Shore Fishing Big Island (Waikoloa)

nusharker

Newbie
Feb 5, 2017
30
10
30
San Francisco
Name
Jimmy
Boat
Wahoo
Hi all - hope everyone is well! I'm heading to Waikoloa village on the big island for ~3 weeks to escape covid and work remote for a bit. I plan on doing a lot of fishing from shore so curious if folks could help answer a few questions:

1) Any good spots around there? I hard A bay and the area is pretty decent?

2) For setups, I plan to "whip" (which to me is basically a popping cork with small plastics) and also have a live bait rod where I'll use a sabiki or cast net. Any other recs? I'll be bringing an assortment of rods / reels.

3) After doing the research, it seems like bluefin trevally might be the best option for both fight and table fare. Anything else you guys would specifically target? Edible fish is ideal since it would be great to put some food on the table for my GF and friend that's staying with us.

4) Any other advice for a newbie Hawaii shore fisherman? I've been to Kona many times marlin fishing but this will be the first focusing on shore.

If anyone will be there and wants to meet up and help show the ropes, happy to provide payment in the beer of your choice :)

As always, BD is the best and thanks in advanced for any and all info!
 
Last edited:
Upvote 0

LundieF

Member
Jul 3, 2009
273
38
Haiku
Name
Lundie
Boat
20' Shamrock WA, Maka 'oi 'oi II
1. No one from here will share that. Other mainland guys that have visited the BI might chime in.
2. Good plan, except the cast net, illegal. An assortment sounds overkill though. Get deep into instagram and you’ll see what guys are using. Campania lures would be a place to start
3. Yup, omilu is good and probably what you’ll catch. I caught a bunch of yellow spots up there once, that was a blast. Just to save Grander007 the time, big reef fish get ciguatera, google it and read up, then make an educated decision.
4. Tabis or good footwear
Good luck, hope you hookup
 
Upvote 0

Bdjoe

Newbie
Jul 28, 2014
23
4
51
Name
Joe
Boat
reel fun
Hi all - hope everyone is well! I'm heading to Waikoloa village on the big island for ~3 weeks to escape covid and work remote for a bit. I plan on doing a lot of fishing from shore so curious if folks could help answer a few questions:

1) Any good spots around there? I hard A bay and the area is pretty decent?

2) For setups, I plan to "whip" (which to me is basically a popping cork with small plastics) and also have a live bait rod where I'll use a sabiki or cast net. Any other recs? I'll be bringing an assortment of rods / reels.

3) After doing the research, it seems like bluefin trevally might be the best option for both fight and table fare. Anything else you guys would specifically target? Edible fish is ideal since it would be great to put some food on the table for my GF and friend that's staying with us.

4) Any other advice for a newbie Hawaii shore fisherman? I've been to Kona many times marlin fishing but this will be the first focusing on shore.

If anyone will be there and wants to meet up and help show the ropes, happy to provide payment in the beer of your choice :)

As always, BD is the best and thanks in advanced for any and all info!

Hey Nusharker,

I've been on the big island a few months now and have been trying to learn about shorefishing as quickly as I can.
As it's winter, the predatory fish don't seem as active as in the summer. But maybe I just don't know the right spots.
So I've been dunking with squid and been having pretty good results. Caught decent sized pualu and mu, both great eating fish, sashimi and cooked! They both fight great too... I've only caught one moana at Spencer Beach Park while whipping with a casting bubble and grub, not much luck with that technique. They say the rubber strips are good, so try those. Walmart, KTA, Sack n Save, Longs Drugs all sell tackle.

Heard Kawaihae is a good spot, never tried it yet.

A year or 2 ago my friend caught an ulua right in front of Waikaloa Hilton by catching live bait first, so you may want to try that since you're there. Maybe use sabiki there or really small plastics. I've seen locals use white bread to chum and catch live bait with bread balls on small hook for Aholehole at night.

I tried flyfishing A bay couple times early morning for nothing. Maybe dunking bait is better. But I have seen a school of small oio there while snorkeling in October, so they were there. I know nets are illegal in some areas, not sure about cast nets tho.

I've only caught a baby omilu, but on light tackle it fought pretty good. Can't imagine how a large one would fight. Once I hooked what I think was a good sized omilu, ulua or shark and it ran like a freight train- ripped line so fast and broke me off in a second. Fish here in these warmer waters have a lot of power, so try to use 30lb test or even higher because they rub on sharp lava rocks and break you off on hard runs. So you can set your drag pretty tight with 30 lb and try to prevent them from rubbing bottom. There's lots of info on internet and YouTube also.

When are you coming? I'm near downtown Kailua-Kona and have a pretty busy schedule. But give me a DM and maybe we can try to meet up...

