Maui Fishing Charters
Start Me Up Sportfishing
Note: In addition to the rates above, there are Hawaii sales tax and harbor fees of 7.167%.
Reserve now and you can fish with the best! Start Me Up operates a fleet of tournament-equipped 37 foot Bertrams. START ME UP SPORTFISHING boasts Penn International rods and reels in 50# through 130# class. She has a fishfinder, GPS, auto pilot, twin control stations, an air conditioned cabin, refrigerators, and 2 color TVs/VCRs.
No fishing license is required. START ME UP provides all tackle, as well as ice and a cooler. All you need is to bring your own food and beverages for the day. Departure is from Lahaina Harbor.
Their rates are no more expensive than other fishing charters on Maui, but they are very popular and advanced reservations before arriving on Maui are a must! We recommend that you book at least three weeks in advance. Start Me Up has a great success rate, and part of this is because they leave Lahaina Harbor very early. This enables them to get to the productive fishing buoys ahead of many other boats, which increases productivity. Check-in is typically at 5:15am and they depart at 5:30am!
Private charters are limited to 6 passengers per boat ... since they have more than one boat they can handle larger parties of 12 or 18 but only if their schedule for the day is completely open.
Fishing charters in Hawaii traditionally keep the fish that are caught as a part of the crew compensation, but Start Me Up allows guests to keep as much fish as they would like ... with the promise that you will put the fish to good use and not waste it. You may keep the whole fish. They charge a nominal cleaning fee if you'd like them to fillet the fish for you.
Start Me Up supplies all the fishing gear, bait, and expertise that you need. No fishing license is required. Bring you own beverages and snacks (no glass containers and no bananas). They provide a cooler and ice.
SMU / R
Makai Adventures Bottom Fishing
$169.00 per Adult, $149.00 per Child (4-12), $59.00 per Ride along (plus Hawaii sales tax and harbor fees of 7.167%)
Makai Adventures Bottom Fishing is the perfect adventure for the experienced fisherman or for anyone looking to land their first fish. Lahaina has the calmest waters in Maui, which makes it a great place to catch Hawaii's most delicious fish. There will be plenty of action in the crystal clear waters with depth of 75-200 feet. With Makai Adventures, you will fish with locals! Captain Keao was born and raised on the islands and fishing these waters his whole life. The types of fish you may catch are grey snapper (Uku) 1-30 Lbs, giant trevally (Papio) 1-100+ Lbs, peacock razor fish (Nabeta) 1-4 Lbs, grouper 1-100+ Lbs, barracuda 3-40 Lbs, and goat fish (Moano/Kumu) 2-8 Lbs. Although some pelagic fish are seasonal, bottom fish are in Hawaiian waters year around. Their fishing boat, Kainalu, has a complete walk around deck, a bathroom and freshwater shower on board. Small groups will give you a very personalized experience as well as the best chance of catching fish. Makai Adventures will clean your catch and let you take it home. These tours are fun for the whole family!
This fishing tour operates on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 7am or 12pm, and the duration is 4 hours. Check in is at Lahaina Harbor Slip #16. Buffet/deli lunch, soft drinks and water are included in the tour. They will provide all fishing gear (Penn reels) and instruction. The group size is 8 anglers max, and ride alongs are welcome! Don't foregt to bring towels, sunscreen (no spray-on sunscreen as it gets slippery on boat), and light jacket. You can also bring own alcohol drinks for after snorkeling. The minimum age is 4.
MAKAI7 / V
Cruise Ship Clients
Lahaina cruise ship passengers are able to do these tours if your ship is staying overnight; it is then possible on the morning of your second day. No transportation is required as Start Me Up leaves from the same harbor where your Lahaina cruise ship tender arrives. A better fishing option may be in the port of Kona on the Big Island. See our Big Island fishing page.
There are two kinds of clients who go fishing. The first kind of client is after the thrill of landing the big one ... the fish of a lifetime ... the kind of people who spend thousands of dollars to have the fish stuffed and mounted above their fireplace. For this sort of client the best choice on Maui is to go with Start Me Up. Their boats are well maintained and equipped with state of the art fishing gear. Some days are productive, catching a number of mahi mahi in the 20-30 pound range. Other days the action is slow, but they'll land a big 100 pound ahi tuna or even a world-class marlin. Occassionally they get skunked. This type of charter is for the high roller who wants a shot at the big one, and if they don't get that big fish they swear they'll be back another day to get even.
The second kind of client who goes fishing is looking to have a great time and their ultimate goal is to catch something they can take back to the condo, and brag to the other tourists using the BBQ grill "Hey, I caught that fish this morning!" This type of client would rather be hands-on and reeling in tasty fish sized just right for tonight's dinner than troll for hours and hours looking for that elusive big one. For this type of client Makai Adventures Bottom Fishing is the way to go. Bottom fishing is often extremely productive, and it is much MUCH less common for the charter to get completely "skunked". It is an especially good choice for parties that include kids who might get bored on a fishing charter that is going to spend the whole time trolling.
The most common question we are asked is "What type of fish are in season during the week I'm in Hawaii?" Most of Hawaii's game fish are here all year. It is very common to catch Ono, Mahi Mahi, Ahi, and Marlin all year round. Bottom fishing yields even more diversity; several types of trevally, a variety of snapper, grouper, baraccuda, and more.
Please be aware that bananas are strictly forbidden on fishing boats. Everything about a banana is slippery ... everybody's heard the expression "One foot over the edge and the other on a banana peel." In time bananas became known as a symbol of bad luck that would even affect your ability to catch fish.
The other thing you shouldn't bring on board ... glass bottles. All beverages should be in cans for safety of everyone on board.
Occasionally we have clients ask "What are the chances that I will catch fish?" Of course that's impossible to answer with a certain percentage. For sportfishing charters, many factors come into play that make some days excellent and other days average ... surface conditions, tides, schooling patterns. There's also the human element. How lucky are you??? How's your karma??? Have you been nice to people lately? It's rare, but occasionally a boat gets skunked ... there are no guarantees. Just remember ... the sport is called "fishing" and not "catching." But the crew of your boat will try their very hardest ... they are professionals who know what they are doing. When you go to a restaurant in Hawaii and see a wide variety of fresh fish on the menu, just remember that SOMEONE caught those fish ... might as well get out there and let it be YOU!