Here are my general recommendations for fishing with kids off Maui Hawaii, broken down by age groups…
Kids aged 0 – 3:
Keep them back on shore. A Maui fishing charter is not a place for toddlers. 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. There are places that rent them.
Kids aged 4-7:
In my opinion, a Maui sport fishing charter is not appropriate for children under the age of 8. Deepsea 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 (assuming the vessel captain will allow it), 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”, consider getting a single rod per adult/child pair on a shared bottom fishing trip. Better yet, book a private charter. Being able to customize a bottom fishing charter for your family will make 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, and 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 generally pretty 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.
In closing… it should be mentioned that most children (and many adults) are susceptible to seasickness. Be sure to read my page about Avoiding Seasickness.
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.