Frequently Asked Questions of
What happens to the fish?
One of the biggest differences between our boats and others is
our fish disposition policy. We will fillet your catch for
you to enjoy for dinner while you are here on Maui.
A lot of boats in Lahaina Harbor will charge
you to fillet your catch or even worse make you buy the fish from them. One
thing we don't get involved with is shipping fish to the mainland. If you want
to ship your fish home, you are on your own. There is no canning, processing or
packaging of fish in Hawaii. Make
sure you understand what the fish policy is before booking any charter in Hawaii.
There are some boats that have a policy of all fish are the property of the
Talk to us, and talk to your skipper, so you’ll know what to
expect. You are the customer, and whatever you would like to see done
with the fish is something you should have a say in. One issue that
sometimes offends some anglers is the issue of selling fish, especially
Billfish. We acknowledge that Hawaii seems behind the times with its
"catch, kill, and sell" mentality, and many ask why things don’t change.
However, it is an extremely detailed philosophical issue with roots
dating back to ancient days, and the people of Hawaii are reluctant to
change in their ways.
That said, we will agree to your request of releasing
Billfish (and in fact support the whole concept.)
If you request all Billfish be released and/or would
like to take home some "table fish" to eat or share with friends, our
skippers ask that you acknowledge the crew is partially paid from the
sale of fish and request that some form of compensation that you feel is
fair, at least be considered for any hard working crew.
you think about boats leaving as early as 2:00AM or 3:00AM?
Racing out to one of our FAD's in the middle of the night isn't always a good
idea. Sometimes the boats leaving at 6:00AM will reach the same FAD that a
boat that left hours earlier fished and catch more fish. Most of time
these boats that leave at 2:00AM or 3:00AM are fishing in the dark for half
of a charter and you don't catch
marlin in the dark! The boats leaving in the middle of the
night are constantly having mishaps. This past year (2012) one boat
had gone up the reef because the captain was asleep and another had the
captain disappear off the boat at 4:00AM in the dark with the passengers
having to be rescued by another boat. Not to mention the possibility of hitting
a whale running in the dark. Half of the year off Maui we have whales
with their young in the waters surrounding the island.
What is included with my fishing charter?
Full , 3/4 or 1/2 day fishing charters include all bait, tackle and ice. The
captain and crew will provide everything needed to catch any gamefish.
However, if you have a favorite lure or rod you would
like to bring, most skippers will certainly oblige.
May I/we smoke?
Yes you may smoke aboard. We just ask that you smoke outside the cabin to be
courteous to others on board.
May I/we drink?
Assuming we are taking about alcoholic beverages. Yes, but we do ask that you
keep it to moderation for your safety and the safety of others. One note: plan
ahead, buy your alcoholic beverages the night before your trip.
What should I bring?
Bring enough food and drinks to keep satisfied for length of your trip. We have
plenty of ice and coolers. We also recommend sunglasses, hat, light jacket or
long sleeve shirt and sunscreen.
Do I need a fishing license?
There are no fishing licenses required for recreational
sportfishing in Hawaiian waters.
How many people can go on the fishing charter?
Most of our charter boats are licensed to take up to a maximum of six chartered
passengers plus the captain and crew. This is standard throughout the
world for big game fishing. Trolling more than 6 lines at a time can
sometimes cause the loss of that one big Marlin "bite of the day."
We do have a couple of boats that can take more than six for combination
bottom fishing and sportfishing trips.
What Not To Bring on the Boat - i.e. Bananas
Are you superstitious? No? Well believe it when we say when
it comes to many fishing Captains that they are as bad or worse than
baseball players when it comes to special routines they practice or items
they carry or forbid. One major item they forbid and that you should NEVER
EVER bring on a boat is a banana! No bananas, no banana pudding, banana
sandwiches, banana splits, banana drinks, banana boat suntan lotion, no
banana anything. It may be an old wives tale, but it's a fact that bananas
are bad luck on a fishing boat. History tells us that this tale originated
as early as the 17th century from banana laden cargo boats that ran aground,
lost crew members to sickness and disease, or became lost at sea. Further investigation indicated that the bananas were also
prone carry to the deadly tarantula spider!
What if I'm on a Cruise Ship?
NCL cruise ship passengers in Kahului are
able to do a fishing charter on the morning of their second day on Maui, but
this will require a rental car and the drive time is about 40 minutes.
Lahaina cruise ship passengers are able to do a charter on the
morning of your first or second day and the boat leaves from the same harbor
where your tender arrives in Lahaina. Another fishing option may be in the
port of Kona on the Big Island.
