Hawaii is known as the Aloha State, and it is a perfect name because locals welcome all tourists to the islands, making it one of the top vacation destinations in the world. It is also thanks to the year-round availability of game fish, one of the world’s top sportfishing destinations.
Hawaii has eight islands full of tropical rainforests, volcanos, beautiful waterfalls, and Instagramable beaches. The tourist flock to four main islands: Hawaiʻi or the Big Island, Maui, Oahu, and Kauai.
When you think about coming to Hawaii with your family or friends to do some serious fishing, the only word you need to say is Kona. Kona is located on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi and is one of the top billfisheries in the world. The fishing is year-round, with Pacific Blue Marlin being the fish of choice and targeting other trophy fish like Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, and more. But there is so much more to Kona and the Big Island than fishing.
Kona is where some of the best coffee is produced, and you can go to the plantations and see how the beans are harvested, roasted and finally tasted. Kona also has incredible snorkeling/scuba diving. The Island of Hawaiʻi is beautiful. White sandy beaches and resorts await you in Kahola, along with some of the finest golf courses in Hawaii. There are lush rainforests with two of the famous waterfalls, the 442′ Akaka and 100′ Kahuna. The Volcanoes National Park with the world’s most active volcano Kilauea is located in the southern part of the island, Kaʻhaū.
Punaluʻu Black Sand Beach, one of the world’s most famous black sand beaches, is located on the southeastern Kaʻū coast. The island has a lot of history and mystery, with Captain Cook first stepping onto Hawaiian shores in Kona. Locals believe that Pele, the Volcano Goddess, lives in Puna, and this was the last resting place for King Kamehameha. If you have kids, take them snorkeling with Manta Rays or swimming with dolphins.
There is also a chocolate factory, a zip line and a tropical zoo. You can even go under the water for a 50-minute submarine ride watching the fish and seeing the beauty of the coral reefs. There is so much for your family or anyone traveling with you to do while you go chasing the dream of all anglers of landing a large Marlin.
Maui’s fishing is excellent as well. Many professional charters leave Lahaina Harbor and Maalaea Harbor taking you out to the reefs for bottom fishing or out to the deep for some real sport fishing. Like Kona, the fishery is year-round, and the fish are similar. One bonus in Maui is that if you take a boat out in the winter along with hooking up with Marlin, you might encounter Humpback Whales on their yearly migration right past the island. But just like on the Big Island, there is so much more to do here than just fish.
Voted “The Best Island in the U.S,” Maui has beautiful sandy beaches, world-class resorts and golf courses, breathtaking waterfalls and rainforests and hidden pools like the pools of ‘Ohe’o. For the kids, you can go snorkeling, learn to surf or go on some beautiful nature hikes. There is also an excellent aquarium to spend the day at or go under the water on a submarine.
Maui offers a few unique activities, like a real-life treasure hunt and a mermaid school for girls who want to experience being a mermaid. With the gorgeous weather, breathtaking views, white sandy beaches, and water just teeming with fish Maui is a great place to visit and play.
Oahu brings to mind unbelievable waves on the North Shore and picture-perfect Waikiki Beach. For anglers, it might be the largest Blue Marlin ever caught at just over 1800 pounds. Yes, the fishing in Oahu is red hot. The majority of fishing is done on the leeward side of the island.
There are two marinas, the Kewalo Basin Ko Olina. Ka’ena Point is a popular leeward spot for Yellowtail Tuna (Ahi). The Penguin Banks are said to be some of the best fishing grounds in the island chain. There is also excellent fishing on the North Shore and off Honolulu, but the best is off the island’s Leeward side. But fishing is one of many things to do when coming to Oahu.
For surfers, Oahu is the perfect island. You can learn surfing at Waikiki Beach, or if you are an experienced, emphasis on the experienced surfer, then the North Shore is the mecca of big wave surfing. With Waimea Bay and the Bonzai Pipeline, these beaches are among the best places in the world for big waves. If you do not want to go out, grab a seat on the beach and watch the boys and girls hanging ten on some giant waves. There is also excellent surfing at Makaka Beach on the island’s western end.
Hiking is another great activity. You can hike to the top of Diamond Head, a volcanic crater and see the magnificent views of the city and Waikiki Beach. It is a 1 ½ to 2-hour hike, but it is well worth it. Pearl Harbor is another must-stop site. Here you can pay homage to all that sacrifice their lives during the horrible attack on the island at the USS Arizona Memorial.
You can tour the USS Bowfin Submarine and the Battleship Missouri or visit the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum. This is a must for history buffs or anyone who wants to learn about this horrifying day in our nation’s history. For the kids, there are many activities too.
Of course, you can spend time on the many beaches all over the island, but there is so much more to do. You can body surf at Makapuú Beach or snorkel in Hanauma Bay or go to Kualoa Ranch to horseback or ATV ride around the island. There is a zoo, a water park, a planetarium and an aquarium. There is so much to do on Oahu. It is an excellent place for a family vacation and an angler’s vacation too.
Finally, we have Kauai. Kauai fishing is very similar to Kona fishing, as the drop-off is almost immediate. Fishing on this island is an excellent substitute for the more popular Kona coast, but not as productive. There are still all the fish, just in different numbers. You can leave Port Allen and go to Nap Pali, where the fishing grounds are teeming with fish from bottom feeders to sport fish.
You will also be able to see the island’s beauty while fishing. Such a wonderful backdrop while on the water. Kauai is known as “Garden Island.” It is rich with lush rainforests, with rivers that lead to incredible cascading waterfalls. On the North shore, some of the beauty is only reachable by land or sea, although if you are adventurous, you can hike in. The west side offers the amazing Waimea Canyon, which looks like and is called “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific.” You can hike into the canyon and see the breathtaking views.
There are some of the most beautiful beaches in Hawaii here, including the golden sands of the beaches on the Coconut Coast. There are also lots of things for the kids to do. You can swim and snorkel at many beautiful beaches or go surfing and body surfing at Shipwreck Beach. You can take a 40-minute train ride through a plantation. You can go on a helicopter ride to see the island’s beauty from the air, take a boat ride to see the beauty from the sea or go on a horseback ride or hike to see the beauty from the land. There are water tubes down rivers, kayak tours and even a chocolate farm. The whole family will enjoy all of these activities and more, and the angler among you will have a blast out on the water reeling in trophies.
A couple of other things about the islands are the people, towns and food. The island, except for Honolulu, is very peaceful and laid back. The natives are friendly and helpful, making your vacation much more enjoyable.
Everyone that comes to Hawaii has to go to a Luau. They are on all the islands, but no matter which island you are on, you have to see the fire show and taste the delicious pork and other foods. Shaved ice is another thing that you should try at least once, and you will find this too all over the islands.
That’s it. Hawaii is an excellent place for the whole family to visit or a bunch of friends. There are so many activities that I did not mention in this and all that I did. You will all have a blast exploring these islands, and the angler among you, he/she/they will enjoy some of the best deep-sea fishing on the planet. Come say Aloha to Hawaii.