Hawaiian Shoreline Fishing

We can arrange for a private "Shoreline Fishing" guide, where you can fish for some pretty awesome local species.

In Hawaii it is quite easy to find your own beautiful piece of shoreline to cast a line out into the ocean for some nearshore fishing. It is always recommended to go to the more unpopulated areas where the best chances are for a bite. It’s also always a good idea to go fishing at first light or last light, or even yet at hightides vs low tides. If you are not looking to go on hike or adventure to get to your fishing spot, then all of Hawaii’s public parks and beach access pathways, even the one’s through residential areas will guide you to Hawaii’s coastline.

If you are planning to fish from the beach you should expect to use a 7 – 10’ rod that has 12 – 20lb test line. Using live and dead bait is your best approach, but lures can also be utilized and thrown successfully. It’s always good to check the local store to see or ask what plastics are biting best.

Note : If you are on private property, make sure you always have permission from the owner before traversing or utilizing their land. Please keep in mind that some of the shorelines in Hawaii have rocky bottoms with jagged ridges where a fisherman’s cast line can often get caught up. To avoid this, you will see the locals paddling their lines and bait out with their surfboard, canoe’s or kayaks to their favorite spots. This technique is referred to as “dunking”.

Fishing from the Shoreline in Hawaii is primarily done by abamboo pole or some anglers will utilize a more customized rod and reel set up that can get pretty fancy. Live Cut Bait of Squid is always recommended as your first choice if available. As stated earlier, you can definitely try different methods (including plastic lures) to attract the fish, but it should have some drift and drop to the motion as you drag it or pop through the surface. This will almost certainly get you some action from Small Trevally Jacks (Papio’s), maybe even larger jacks including Giant Trevally’s (Uluas) and Barracudas (Kaku), all of which are quite common amongst Hawaii’s shoreline.

Trevally Jacks (Papio) These are very fun to catch and very strong fish, especially if you are using 15lb or lighter test. These little buggahs, especially the one’s over 10lbs, will smoke your reel and crack off your line if your not ready. We recommend that you keep only a small or fair amount of drag on the line, as the fish needs to be able to run when hooked. These smaller Papio Jacks are good for eating, if you like firmer meat and a more medium flavor.

Giant Trevally (Ulua’s) These fish can grow to more than 100lbs and are pure muscle and strength. This fish will test the most experienced of fisherman as it is heavy and dodgy for the rocks, forcing you to be patient and poised. If you are lucky enough to hook into one of these beauties and get it to shore, make sure you don’t try to lift it. You will need to find a way down to the water with gaff to secure and raise your catch. A very common way to fish for these beasts is by“slide-baiting” with a 2 or 3lb bait. These fisherman are using a special type of hook leader that can slide down the line until it reaches the bottom. This is done with multiple baited lines for the increased chance of attracting the bite.

Barracudas (Kaku’s) These are strong fish and very fun to catch. You will need long nose pliers to get your hooks back and you should know in advance that they are not a good fish for eating.

Here are some other common Hawaiian Shoreline species…
  • bonefish (o’io)
  • blue-striped snapper (ta’ape) yellow with 2 blue stripes down each side
  • bluefin trevally (omilu)
  • flagtail (aholehole)
  • giant needlefish (aha)
  • goatfish (moana)
  • ladyfish (awa’awa)
  • leatherback (lai)
  • lizard fish (ulae)
  • milkfish (awa)
  • needlefish (i’i)
  • Pacific threadfin (moi)
  • peacock grouper – (roi) invasive species, full of ciguatera
  • puffer (fugu)
  • red-tailed snapper (to’au)
  • rockmover wrasse (hinelea)
  • rudderfish (nenuenue)
  • soldierfish – squirrelfish (menpachi)
  • snapper (wa’a nui)
  • tableboss (a’awa)
  • triggerfish (hate)
  • trumpetfish (nunu)
  • unicorn fish (kala)
  • sharks (mano)

Caution: Please be aware that some Hawaiian reef fish have “ciguaterra” which can sicken you if you ingest it.