Kona Fishing 4U for the best
boats on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Some of my family
don't like fishing, but I want to bring them. What should I do?
Taking people out fishing who would rather be doing something else is most
common mistake people make.
LEAVE THEM ON THE ISLAND! Offshore fishing requires patience and a desire to
participate in the sport. If you take them out and they get sick and want to go
home early, then guess what, you just spent your money for only a few hours of
fishing. If you had let them stay home you could have fished all day.
How should I choose a boat?
Choosing a boat that is right for you depends on the type of
boat you like, the gear you want to use, and what you want to do with
the fish that is caught. Another big consideration is the fish catching
record of the boat. There are always a few boats in any harbor with
equipment that is in need of repair and will fail when you need it
the most. Our reels are rebuilt often and the line is replaced after a
long battle with a big fish. We have provided a photos and information
about each of our boasts so that you can choose the one that appeals to
you most. Some anglers like rugged macho fishing with no luxuries,
while others enjoy a bit of comfort and amenities as well. If you have
a question about a particular boat, please feel free to e-mail
and he'll get the answer for you.
What are share boat
or made-up trips?
Share boat trips are for anglers who don’t have the inclination
to book a private charter and would like to go fishing without paying
some $600.00 or so. The advantage, of course, is lower cost, but there
are several disadvantages. First, share trips generally do not go unless
the boat is able to get four or more passengers to go along. So, if you
are on a tight schedule, there is a possibility the trip might not
happen on the day you wanted to go fishing. It’s also difficult to go on
the specific boat you wanted because private charters tend to take
priority. Second, when fishing is slow, there are times when only one or
two fish are hooked up. With rotational watches on the rods, it may mean
you won’t get to fight the giant Marlin or big Ahi that strikes the
lures, and you may feel a little bit left out if this happens. Still, a
day on the water and witnessing the catching of a big fish firsthand is
pretty exciting, too. Third, personalities at sea tend to differ
greatly. Some people may become ill and want to go home just as the bite
picks up or maybe have a little too much to drink, creating a tension on
board between those who want to stay out and those who want to go home.
What is the
difference between a full day, 3/4 day and 1/2 day fishing trip?
Full Day Charter (8hrs)
The full day charters are always the most productive and
highly recommended by Capt. Charlie. This sport fishing trip takes you to the deep waters and
located outside the islands. You will have the most chance of catching because
of the amount of time of the trip. This is the most popular trip for Pacific
Blue Marlin. Many people return again and again to go and catch their trophy
fish. You will fish for Marlin, Mahi-mahi, Ono and Ahi (Yellowfin Tuna.
3/4 Day Charter (6hrs)
This sport fishing trip takes you to deep waters
behind Lanai or Molokai. Weather conditions and fish location will make our
choice as to where we will be fishing each day. This trip is also very
productive at times when the fishing is closer in. You will be fishing for
Marlin, Mahi-mahi, Ono and Ahi (Yellowfin Tuna.)
1/2 Day Charter (4hrs)
This fishing trip is concentrated in the sheltered waters
of Maui, Molokai and Lanai. This four hour trip is more
productive in the spring and summer. You will fish mainly for Mahi-mahi, Ono
and Ahi (Yellowfin Tuna.) When the fish are inside at some times
of the year this can be a good trip even though you only will be out for
Do I need to bring tackle?
All of Maui Sport Fishing boats provide tackle, bait, ice and
coolers to keep your beverages. However, if you have a favorite lure or
rod you would like to bring, most skippers will certainly oblige.
What should I wear?
Dress as though you were going to work in the garden on a hot
summer day. T-shirts and shorts, a light baseball type hat, polarized
sunglasses, and preferably deck type shoes are perfect for your day on
Is there a bathroom on the boat?
Yes. We have a comfortable and clean heads (bathrooms) on the boats.
What if I want to have my fish mounted?
Maui Sport Fishing boats will be happy to start the process of having your
Most saltwater species of fish, including blue marlin, are not mounted
using the skin of the fish. The mounts are made of a fiberglass replica
mold using some parts of the fish. The size is determined by measurements taken from the fish.
Your fish may be mounted by both taking measurements of the fish at the
time of the catch, and then releasing your fish, or by taking the
measurements on the dock. Be sure and let the captain
know of your intentions in advance of catching your fish so he can take
the appropriate actions.
What if we don't catch any fish?
