Imagine yourself a few miles off the Oahu shoreline on a boat trailing colorful lures. The morning sun is rising as the captain heads toward his favorite fishing grounds. You’re scanning the horizon for evidence of baitfish and birds flying just above the waterline, telltale signs of plentifulfish. All you can see for miles is deep blue ocean and the Honolulu skyscape receding in the distance.
No reason to daydream about deep-sea fishing when you can charter a fishing boat and get the real thing. There are a number of fishing charters to choose from in the Waikiki/Honolulu area, most moored in Kewalo Basin just minutes from Waikiki.
Rewards on the end of the line might include: Mahi mahi prized for its light, moist, flaky flesh, Ahi (yellowfin tuna), which makes sashimi or Ono (Wahoo), a game fish known for its long, hard runs at speeds up to 45 mph. Ono is considered a trophy fish and its name in Hawaiian means delicious. The ultimate sport fish is the Pacific Blue Marlin ranging from 100 to over 1,000 pounds.
Tradition dictates that charter services provide all the equipment, including bait. There are charters that offer deep-sea fishing, bottom-fishing, light tackle specialists, and tag and release. And if nothing is running, or all you come back with are stories about the one (two, three) that got away, remember that very few Oahu visitors have the opportunity to enjoy the whale's-eye view that fishermen get while motoring in and around the island's poster-perfect caves and cliffs.
Most charter companies will share a portion of the day's catch, while a few will allow you to keep your catch. Many local fishermen make a living through fish sales and tips. When you book your charter, specify whether you would like a private or a shared charter, and what type of fishing you would like to do. Tag and release has gained recognition as a valuable part of billfish conservation efforts. A fish is usually released unless it is injured, won't survive if released, or if the fish is a potential world record.
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