Joe
 
  • Like
Reactions: Brett Barker
Upvote 0

nusharker

Newbie
Feb 5, 2017
30
10
30
San Francisco
Name
Jimmy
Boat
Wahoo
Hey Nusharker,

I've been on the big island a few months now and have been trying to learn about shorefishing as quickly as I can.
As it's winter, the predatory fish don't seem as active as in the summer. But maybe I just don't know the right spots.
So I've been dunking with squid and been having pretty good results. Caught decent sized pualu and mu, both great eating fish, sashimi and cooked! They both fight great too... I've only caught one moana at Spencer Beach Park while whipping with a casting bubble and grub, not much luck with that technique. They say the rubber strips are good, so try those. Walmart, KTA, Sack n Save, Longs Drugs all sell tackle.

Heard Kawaihae is a good spot, never tried it yet.

A year or 2 ago my friend caught an ulua right in front of Waikaloa Hilton by catching live bait first, so you may want to try that since you're there. Maybe use sabiki there or really small plastics. I've seen locals use white bread to chum and catch live bait with bread balls on small hook for Aholehole at night.

I tried flyfishing A bay couple times early morning for nothing. Maybe dunking bait is better. But I have seen a school of small oio there while snorkeling in October, so they were there. I know nets are illegal in some areas, not sure about cast nets tho.

I've only caught a baby omilu, but on light tackle it fought pretty good. Can't imagine how a large one would fight. Once I hooked what I think was a good sized omilu, ulua or shark and it ran like a freight train- ripped line so fast and broke me off in a second. Fish here in these warmer waters have a lot of power, so try to use 30lb test or even higher because they rub on sharp lava rocks and break you off on hard runs. So you can set your drag pretty tight with 30 lb and try to prevent them from rubbing bottom. There's lots of info on internet and YouTube also.

When are you coming? I'm near downtown Kailua-Kona and have a pretty busy schedule. But give me a DM and maybe we can try to meet up...

Joe
Awesome, thanks a ton for the info! Been researching a lot online / YT so feel like whipping and dunking will both provide good options and can pack a decent amount of gear in my golf bag that I'll check. Good to know about cast nets - seems like Sabiki is the right move.

I'll be down from Feb 18-March 8th and will definitely shoot you a PM!
 
Upvote 0

Bdjoe

Newbie
Jul 28, 2014
23
4
51
Name
Joe
Boat
reel fun
Sorry but I'll be leaving the island Feb 13th to go back to the mainland for good. PM me and I'll give you my fave spot and whatever tips I can!
 
Upvote 0

chamackO

I Should Upgrade My Account
Jun 12, 2003
1,622
377
SoCal and NorCal
Name
Alex
Boat
none
Sorry but I'll be leaving the island Feb 13th to go back to the mainland for good. PM me and I'll give you my fave spot and whatever tips I can!

Sounds I'll be third in line... heading to Big Island first week of March. Staying for 4-5 weeks. Would also appreciate any tips and spots you're willing to share!
 
Upvote 0

chamackO

I Should Upgrade My Account
Jun 12, 2003
1,622
377
SoCal and NorCal
Name
Alex
Boat
none
Awesome, thanks a ton for the info! Been researching a lot online / YT so feel like whipping and dunking will both provide good options and can pack a decent amount of gear in my golf bag that I'll check. Good to know about cast nets - seems like Sabiki is the right move.

I'll be down from Feb 18-March 8th and will definitely shoot you a PM!

I'm also spending a few months in Hawaii to make best use of the remote work policy. Would love to share notes on research on gear so far. Bringing two setups - 2500 spinner with 15lb braid on 7.5ft light rod (what I usually use for largemouth bass) and 4000 spinner with 30lb braid on 9ft rod (what I usually use to throw luckycraft off the beach). I have some heavier gear, but not sure whether I should bring that...
 
  • Like
Reactions: nusharker
Upvote 0

nusharker

Newbie
Feb 5, 2017
30
10
30
San Francisco
Name
Jimmy
Boat
Wahoo
I'm also spending a few months in Hawaii to make best use of the remote work policy. Would love to share notes on research on gear so far. Bringing two setups - 2500 spinner with 15lb braid on 7.5ft light rod (what I usually use for largemouth bass) and 4000 spinner with 30lb braid on 9ft rod (what I usually use to throw luckycraft off the beach). I have some heavier gear, but not sure whether I should bring that...
that seems about similar to what im bringing. Basically one rod for whipping and dunking (i.e. throwing a popping cork and one for live / cut bait).

might also bring one more small rod in my golf bag for a sabiki set up. where are you staying?
 
