DECEMBER, JANUARY, FEBRUARY
Winter is sort of a “catch your breath” month for the Maui sport fishing industry. Fishing is good, but with fewer “hot” bites as we see in the summer. Big Eye tuna are in season during the winter. Big Eye is sometimes confused with yellowfin tuna (except they are fatter with…bigger eyes. Go figure). Both species are simply referred to as “ahi”. Since Big Eye are deepwater tuna, they’re most often hooked by those boats leaving wickedly early and reaching the buoys at first light, like Die Hard and Automatic. They are not caught every day, but when you do, break out the wasabi!! The mahi bite is still consistent, and striped marlin are showing up more in January.
The inshore bite can be really good during the winter. Plenty of amberjack to be found. Travally, papio, snapper. So if you’re on the fence as to whether to book a Maui bottom fishing charter or a sport fishing charter, bottom fishing, can be a good choice this time of year. Granted the fish will most likely be a lot smaller, but you’ll probably catch more of them. Contact me. I’ll get you hooked up! Guided shorefishing and spearfishing are also very good this time of year.
MAUI WINTER WEATHER:
Where summer is thought of as the windy season, marked by strong, consistent trades, winter is Maui’s “rainy season”. Fortunately, thanks to Maui’s numerous microclimates, unless you’re spending a lot of time in East Maui, or upcountry you may not notice. The two most popular tourist areas of south and west Maui remain comparatively dry. South Maui in particular (Kihei & Wailea) is the most consistently sunny region of the island. Lahaina and Kaanapali will see a few more showers, though they are usually brief, and keep things lush and green. The windward sides of the island will be the wettest. If you’re planning a drive to Hana, absolutely be sure to check the weather and driving conditions before you leave. Roads are sometimes blocked.
When storms do blow through (“Kona storms” begin making appearances in late October and into the winter), then can last for a few days at a time, dumping torrents of water island-wide). As for the sea conditions, winter is a time where you can experience extended calms – mornings with flat glassy waters are not uncommon, particularly off Lahaina where the afternoon winds are often blocked by the West Maui Mountains.
December is two-faced. Up until about the 20th, it’s typically pretty quiet on Maui. It’s easier to get a vessel for a private charter within a week of your visit than it is for a shared trip unless there are already 4 of you so the charter is confirmed. Parties of 1 or 2 may have to be flexible in their fishing dates. After December 20th it’s a different story. The holiday season is upon us and the hotels and condos fill up almost overnight. For the week between Christmas and New Years’, you’ll be hard-pressed to get on a top catch boat if you haven’t already booked by mid-November. January … Busy for the first two weeks, then it drops off slightly. February … Busy throughout the month.