The latest addition to the Maui fishing charter fleet is Cooper V, a 31′ center console departing from Mala Wharf, Lahaina’s small boat harbor. The vessel is outfitted for private and share boat Lahaina bottom fishing charters. She can accommodate up to 12 passengers (maximum 8 anglers) and thereby joins only three other fishing boats on Maui licensed to carry more than 6 passengers.
Jimmy Akana (captain) describes Cooper V as ideally suited for successful light tackle fishing; fast and maneuverable with a 350hp turbo diesel engine, she gets anglers to the reef fast. On private charters (and weather permitting) they’ll sometimes speed out across the channel to Lanai to reach productive locations not ordinarily fished. The vessel is equipped with an array of 15 pound spinning tackle, a bait-cutting station, and a state-of-the-art Simrad fish finder. This combination of speed, well maintained gear, modern electronics and solid local knowledge will put clients on the bite!
Jimmy started fishing Maui waters in ’94. Since then his fishing experience has expanded throughout the Pacific, to include crewing down on the Great Barrier for black marlin, to running private sport fishers through Central America and Mexico. The last 14 years he’s been spending his summers running a fishing operation – mostly bottomfishing – out of Seward Alaska. After that he warms up and returns to Maui to lead bottom fishing charters for Valley Isle visitors.
The Cooper V is owned by UFO Adventures, and was previously used for water sport activities such as wake boarding, knee-boarding, banana boat rides, tubing and snorkeling. As of this writing, she is still available for such trips on a custom charter basis (charged by the hour). This could change however, as word spreads and the team fine tunes their light tackle fishing niche. I for one, am painfully aware of the need for expanded fishing options beyond deepsea trolling off Lahaina and Ka’anapali Maui!
The single drawback I see in this boat right now is the lack of an enclosed marine head (bathroom). In “emergency situations” the boat is equipped with a portable head, which I’m sure is just fine for uninhibited men enjoying a morning of fishing, beer and social bonding. But for the majority of women and kids, a little privacy goes a long way. For this reason, until clients tell me otherwise, I’ll be recommending private charters more often than share boats, and suggest that readers “take care of business” before they board the boat!