Fishing on Oahu

Fish can’t read calendars, but historically the peak season to catch blue marlin, wahoo (ono) and ahi (yellowfin tuna) are the summer months of June, July and August. That said, it’s not uncommon to stroll by Kewalo Basin on a daily basis and see trophy fish hanging off the docks of the fishing vessels.

Most of the fishing on O‘ahu is done off of the leeward coastline, and while many charters leave from nearby Kewalo Basin (a mile from Waikīkī) visiting fishermen can also get picked up at their hotels by fishing charters such as Boom Boom Sportfishing and Live Bait Sportfishing and driven 35 miles to the Wai‘anae Boat Harbor — the boat ride to fishing waters is much shorter from here. Half- and full-day charters are available out of all harbors and group and individual charters are offered.

At Kewalo Basin, the Maggie Joe, Aikane Sportfishing and Blue Nun Sportfishing are known for their successful trips, but you can hardly go wrong with any of the available charters.

Kewalo Basin also offers some opportunities for those just wanting to dip a line in the water or have a unique experience. The Sashimi offers four-hour rock bottom fishing trips off the tip of Diamond Head so you can fish while watching the surfers and enjoying the skyline view. No trolling, just drifting in search of smaller bottom fish. This fun boat also offers a catch-and-release midnight shark hunt.

Whichever charter you choose, ask your boat captain when booking what the policy is for keeping fish caught on your excursion. Some boats will keep the fish to sell to market and cover expenses while others will let you keep some or all of your catch.

The waters off O‘ahu offer a variety of fish ranging from sailfish, marlin, skipjack and yellowfin tuna, mahimahi, wahoo, barracuda and more. Ample shore fishing opportunities are everywhere.

Kewalo Basin, Oahu. Photo: Ryan Ozawa.

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