Summer fishing off Maui

June, July & August

While there is no set “fishing season” in Hawaii, if there were one, it would be during the summer – at least in terms of sportfishing.

June, July and August tend to be the best months for big game sportfishing in Maui. The blue marlin bite is at its strongest in July and August, when the larger blue marlin (the big ones are all females) appear.

Marlin aren’t the only fish out there during the summer. June and July see very good ono bites. Come August, ono (wahoo) tend to drop off, but they can still be caught in deeper waters. This year the ono bite surprised many with a burst of activity in August.

Mahi mahi (dorado / dolphin fish), while arguably Maui’s most common gamefish, is a bit harder to come by in the near shore waters though they’re still regularly hooked offshore by the buoys.

Inshore fishing with lighter tackle can be excellent this time of year. For the youngest anglers, blueline snapper are numerous. Grey snapper (uku) and trevally both peak during the summer and can make for an exciting fight on light tackle whether you’re fishing from a boat or from the shore. The only drawback this time of year is the weather. The air can be hot. And still. Particularly towards the end of August.

Summer is hot. Muggy. The winds blow acrid, dusty air around in the afternoons. The air is thick, and heavy with scent of flowers. Locals quietly yearn for the cool, brief afternoon showers that fall like clockwork in the spring. Get offshore… get far offshore. Hook into that marlin of a lifetime and then toss back a cold one.

Coming to Maui this summer? I’d advise you to book your Maui fishing charter well in advance! Here’s why…

  • Group travel is UP. A lot of extended families and their guests come to Maui for weddings. Fishing boats that can take more than six people will be in high demand. There are currently only three fishing vessels – one out of Lahaina Harbor and two out of Maalaea Harbor – licensed to carry more than 6 passengers. These boats fill up quickly mid-May to mid-July.
  • Many families with children travel to Maui in the early summer months. There aren’t many of the fishing boats that will take kids under 8 fishing, even on a private trip. The best kid-friendly boats are often booked out a month in advance or more. Contact me for specific referrals for your family fishing trip.
  • Summer fishing tournaments! As the marlin bite peaks, so naturally do the number of fishing tournaments, making vessel availability even more sparse. Maui’s popular Lanai Rendevous, Lahaina Jackpot & Wahine Fishing tournaments are often scheduled around this time. Additionally, Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii plays host to many local and international fishing tournaments throughout July and August. Some Maui fishing boats travel over there for up to a month at a time, putting them out of the charter lineup.

So just to repeat… make a fishing reservation as soon as possible if you plan on visiting Maui during the summer….Don’t make me have to say “I told you so!” ;-)

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