Even the best Maui fishing charters require patience, and patience is generally not a quality most kids are blessed with. That smooth-talking-Morgan-Freeman inner voice that lulls many an angler into a zen state as they gaze at the horizon is pretty much ignored by most kids under the age of 10 or 11.
That’s not to say kids won’t enjoy a Maui fishing trip, it’s just that you’ll need to keep things interesting for them between hookups. And believe me, the time between hookups on a Maui sport fishing charter can sometimes be longer than we’d like.
Those of you who chuckle to yourselves, saying “the kids will come with us whether they like it or not” are in for an extra special treat if the fishing happens to be slow. Spending 8 hours on a sport fishing charter with a sullen 8 year old who REALLY didn’t want to be there in the first place can make for an exquisitely miserable trip.
Finally, it should be mentioned that children are quite susceptible to sea sickness; often more than adults. Be sure to read my page about Avoiding Seasickness.
Now that I have the caveats out of the way, here are my general recommendations for Maui fishing with kids broken down by age groups…
Kids aged 0 – 3: Keep them back on shore. A Maui fishing charter is not the place for toddlers. It’s uninteresting for them, and potentially unsafe. If you do plan on bringing a toddler out on any kind of charter, I’d recommend bringing your own PFD (personal floatation device). Most boats don’t carry life jackets that will fit children that young.
Kids aged 4-7: In my opinion, a Maui sport fishing charter is not appropriate for children under the age of 8. Sport fishing is usually conducted farther offshore, where sea conditions can be unpredictable, perhaps even unsafe for younger children who don’t understand the importance of holding on until it’s too late. If you insist on bringing a younger child, book a private charter, and keep it under 6 hours.
A bottom fishing trip is best for the young ones. 4 hours, inshore. The equipment is light enough for most of them to manage. But even a 4 hour trip may feel long to some children, so if you’re “doing this for the kids”, get a single rod per adult/child pair on a shared bottom fishing trip. Better yet, book a private. Customizing a bottom fishing charter for a family makes the charter more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Kids aged 8-14: Here’s where your knowledge of your own children plays an important role. If your kids have shown a genuine interest in fishing, are realistic and patient, you may be able to take them on a offshore sportfishing trip. Keep in mind however that the gear on an offshore trolling trip is heavy, and reeling often takes more upper body strength than an 8 or even a 10 year old can muster.
A private charter is required for any children under the age of 12. There are 1 or 2 sport fishing boats that will include some light tackle and/or bottom fishing time if you book on private charter basis. For most of them, the minimum age is 8.
Aged 14 and up… Looking for that perfect father & son fishing experience on Maui? It’s out there. How about a 4-6 hour guided shore fishing expedition for two? This, or any of our regular sport fishing charters would be appropriate for those aged 14 and up.
When you’re ready to book, give me a call at 808-344-3520, or fill out a reservation inquiry form on this page and I’ll get back to you with recommendations and availability.