Maui Shore Fishing

Whether you hire a local Maui shore fishing guide to take you to some lesser known honey-hole, or you just want to do a little whipping off the beach in front of your hotel, Maui’s shore fishing opportunities are many.

Eric FujiMaui shore fishing doesn’t have to cost much money. If you decide to venture out on your own, you don’t need a reservation, and you can spend an hour or a day doing it. You can get up before the family, walk down to the beach in front of the hotel/condo, whip or dunk for an hour and be back in time for breakfast or the day’s other activities. Then, in the late afternoon or after dinner, you can go again for an hour or so. It sure beats laying around the pool drinking $6 beers!!! Significant others don’t seem to mind the short breaks either.

To me, shore and reef fishing are almost a Zen thing. Time to meditate, think, relax and just enjoy the truly magnificent views. Catching fish is just the bonus.

Shore and reef fishing in Hawaii
is mostly done the following two ways:

*Whip, Whipping: casting and retrieving artificial lures/spoons/natural baits with ultra light to medium spinning gear. Sometimes referred to as “popping” by bass fishermen. Types of fish vary from the highly aggressive trevally (“papio” in Hawaiian), to various types of snapper and goat fish. Yes, most of what you catch is very good eating. Basic rule of thumb is that if it’s silver or red, it’s good to eat. However, I do ask that you release all fish that you do not plan to eat or use for bait!

*Dunk, Dunking: still fishing with bait, using either lead weights or bobbers. Gear can run from light to heavy, and can be either spinning or open face reels. Similar to fishing striped bass from the shore/beach. A very specialized Hawaiian form of dunking is called ‘slide bait’. Slide bait is used to catch Giant Trevally, called Ulua in Hawaiian. Ulua can weigh nearly 200 lbs., but an average is more like 20-40 lbs. It should be noted that a local ‘slide bait’ fisherman caught a giant sea bass, weighing more than 560lbs, from a beach on Maui!

Some fishermen combine the two styles, setting up a larger spinner, 12-20lb. test, for dunking, and then, rather than just sit and wait for a bite (tho’ that does have it’s merits), they bring along a light spinner, 6lb. test, and whip the area while they wait. This not only gives you something fun to do while you wait, but it can also supply fresh bait for your dunking rig.