I have fished Kauai, Oahu and the big island Hawaii out of Kona. On Oahu I had my best trip aboard the "Foxy lady" skippered by Jesse Lovett www.chupu.com Great boat and skipper and reasonably priced. We departed Haleiwa and eventually fished off of Makaha beach. My wife landed several large Onos (40lbs) and I caught a 162lb Ahi plus some more Ono's. It was by far the best boat and fishing time I have ever had in Hawaii.
I fished out of Anini beach on the north shore of Kauai on the "Sea Breeze" with captain Bob. Caught some nice Ono's as well. It was a share trip with 6 anglers aboard. I only charter the whole boat now for my wife and I. She loves to be on the ocean and will tangle with a fish or two but lets me do most of the fishing.
On the big island (Hawaii) I fished the "Sea Strike" with captain Dale out of Kona. Caught some nice
Mahi Mahi's and Ono's, nothing very memorable.
This August we chartered the "Finest Kind" out of Lahaina. Be careful, Lahaina is a big time tourist area and some of the boats cater to a lot of fisher-persons who just want the deep sea Hawaii experience once in their lives. I backed out of a trip on the "Action" from "Start Me up" sportfishing. They do not have a fighting chair which you could really benefit from using if you hook up a big Marlin or large Ahi. The Finest Kind boat really targets fish for the more experienced angler, not a quick half day tourist outing. That's just my opinion, some may disagree but this forum is for opinions anyway.
If I was going fishing I would go on the Foxy lady boat with captian Jesse on Oahu. His web site is great and he catches lots of nice fish at a good price. Great crew and Jesse is the best. Check out his "catch of the day" reports and pictures. He has a lot of returning customers and is highly thought of by Hawaii boat captians. Also some boats will sell you back the fish you catch by the pound price. They sell what you catch at the local fish market to make some money to help enhance their incomes, it's standard procedure in Hawaii. Boats like the Foxy Lady will cut up a fish or two for you to enjoy while you are in Hawaii. Not a lot of fish but enough for a BBQ or two. After all, I don't want to ship fish home or waste fish I don't eat while I staying at our condo.
Check on the boat, captain, catch record, tackle used and their cut fish to customer policies. You can't go wrong with Jesse's operation and no, I don't have any business connection with him. I have beeen deep sea fishing since the mid sixties and have experienced many boats, captians and fish cutting-catch policies. No way will I pay the skipper a few dollars per pound for the priviledge of eating the fish I catch. The trip and tip costs are enough. Most skippers will cut enough for a couple of meals, just be sure you check ahead of time. Try to avoid "share trips." You may get stuck with 5 other anglers you don't know and may miss some great fish battles due to them being next in line to catch a fish. When I charter I want all the action for me or my wife. Good luck and have fun. P.S. an 8 hour trip is the best, more time on the water equates to a better chance at catching more fish.
Ono post there Magic - lots of great info.
Really good post! I will be saving it for our next trip.
My hubby chartered a 50' fishing boat out of Lahaina for just himself and our son-in-law the first week of May, and did an 8 hr. trip. I cannot TELL you how very disappointed they were to have spent so much $ and time and not get a SINGLE fish, not even a hit! OUCH! On a positive note, they did get a big humpback that "mugged" them. Awfully expensive whale watching trip.
I've always read the best deep sea-fishing in Hawaii (& even perhaps in the world?) is off the Kona coast of the Big Island because the sea shelf drops off so dramatically right off shore. The guys plan on trying fishing again when we visit there.
I know fishing is one of those things where even if your boat/captain do everything right you're not guaranteed fish, but we had sure hoped in an 8 hr private charter they'd get SOMETHING!
Mahalo for your great input! I had read many posts here before we settled on a boat, but none I saw were as thorough as yours OnoMagic.
Thanks all for your positive feedback!! Kona is well known for it being the Marlin capital of Hawaii, possibly the world. Not all boats have the 'LUCK' of first hooking and then landing a Marlin. The skippers try very hard but it is a crap shoot. You just have to be lucky, be in the right place at the right time, it's a big ocean out there! One thing about Kona is the large fleet. The more boats the greater the competition, hence, some great deals through competetive pricing.
