Fishing on the Big Island

Nature writer Harry Middleton proclaimed fishing not to be an escape from life but a deeper immersion into it. What better place to dive into life’s depths than the Big Island of Hawaiʻi? Fishing in Hawaiʻi is much more than a sport. It’s an ancient, cultural tradition still deeply embedded into many Native Hawaiian communities. In fact, many local families regularly rely on their daily catches to feed their families.

Kona – The Fishing Capitol of Hawaii

While all of Hawaiʻi offers outstanding fishing opportunities, the Kona District on the west side of the Big Island is arguably the best fishing location in the state. Although low in population density, the majority of the state’s fishing charters depart from Kona. Additionally, the largest fishing competition, the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament, attracts international teams of anglers wanting to compete in what is referred to as the “Grandfather of all big game fishing tournaments.”

Deep-Sea Fishing

Visitors wanting to cast their lines out in search of marlin, mahimahi, ono and ahi, can rent deep-sea charters out of Honokohau Harbor just north of Kailua Village or check out the less crowded Captain Jack’s fishing charter out of the serene Keauhou Bay just south of Kailua Village. Read more

The Kona Coast is famous for sports fishing, and charter boats offer a day filled with adventure. From full-day private charters to half-day share trips, charter boats provide all the tackle, ice, and a cooler. You may need to bring your own food and beverages, depending on the charter company.

Shore Fishing

Charter boats can be pricy, so for visitors on a budget, or just wanting to spend a serene day casting and gazing into the water, shore fishing is the perfect alternative. You don’t need a license to fish from the shoreline and you may even meet a new friend or two and “talk story.” Just take a drive up the coastline and you’ll see poles set up on the rocks or in the sand. Shore fishing brings in smaller catches, but plenty of fun. Pack a picnic lunch, sunscreen, and a comfy beach chair and have a relaxing day in paradise. Whether you reel in a big one from the boat deck, or catch your dinner from the shore, you’ll have a great fish story to share when you return home.

Big Island Fishing Spots

Keauhou Harbor (Keauhou)
Kailua Kona Fishing Pier
Spencer Beach Park (Between Kona and Hawi)
Anaehoʻomalu Bay / A-Bay (Waikoloa)
South Point / Ka Lae
Kona Natural Energy Lab (Kailua Kona)
Papakolea Green Sand Beach (Mahana Bay)
Onekahakaha Beach Park (Hilo)
James Kealoha Beach Park (Hilo)

Sportfishing vessel | Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Kirk Lee Aeder

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Fishing