Maui offers great fishing opportunities for experienced anglers and first-time fisherman alike. For some people their ultimate goal is to catch fish that they can take back to their condo and eat. For others, they want the chance to land the "fish of a lifetime."
Bottom Fishing with Maui Fun Charters
Maui Fun Charters is Maui's most personalized Maui Fishing Charter company. This family-operated business has been fishing Maui waters on board their 25' Farallon Cabin Cruiser called "Marjorie Ann" for over 15 years. She is outfitted for Maui sport fishing and Maui bottom fishing as well as snorkeling, diving and whale watching (in season). Departure is from Maalaea Harbor slip #97.
While other bottom fishing companies may take out 15 or more anglers at a time, Maui Fun Charters takes no more than 6. They are an affordable choice for a private family charter. The day begins with a checkin at 7am at Maalaea Harbor. Following a safety briefing, you'll head out to the bay where the crew will deploy sportfishing tackle and troll for big game fish while the Marjorie Ann is on her way to the bottom fishing location.
Equipped with GPS to find their favorite productive spots, and a fish finder to hone in on their exact location, a morning excursion with Maui Fun Charters gives you the best chance you could possibly have to take home some tasty and fresh catch for you to prepare in your condo later that night. The advantage of this approach to fishing is that you spend more time actively fishing (and frequently catching) and less time sitting around on a boat that is trolling around in hopes of finding a big one. The crew of the Marjorie Ann does a great job of instructing you on the basics of using the reel, and they'll even fillet the fish that you caught while en route back to the harbor.
For those who want an affordable trip, Maui Fun Charters offers a 4 hour share for a rate of $139 per person. For families who want the entire boat to themselves, a private 4 hour charter is $799 per boat. Additional hours are just $199 more per hour. We suggest a 5 hour charter for the ideal length, especially if you are here on Maui from December through April when humpback whales are here in large numbers. You can spend some time watching whales on your own private boat after loading up the cooler with fish for the grill!
Maui Fun Charters 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.
MFC / V
Start Me Up Sportfishing
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.
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
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!
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.
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
cruise ship passengers in Kahului are able
to do a fishing charter on the morning of their second
day on Maui, but this will require a rental car and the
drive time is about an hour. For
rental cars with cruise ship shuttle pick-up see our rental
cruise ship passengers are able to do a charter on
the morning of your second day and the boat leaves from
the same harbor where your tender arrives in Lahaina. 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 Maui Fun Charters 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.
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.
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.
other thing you shouldn't bring on board ... glass
bottles. All beverages should be in cans for safety of
everyone on board.
we have clients ask "What are the chances that I
will catch fish?" Of course that's
impossible to answer with a certain percentage. In general you'll catch MORE fish but smaller fish on a bottom fishing charter. 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!