Fishing Spots on the Big Island
The Big Island of Hawaii is surrounded by dense reef that is full of tropical fish—most of which are indigenous to this part of the world. This article will help you find the best places to catch some of these rare species on the Big Island and prepare you for the type of experience you will have at the many fishing spots available in Hawaii.
Hawaiian Fishing Rules, Regulations and FAQs
Do you need a permit or license to fish in Hawaii?
No, you do not need any type of permit or fishing license to fish in Hawaii. All you need is a pole, hooks, line, and bait.
Are there restricted fishing areas in Hawaii?
You can fish anywhere that is legal to stand. Respect the locals and avoid areas that are “Kapu” (sacred) or have “No Trespassing” signs.
Where to Fish in Hawaii if you Don't Have a Boat
The west side of the island has reef close to shore that attracts snorkelers and tourists from all over the world. Most of the coast is perfect for fishing, but only some beaches have perfect fishing conditions.
The Keahou harbor is a great place to fish if you are looking for a family-friendly, mellow beach. The bay has two sides—one where you can sit on the pier and catch larger fish, and another where you can sit on a rock wall and catch smaller fish with the kids.
The bay is full of eels, angelfish, manini, yellow tang, and much more. The bay is usually calm, but has the best fishing conditions when the boats are out. When the boats are close to shore, the fish tend to swim away from the loud motors.
Anaeho’omalu Bay (A-Bay)
A-Bay is an excellent beach for fishing and is found near Waikoloa. The beach is very long and has the best fish on the left side of the shore where there is less sand and fewer people.
The bay is usually a great place to see turtles, but also offers some amazing fishing, including barracuda, mahi mahi, and triggerfish. Be sure to look at the conditions before packing up to fish; A-Bay has windy weather sometimes that makes it hard to cast out.
Spencer Beach Park
At Spencer Beach, the fish are plentiful. If you take your tackle box to the edge of the pavilion, you will be able to see a bunch of fish before you even put your bait on the line.
This beach is a perfect place to take children who need to go home saying that they caught a fish. Within seconds, you will get a bite on your line. Just be sure to snag at the line when you feel the fish bite down as they are used to eating off of a hook.
Catching Big Fish Off the Big Island Shore
Every time that I have gone fishing at Kona's old airport ("O.A.'s" as it is referred to by the locals), I went home with fish. Sometimes the water can be very rough due to strong, off-shore winds, so be sure to fish in your sandals (or, "slippers" as we call them in Hawaii). There are sharp rocks that you must stand on to get your line over the drop-off, where a rich coral reef exists.
One warning would be to watch out for wana (vah-nah), or sea urchin, which live on the rocks and will cause a very uncomfortable injury if stepped on.
Russ on January 17, 2019:
You can’t fish old A’s recreation area with reel, must only be by pole or hand line, you can fish at honokohau harbor
Nicole on December 20, 2018:
Quick comment from a marine biologist.
Lionfish are venomous, not poisonous.
This means that their meat is perfectly safe to eat (if Ciguatera free), but
the spines are loaded with potent venom. If you have the appropriate equipment
and knowledge of how to clean them, they are delicious.
This is how their invasion in the Caribbean has been eradicated.
Mike on December 13, 2018:
Coming to Kona in February for the first time. I am a fly fisher. Where are the best places to fly fish from shore or beach. Appreciate your info.
Bobby Ament on June 02, 2018:
Thank you for the fishing information. I live the Big Island
Brittany Kennedy (author) from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii on June 17, 2012:
kelleyward, thank you so much for your comment. You will have to come back to the islands soon!
kelleyward on June 17, 2012:
Okay now I'm jealous! I've been to Hawaii a couple times and can't wait to go back. I'd love to visit the big island and use these fishing tips you have here. Voted up and shared! Kelley