June, July & August
Summer offers Maui fishing enthusiasts their best chance at the largest gamefish; blue marlin in excess of 500lbs, and ahi (yellowfin tuna) over 100lbs are caught more during the summer than at any other time during the year.
And while the quality of the catch can be spectacular during the summer, the quantity brought in by the boats may not be as consistent. Indeed, summer fishing can be marked by a day or two of the doldrums where practically no boat catches, followed by a day or two of high activity where many boats catch, often including a number of impressive specimens.
June and early July we can see decent ono (wahoo) bites. Come August, ono tend to drop off, though last year the ono bite surprised many with a burst of activity in August. Mahi mahi (dorado / dolphin fish), while arguably Maui’s most common gamefish, is a bit harder to come by during the summer.
Inshore fishing with lighter tackle is decent this time of year. For the youngest anglers, blueline snapper are numerous. Grey snapper (uku) and trevally both peak during the summer and can make for an exciting fight on light tackle whether you’re fishing from a boat or from the shore. I’ve heard captains complain about the live bait bite during the summer. Sometimes it just seems “off”. One other drawback this time of year is the weather. The air can be hot. And still. Particularly towards the end of August.
Absent during the summer are the Kona storms, which can bring torrents of rain and high winds from the south. Summer is hot. Muggy. The winds blow acrid, dusty air around in the afternoons. Locals quietly yearn for the cool, brief afternoon showers that fall like clockwork in the spring. Get offshore… get far offshore. Hook into that marlin of a lifetime and then toss back a cold one.
Coming to Maui this summer? I’d advise you to book your Maui fishing charter well in advance! Here’s why..
- Group travel is UP. A lot of extended families and their guests come to Maui for weddings. Fishing boats that can take more than six people will be in high demand. There are currently only four fishing vessels – two out of Lahaina Harbor and two out of Maalaea Harbor – licensed to carry more than 6 passengers. These boats fill up quickly mid-May to mid-July.
- Many families with children travel to Maui in the early summer months. There aren’t many of the fishing boats that will take kids under 8 fishing, even on a private trip. The best kid-friendly boats are often booked out a month in advance or more. Contact me for specific referrals for your family fishing trip.
- Summer fishing tournaments! As the marlin bite peaks, so naturally do the number of fishing tournaments, making vessel availability even more sparse. Maui’s Wahine Fishing Tournament at the end of May,the Blue Marlin World Cup (Worldwide) on July 4 may cut into vessel availability. Some boats simply shut down for a couple of weeks to fish the tournament circuit. Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii plays host to most of the regional and international fishing tournaments throughout July and August. Some Maui fishing boats travel over there for up to weeks at a time, putting them out of the charter lineup.
So just to repeat… make a fishing reservation as soon as possible if you plan on visiting Maui during the summer….Don’t make me have to say “I told you so!” 😉