Top 10 Fishing Destinations in Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands are a popular destination for people who enjoy water sports and activities. Hawaii, also known as the “Aloha State,” is composed entirely of islands and is the only state which is located outside of North America. Being an island state, tourists and locals both like to indulge in fishing.

Hawaii Culture

Aloha! The island of Hawaii houses people from all cultural backgrounds, making it a pleasant blend of different cultures. The main languages spoken in Hawaii are English and Hawaiian so if you are planning to go fishing and English is a language that comes to you easily, you will have absolutely no trouble in communicating with the locals or fellow anglers. Perhaps the most popular Hawaiian culture includes hula and luau. Both locals and tourists love to engage in events that showcase sports and music.

Fishing in Hawaii

Fishing is a popular culture in Hawaii, especially for the locals. It is not just a hobby but also a way to keep the tradition of their ancestors alive. Native Hawaiian community depends on fishing as a source of sustenance. 

Both locals and tourists indulge in this relaxing hobby of fishing. If you are a fishing enthusiast and are planning on visiting Hawaii, you should be well aware of all the hotspots where you can get the best fish.

Before you set out with your fishing gear, let’s talk a little about what kind of license you will need to fish in Hawaii.

Fishing License

If you are planning on boat fishing, shore fishing, or surf fishing with a pole in the ocean, then you don’t need a Hawaii fishing license.

However, if you want to go for the freshwater game, you will need to acquire a Freshwater Game Fishing License.

Take the license seriously and don’t ignore it or you will end up paying a hefty fine, which we are sure you don’t want. You can easily get a license online or from any authorized agents who deal in Hawaii fishing license.

The state of Hawaii has certain regulations when it comes to spearfishing. There are some places where fishing is constrained during certain seasons. The regulated areas house fish that need to be preserved so that their population won’t go down. For instance, you are only allowed to fish in Waikiki-Diamond Head shoreline in even years.

Make sure you know about the restricted areas before you head out with your fishing pole. You can check the State of Hawaii’s Division of Aquatic Resources website to know more about the restricted areas and fishing regulations.

Common Fish Found in Hawaii

  • Yellowfin tuna or Ahi
  • Skipjack tuna or Aku
  • Blue marlin
  • Mahi-mahi or dolphin fish
  • Sailfish
  • Ulua
  • Wahoo or ono
  • Striped marlin
  • Peacock bass

Mahi Mahi

Yellowfin Tuna

Blue Marlin



Skipjack Tuna

Giant Trevally

Peacock Bass

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass

raindbow trout

Rainbow Trout



Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish

Hawaii State Fishing Records

Top 10 Fishing Spots Across Hawaii

Now that you know about the basics let’s move on to the fun part. Hawaii is a fishing paradise for enthusiasts and leisure fishermen. If you are not a local, you wouldn’t know where you can find a bounty of fish. Don’t worry, we have got you covered. 

Following are the top 10 fishing spots in Hawaii that are a must-visit for every fishing enthusiast:

Lake Wilson, Oahu

Lake Wilson, Oahu

Wahiawa Reservoir or Lake Wilson to the locals is one of the most popular fishing spots in Oahu as it the only freshwater fishing location in the island. The main attraction for fishermen here is the famous peacock bass, which is not commonly found in many places. The best time of the year to catch peacock bass when the weather is warmer is from April to October. You can ask a Hawaii fishing guide or a local to tell you the secrets of the best spots to catch many peacock bass. 

Lake Wilson houses over 17 species of fish including bluegill, channel catfish, largemouth bass, Oscar, red devil and more.

Nawiliwili Harbor, Kauai

Nawiliwili Harbor, Kauai

Nawiliwili Harbor is located in the north of Lihue Airport. This harbor is close to Kalapaki beach and has many lodgings. You can enjoy ocean fishing and get plenty of bites from this area. You will need to hire a Hawaii fishing charter here. There are plenty of Hawaii fishing charters on the island, so you will not find any trouble finding one. The charter captains will also guide you on the best fishing spots where you can catch a generous amount of fish. However, make sure you check the policies of the Hawaii fishing charter you select as some captains tend to keep all the fish you catch, while others allow you to take your catch with you. 

