Hawaii Shore Fishing Tips
Opportunities for shoreline fishing in Hawaii are plentiful, so if you're an angler looking for a truly local style of fishing, shore fishing is an easy and affordable way to experience the bounty of Hawaiian reefs and shores. Most shoreline areas in Hawaii are open to fishing. What's more, you don't need to get a fishing license for recreational fishing in Hawaii. So relax and unwind on the scenic shores of one of the world's most beautiful vacation destinations: Hawaii.
Fishing Regulations in Hawaii
As long as you don't sell your catch, there is no need to apply for a marine recreational fishing license in Hawaii, whether you're a resident or a visitor. Most shoreline areas in Hawaii are open to fishing, although there are a few places where fishing may be restricted or prohibited. These areas will be identified by prominent signs posted at public access points. Detailed information can be found in the Hawaii Fishing Regulations booklet, which outlines rules concerning net mesh sizes, equipment, protected species, restricted areas and more. According to the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources, if you are unable to identify the aquatic life you intend to take, it's better to release it rather than risk taking something that is illegal.
Types of Shoreline Fishing in Hawaii
"Whip" or "Whipping" involves the use of ultralight to medium spinning gear to catch such species as snapper, goat fish and trevally, commonly found in Hawaiian waters. "Dunk" or "dunking" involves fishing with bait using either lead weights or bobbers, with gear ranging from spinning to open-face reels. A Hawaiian form of dunking known as "slide bait" is often used to catch the giant trevally, or ulua, as it's called in Hawaiian. Pole fishing with a bamboo pole is a truly local style of shorefishing, in which fisherman usually seek oama (juvenile goat fish), prevalent during the summer and early fall. Throw net is another type of shore fishing used to catch reef fish.
Best Places in Hawaii to Shorefish
There are many places in Hawaii to park your car, walk to the shore and drop a line in the water. Choosing the best place for shore fishing is only limited by your sense of adventure. Just be sure you are fully aware of changes in surf and rising tides. Never turn your back to the shore and always be mindful of the possibility of rogue waves crashing over the rocks or shoreline.
Karen Sprinkles has been a freelance writer since 1988. She's currently the managing editor of a luxury home magazine and has written for regional newspapers and magazines. Sprinkles received the Award of Excellence from the Hawaii Book Publishers Association for "The Hawaii Home Book," which reached No. 1 on the Hawaii bestsellers list. She earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of California.
Photo by Karen Anderson