It is a simple fact of life that all fishing places, no matter
how good or how many stories have been written about them, sometimes
don't produce fish on a given day. Some people feel there should be a
guarantee in chartering a boat, however, what customers are paying for
is the opportunity to be on a boat with an opportunity to catch a large
fish and the story of a lifetime. We believe our angling customers
should enjoy the beautiful scenery, the color of the water and the sky,
the camaraderie with the crew, and the good fortune they have for being
on the water in Hawaii with the opportunity to catch a record fish at
any moment. However it is very seldom that anyone gets upset over
failing to catch any fish if the crew did everything they possibly could
to catch fish. If the crew shows us a good time and gives us a chance to
catch fish, that's all we ask for.
What about food and drink?
Bring all of your food and drink aboard with you. You will need
to purchase these items the day before because the stores aren't usually
open that early in the morning. (Except Safeway in Lahaina) Cans are
better than glass for drinks (glass is dangerous on boats.) For a
charter boat to serve food would require a special State License which
would add to the cost of the fishing trip. All our boats will have
coolers to keep your food and drinks.
We advise our customers who are unsure about Seasickness to take a
seasick pill the night before the charter and another one hour before
the charter. Be sure to read the labels. Certain pills have warnings and
not all people should take them.
Most people think Bonine® is the best pill form, over the counter
remedy. Highly recommended! Don't let a doctor or pharmacist talk you
into any other kind of pill form. There are no others that are "just
like Bonine®". There's little to no side effect. The biggest mistake
people make with pill form remedies is that they take their first dose
either right before or right after stepping on the boat. That's too
late! It is highly recommended taking one dose of Bonine® the night
before your trip and another dose in the morning when you wake up.
Always check with your Doctor first.
What kind of sunscreen should I bring?
You will also want to bring your own sunscreen. We recommend a
sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher as the Hawaiian sun is very
strong, especially on the water. Also, a tip from Captain Charlie:
Tanning oil on a boat is very dangerous and should be saved for the
beach. Nobody wants to try to hold on to something and find themselves
in the drink because there was oil left on that part of the boat from
should I use in my GPS to find the harbor?
Lahaina Harbor: 648 Wharf St. Lahaina, Hi.96761
Ma'alaea Harbor: 390 Ma'alaea Boat Harbor
Rd. Ma'alaea, Hi. 96763
What about tipping?
We are in the service business and our goal is to exceed our customers
expectations. If you feel your Captain and crew has done a good job for
you on your fishing charter, tipping is always appreciated.
Consider this: You go out to a nice restaurant and have a good meal and
friendly waiter. Do you leave them a gratuity? You get in a cab and
drive into town. Do you tip the driver? A bell boy takes your bags to
your room. Do you give him a little something? These people spend 5 to
15 minutes with you. It amazes me to watch people have a great time
catching fish or not catching fish; seeing whales, dolphins, manta rays,
green sea turtles and other wonderful wildlife while the Captain and
crew spend 4 ,6, or 8 HOURS with them answering questions and trying
their hardest to catch them the fish of a lifetime. After all this time
spent, many people walk away without leaving them a dime! The Captain
and crew are no different than a good waiter at a restaurant. They rely
on gratuities, fish money and basic wages to survive. PLEASE don't just
walk off with a hearty handshake. There is no gratuity built into the
cost of your trip so be respectful and generous if you've had a good
time! Like restaurants, tipping should be considered only
when service is good or exceptional. If the boat is clean, and in good
condition, and the crew are courteous, friendly and place you in a
position which gives the appearance you are about catch fish at any
given moment should be your guide as opposed to the final result. We
recommend tipping in the range of 15 to 20 percent of the charter rate
if you feel the service received was appropriate.
What do I need to bring for the charter?
WHAT YOU CAN BRING:
boats in Hawaii do not supply food, so bring anything you want
to eat while fishing.
Drinks (Alcohol is OK, but no bottles.
Cans only. You will need to purchase the
WHAT YOU CAN LEAVE BEHIND:
What is the cancellation
There is a 48 hour cancellation policy. Should you fail to cancel outside 48
HOURS of your scheduled charter, your card will be charged the full amount
of the charter.
This cancellation policy is set by the charter provider.
Cancellation Service Fee: No (0%) Cancellation Service Fee is applied
for cancellations made outside of the above cancellation policy set by the
If the captain cancels due to stormy weather and dangerous
conditions, there is no charge for the day(s) and a full refund for the
day(s) in question will be given. If availability allows it, the angler may
choose to reschedule the charter.
If the captain suggests canceling the charter due to
inclement weather and the angler insists on going, no refund shall be given
even if the boat only spends a short time at sea.
Note: there are no cancellations due to rain, since the rain
in Hawaii usually consists of localized squalls that come and go.