thrill of the catch and everything like that. You don't want to not go because it's not the best time of year. But if you're one of those serious guys that's planning your vacation around it, you might want to get here in the summer time and take your chances at that point.

The weather conditions throughout the year, that kind of plays into it as well. The summer time is going to be a calmer condition for you. The waters are not going to be as rough. If we are going to have rough days, it is probably going to be in the certain days during the winter months and of course, the days when it's not rough are some of the most beautiful days that we have all year long. I love those days. You'll never know what you're going to get. Everything is a little bit different but summer is usually calmer weather, calmer seas, more sunshine, and less rain. That's kind of what happens.

I guess that's about it. Those are the main things. Let me mention something about the catch of the fish, cause people do get confused with this and sometimes it irritated by as well. These boats that we have, they take 6 people out. You've got all these fuel costs and kind of a lot of manpower to go out for 6 or 8 hours on these boats. Mostly these guys do it because they love to fish, and it kind of comes off. That's why you wanted to be out there with these guys. But as far as making money, it costs money to go out. Do they make a lot of money after expenses really? Not a whole lot, mostly the guys doing this, they do it because they love it. Part of the way that they actually can make some money to justify them going out all day long and enjoying the fishing is that in most cases they're going to keep the fish and sell it to the restaurants. That's what they look for. But for you, that's all the motivation, these guys have the motivation to go out and do it. It really benefits you in that way. Don't feel like you're not going to get some fish. Every boat is different it's like the wild west out there in terms of all the policies that happened but generally, you catch a big fish. They're going to take that into a restaurant to get some money on that fish, that's going to subsidize that fishing charter. But they're going to being able to cut off some fillets, and they'll ask you how many people you've got back at the condo and then they'll cut off enough fish and you guys can go out, go back that night and have a good fish frying and tell stories about catching the fish and all that. But that's generally the way it works. The most people are not going to be prepared to take a gigantic fish and fit on it in the rent-a-car anyway. In any event, that's the way that works.

Those are few things about sport fishing and bottom fishing on the island of Maui, and good luck!


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