The fish species you can find in Nawiliwili Harbor are marlin, mahi-mahi, yellowfin tuna (ahi), and wahoo (ono.)

Koke’e State Park, Kauai

Koke’e State Park, Kauai

The beautiful tropical forest Koke’e State Park is located in the north of Waimea Bay and is among the most stunning locations in Hawaii. This is a perfect destination for a family fly-fishing trip. The crystal-clear streams are not only serene but also relaxing.
Rainbow trout are very common in this area. You can start a campfire and cook your catch while looking at the majestic ocean views.

Kaena Point, Oahu

Kaena Point, Oahu

Kaena Point is located in the west of Oahu. This gorgeous location is perfect if you are a saltwater fishing enthusiast. When it comes to fishing in Hawaii, the list could not be completed without Kaena Point. Kaena Point is known to house fish like Ulua, swordfish, barracuda, and even sharks. You can even try to surf fishing in this area. Kaena Point offers big-game fishing for enthusiasts. Kaena Point has a lot of unfamiliar fish in the waters. So, make sure you are cautious while fishing. We are sure you don’t want to lose a finger. Also, keep an eye on those waves if you are surf fishing.

Waiakea Pond, Near Hilo, Big Island

Waiakea Pond, Near Hilo, Big Island 

If you are near the town of Hilo, then a visit to the Wailoa River State Park is a must. The Waiakea Pond is found in the park and is a fishing paradise for fishing buffs. This natural lake is a mixture of fresh and saltwater. The fish found in this pond include aholehole, Ulua, and mullet. Keep in mind that your catches are limited to twenty fish here.

Makena Landing, Maui

Makena Landing, Maui 

Situated in a prime location, Makena Landing is a perfect destination for you if you want to go for shore fishing. If you like a challenge, then this is the place for you to be. You can catch some big-game fish here including mahi-mahi and marlin. Keep an eye out for those sharks! You will also see plenty of eels, butterfly fish, colorful corals, sea turtles, and perhaps the frogfish too. Summer is the best time for fishing in Makena Landing.

The Waialua Bay Pier, Oahu

The Waialua Bay Pier, Oahu 

Located in the north shore of Oahu, The Waialua Bay Pier is a must-visit destination if you are a fan of pier fishing. You will get to meet a lot of local fishermen here as well who come to catch their share of goatfish and papio. If you are lucky, you can land giant sea bass, barracuda, and Ulua here as well. The serene views of the beach while fishing will definitely elevate your mood and help you relax.

South Point, Big Island

South Point, Big Island 

The South Point, as understood by its name, is the most southern part of the United States. The Big Island in Hawaii hosts this point. This point is the mecca of fishing fanatics. This point brings back the traditional fishing – no lodges on the spots, no official campsites. It will be just you and your fishing gear. And of course, the fish you will catch. The waters hold plenty of tuna (ahi), mahi-mahi, ulua, and red snapper.

Kahului Harbor Pier, Maui

Kahului Harbor Pier, Maui 

If you are staying in the lively town of Kahului, then a visit to the Kahului Harbor Pier is a must. While there are plenty of activities in the town, fishing in this pier is also a favorite activity. You can seek advice from the helpful locals who will guide you the best spots to catch bonefish and Jack Crevalle. In the summer months, mahi-mahi and yellow tuna are also found in Kahului Harbor Pier.

Pearl Harbor, Oahu

Pearl Harbor, Oahu  

Fishing in Hawaii is incomplete if you don’t visit Pearl Harbor. Located on the west of Honolulu, Pearl Harbor attracts many fishing enthusiasts. You can catch fish like green jack, ladyfish, and goatfish by fishing from the pier. You may also get lucky and catch some juicy Samoan crabs for dinner.

Be sure to hire a Hawaii fishing charter while you are there and catch game-fish like tuna, mahi-mahi, marlin, and swordfish. These beauties will put up a fight, but it will be worth it in the end.

So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head out to beautiful Hawaii. Aloha!


















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