Maui, however, has less boats so the price tends to be more expensive. The Finest Kind (my August boat charter) boat usually costs $1,100.00 per an 8 hour trip. I spoke to the booking agent and agreed to pay cash at the dock the day we depart and saved $200.00 for the trip. I'll be happy to pay that amount plus tax and harbor fees which comes to around $970. I love to take lots of picturs, it is quite an remarkable adventure to view the beautiful Hawaiian coastline from a boat, something to remember for a life time!
Two summers ago, I went out for a day fishing out of Lahaina on the Lucky Strike. My wife and I did not appreciate the money spent as we, the boat with 6 anglers aboard, caught nothing for the day, zip.
On top of that, the Captain and first mate were tedious and in my humble opinion, grumpy, to the point of making the trip tiresome and edgy, not fun.
The year before that trip, my wife and I went on a day fishing trip with the Kai Bear in Kauai, Nawiliwili Harbor I believe, and had a blast! Our trip had 5 anglers and we caught four or five nice sized Mahi Mahi and had a smaller Marlin on hook before popped off in the last hour of our trip. The captain and first mate were top notch in fishing, boating, and story telling which made the trip overall that day, well worth the money spent.
Just some feedback on some of my Hawaiian fishing.
The Kai Bear is a nice outfit, very professional and as you mentioned "memorable." Some boats and crews are burnt out and tire of the daily tourist grind. Funny, tourists are there bread and butter. Sort of like a touristy restaurant that knows you will probably only eat there once in a life time while on vacation, they really do not really try that hard because there will always be someone up next to seat and eat!
That was a great post re: Jesse and fishing on Oahu!!! Just so happens that My Family and I will be going to Maui on the 14th of June for a week. I plan on fishing at LEAST one day, as I have never fished in Hawaii...but have Many years deep sea fishing in Cabo, the Marlin Capital of the World! (Or 1 of them...) Any other advice before i book? I am staying by the Marina near the Marriott.
Brian, this will be our first trip to Maui for us as well. I did a lot of research before hand on the different boats and spoke to a lot of people, mostly on the web site www.bloodydecks.com they have a great Hawaii section and you can ask questions and get plenty of responses by the local deep sea captains and local fisherman.
http://www.fishingmaui.com/maui_boats.htm It's the boat (Finest kind) I will be chartering in August. I researched it and am looking forward to fishing with them, they are in Lahaina. As I understand there are other harbors with other boats but this is the one I felt most confortable with. I have been emailing the booking agent and he gave me $200.00 off my price for paying cash at the dock the morning of the trip. Email him and he will rsspond, he is a long time (decades) Hawaiian boat skipper and knows a lot of detailed info. We have to be at the dock at about 4:45am, fish for 8 hours and be back sometime around 1pm so we can get back to our condo, take a nap and then go out to a nice dinner!!
We have fished in Maui with Start Me Up Fishing and most recently we fished two days ago on the Finest Kind. After my experiences with the Start Me Up fleet I was not looking forward to another Maui fishing trip! We are fisherman and the crew of the Start Me Up just took us on a sightseeing trip. They put absolutely no effort into catching fish or taking us to somewhere where we might actually catch a fish. I will mention that the last time we went with Start Me Up it was seven years ago, so things might have changed. However, two days ago we went out on the Finest Kind and had a great time. I will say that on our first attempt to go out fishing the Finest Kind had motor problems on the way out and we had to turn back to the harbor and reschedule. I'm guessing this was a fluke and the crew was really upset about it. Once we got out fishing on our rescheduled 8-hour trip, the captain and mate really worked all day long to put us on fish! We landed two large Mahi Mahi and two tuna. The crew kept us informed of what techniques were being used and where we were going and why. Additionally, they had nice fresh live bait. Now that we have a good fishing boat in Maui we might come over here even more often! Also, the Finest Kind was a really good boat for our family as it provided lots of top-side shade. (You didn't have to go down below to stay in the shade the whole time.)