The Best Places to Fish on the Big Island of Hawaii

Updated on January 14, 2017

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.

I caught this triggerfish at Keahou Harbor one afternoon.
I caught this triggerfish at Keahou Harbor one afternoon. | Source

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.

Keahou Harbor

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.

This is a lion fish, which is a very common catch in Hawaii.  If you catch one, throw them back, because they are poisonous.
This is a lion fish, which is a very common catch in Hawaii. If you catch one, throw them back, because they are poisonous. | Source

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.

I caught this pufferfish by accident at A-Bay.  Be sure to study which fish are poisonous before eating them!
I caught this pufferfish by accident at A-Bay. Be sure to study which fish are poisonous before eating them! | Source

Catching Big Fish Off the Big Island Shore

Old Airport

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.

Anaehoomalu Bay:
Anaehoomalu Bay, Puako, HI 96738, USA

get directions

Old Airport, Kona:
Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA

get directions

Keahou Bay:
Keauhou Bay, Kahaluu-Keauhou, HI 96740, USA

get directions

Spencer Beach Park:
Samuel M. Spencer Beach Park, Kawaihae, HI 96743, USA

get directions


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    • profile image


      17 months ago

      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

    • profile image


      18 months ago


      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.


    • profile image


      19 months ago

      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.

    • profile image

      Bobby Ament 

      2 years ago

      Thank you for the fishing information. I live the Big Island

    • brittanytodd profile imageAUTHOR

      Brittany Kennedy 

      8 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

      kelleyward, thank you so much for your comment. You will have to come back to the islands soon!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      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


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