Upvote 0
Jun 10, 2004
683
737
55
Jamul
Name
used to fish
Boat
17 Aquasport
It took me and my kid a month to figure it out a couple of summers ago. Don't forget, many fish over there are reef eaters and don't care about something that looks like a small baitfish much. Manini need to be at least 5 inches (pic() I think but they taste great and are easy to spear. The Omilu like a casting bubble and a small Papio killer lure in whites and silvers.
We took turns jumping in the water and watching the fishes reactions and lack of reactions to help our learning curve. One more piece of advise a lot of locals are not happy with "tourists" who don't quarantine. They got hit hard with Covid probably because they big huggers by nature. (look up the true meaning of Haole)The Hawaiian culture is very kind but not so much to the revolving door of tourists who step on their traditions day after day and then leave.

Screenshot_2.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: lastcast619
Upvote 0
Jun 10, 2004
683
737
55
Jamul
Name
used to fish
Boat
17 Aquasport
This was the outer reefs in Kaneohe but honestly we fished East side,West side and North shore and the reefs are basically all the same, except for conditions and swell depending on time of year. Offshore is another level. We also caught hammerhead sharks, huge puffer fish papio, nunu , and a variety of other carnivores. 2019 was when I spent 7 weeks on a job in Aloha stadium upgrading the scoreboard for them with my 30 year old son. Great time great people, I only wish I had more time to learn to fish Taku more that looks fun! I love those islands and the way of the people. Mahalo nui loa!
 
Upvote 0
Jun 10, 2004
683
737
55
Jamul
Name
used to fish
Boat
17 Aquasport
Oahu gets overfished I know BI has more fish on the reefs, just get a snorkel and see what’s around before you fish it, that’s what we did and honestly it was more rewarding than the catching until the grill started smoking!
 
Upvote 0

Toehi

Newbie
Aug 29, 2010
32
6
Kona, Hawaii
When you guys get to Kona drop me a pm, no guarantees but I might just get off my ass, dust off my gear, and meet you down on the rocks.

I’m sure that your aware but Kona bakes in the sun all day, unless your camping with a pop up tent for shade and cooler full of cold drinks, fishing during the day is brutal. Dawn patrol or just before sunset will be your best bet, unless your sending the kids out to stack bait for the night shift, lol!

If you want to go after something bigger with live or dead bait get a dunking set up, Penn 8500 + sized reel and at least a 10 foot heavy pole. You can whip glow grubs at night for menpachi etc but the bigger game is going to be sniffing for something tasty. Personal preference for dunking is mono for me, braid and sharp reef don’t seem to like each other.

Feb/March will still be winter swell time, if you want to fish a spot pull up, crack a Pepsi and watch it for a while before you walk out. Getting pounded is no fun and it can/will happen if your not paying attention. In my teens I almost got sucked out at 3am because I was more focused on trying to hook an eel for bait than I was on what the ocean was doing.

Get yourself a book on fishes of Hawaii, there is also some good Hawaii fishing books (by Jim Rizzuto). Buy yourself a set of Tabi’s, they are a must if your going to walk in the tide zone. If you got the basics then shoreline fishing will be a lot more enjoyable when you come.
 
Upvote 0

chamackO

I Should Upgrade My Account
Jun 12, 2003
1,622
377
SoCal and NorCal
Name
Alex
Boat
none
that seems about similar to what im bringing. Basically one rod for whipping and dunking (i.e. throwing a popping cork and one for live / cut bait).

might also bring one more small rod in my golf bag for a sabiki set up. where are you staying?

I’m staying with my friend in Kona. Not sure what neighborhood.
 
Upvote 0

Brett Barker

Newbie
Jun 28, 2019
36
2
28
Dana Point
Name
Brett Barker
Boat
N/A
Hey guys!

Great information on this thread! I’ll be headed out to Kona next week (3/8-3/12) for work for about 3-5 days, would love to link up with anyone who is in the area! I’ll be bringing one travel rod and a 5k size spinning reel. Anyone suggest top water bait, any pelagic species coming out? I’m open to fish for anything, bottom feeders, surface fish, sharks.

thanks!
Brett
 
Upvote 0

grander007

I Should Upgrade My Account
May 10, 2007
1,866
182
Honolulu
Name
zzzz
Boat
46, Bertram, Deep Blue
good luck and make sure you google ciguatera - i know some folks that got it from eating just a bitty piece of a reef fish, and it sucks - I personally stay away from any reef fish but that is your choice - cig is a neurotoxin, it never goes away

tight lines,
 
Upvote 0

LundieF

Member
Jul 3, 2009
273
38
Haiku
Name
Lundie
Boat
20' Shamrock WA, Maka 'oi 'oi II
good luck and make sure you google ciguatera - i know some folks that got it from eating just a bitty piece of a reef fish, and it sucks - I personally stay away from any reef fish but that is your choice - cig is a neurotoxin, it never goes away

tight lines,

I made this post for you already way back in the first reply LOL
 
Upvote 0