Top 5 Kona Fishing Tours
Wahoos, Marlins, and Mahis- oh my! There is a bounty of game fish lurking in the calm waters off Kona. So much, in fact, that Kona has been dubbed the “Mecca” for sport fishing in Hawaii. This is due to a steep ocean dropoff that descends thousands of feet just offshore- which means you don’t have to venture miles away from the coast to catch large pelagics. With year-round calm conditions on top of that, Kona is nothing short of an angler’s paradise.
This sleepy Big Island town is home to an abundance of fishing charters and captains happy to share their expertise with eager visitors. We’ve shuffled through the best of the best to help guide you on your fishing charter search.
- Half-Day Kona Fishing Charter – Knowledgeable Captain
- Ultimate Kona Sport Fishing Experience – Great For Beginners
- Full-Day Shared Fishing Charter – Most Affordable
- Marlin Fishing Charter – Blue Marlin Hunt
- Family Fish And Snorkel Custom Charter – Family Friendly
Half-Day Kona Fishing Charter
Captain Shawn Slattery invites you aboard the Kona Cowboy, a 40 foot Bertram Sportsfisher, to experience a morning of fishing most anglers only dream about. Born into a commercial fishing family, Captain Shawn has angling in his blood. His love of fishing led him to the waters off Kona, where he now shares his passion with visitors of all skill levels- from novice to pro.
The Kona Cowboy is equipped with state-of-the-art electronics, safety equipment, and International Game Fishing Association qualified gear. With two 350HP Cummings engines and a maximum cruising speed of 25 knots, the Kona Cowboy can cover plenty of fishing ground during this half-day tour.
Whether you’re after a blue marlin or a tasty mahi-mahi to eat for dinner, Captain Shawn’s expertise can help make your Hawaii fishing goals happen. While some charter boats keep the fish caught during the excursion, on the Kona Cowboy, guests are welcome to bring home anything under 50 pounds. In fact, the crew will even clean and package the catch for you.
Know Before You Go
● Everything you need to enjoy a morning on the water is provided for you, including fishing licenses, tackle and bait, and even complimentary photos and videos of your memorable day.
● A cooler with ice will be provided for you. Bring along any snacks and drinks you’d like to have. Alcohol is welcome if it is not in glass and you drink responsibly.
● The half-day charter departs from Honokohau Harbor and runs for four hours.
Ultimate Kona Sport Fishing Experience
This Ultimate Kona Sports Fishing Experience welcomes you aboard in comfort and style. The Bite Me III is a 40′ Egg Harbor boat with brand new, top-of-the-line fishing gear. This spacious vessel hosts both private and shared charters for up to six people.
The captain and the entire staff aboard this charter have over 80 years of combined experience fishing in Kona’s waters! Expertly in tune with their surroundings, they are constantly aware of ocean depth, currents, bottom structures, even what type of lure works best for the time of year. These expert fishermen can predict when and where potential fish might strike. They are happy to share their tricks of the trade with both accomplished and beginner anglers and show them what sport fishing in Hawaii is all about.
The Bite Me III is equipped with a shaded open-air cockpit, a shaded top deck, onboard restrooms, and a sound system with an iPod plug-in. Gear wise, you’ll find only the creme de la creme, such as a full-sized Murray Brothers fighting chair, Penn International rods, Rupp tournament outriggers, and much more.
Know Before You Go:
● Asking questions is encouraged! These guys are Kona fishing pros, and they want to make sure guests learn and become familiar with their fishing styles.
● Shared charters run for four hours. Private charters choose between four, six, or eight-hour tours.
● Should the charter be canceled due to weather or other circumstances, guests will receive a full refund. Guest cancellations within 48 hours will receive a full refund as well.
Full-Day Shared Fishing Charter
Understandably, private fishing charters are not financially feasible for everyone. Some private charters can run upwards of $1,000. While it’s nice for you and your party to have an entire boat to yourselves, it’s not always realistic, especially for solo travelers or couples. Shared fishing charters are a great way to get out on the sea, meet some new people, and not break the bank.
The Ku’uipo offers affordable shared fishing charters out of Honokohau Harbor in Kona. The Ku’uipo is one of the most comfortable boats you’ll find cruising off Kona, clocking in at 38′ feet with an air-conditioned cabin, full galley with a fridge and microwave, restrooms, and a spacious back deck.
Everything necessary for a day of sport fishing is provided for you, including tackle, licenses, and gear. Anglers of all experience levels are welcome on board, as well as keiki. Everything you need to know about reeling in fish is covered in the morning briefing.
Know Before You Go:
● BYO food and drink. There is plenty of fridge and cooler space for all your items.
● Start times vary from season to season, but the charter typically begins around 6:30 am, running til around 2:30 pm.
● This tour only operates with a minimum of four guests.
Marlin Fishing Charter
It’s every angler’s dream to reel in the king of the sea- the largest game fish in Hawaii, blue marlin. Well, this might be your chance. This 10-hour private fishing charter is tailor-made for hunting blue marlins.
You’ll be accompanied by lifelong fisherman Captain Chris Donato. Captain Chris has a decade of fishing experience in the South Pacific under his belt, as well as a long list of tournament results and TV appearances. With expert knowledge and a passion for heavy tackle blue marlin fishing, Kona has few better captains to help you find the big pelagics.
This tour utilizes a unique and historic vessel- a Merritt 37′ Footer. These boats were designed with one purpose in mind: to catch and raise fish. In total, only 13 were built, and this charter zips around the Kona seas in one of the 12 still in existence. In 2005, she underwent a complete restoration, and today this vessel is polished and clean with modern amenities and top-of-the-line fishing gear.
Know Before You Go:
● This private charter runs from 7:00 am – sunset and can accommodate up to six guests.
● Leave your tackle gear at home- the vessel is equipped with top-notch equipment, and the captain will decide which tackle is best to use based on ocean conditions.
● This tour focuses on catching marlin, but you might reel in ahi, ono, mahi-mahi, or other tasty game fish.
Family Fish and Snorkel Custom Charter
Family vacations are full of compromise. You might want to take a fishing tour, but the family wants to snorkel, or vice versa. Luckily, there is a fishing charter/snorkel tour that specializes in resolving family vacation disputes. This four-hour private charter spends half the time fishing for game fish like ono, mahi, or the elusive blue marlin. The other half is yours to customize! Whether you want to snorkel Kona’s beautiful reefs, go whale watching, or look for spinner dolphins, the choice is yours.
The vessel, Maheli Heli, is a 36′ custom Seahawk. Built in 2016, the Maheli Heli is one of the newest excursion boats found in Kona’s waters. She is outfitted with eco-friendly engines with minimal exhaust to help reduce seasickness. You’ll also find Shimano fishing gear on board, as well as snorkel equipment, a comfortable, spacious cabin, an onboard head, and warm freshwater showers.
Know Before You Go:
● The captains, Bill and Dave, have been on the seas around Kona for over 20 years.
● Don’t forget your towel, reef-safe sunscreen, and any food or drinks you’d like to have during the day.
● This charter is offered seven days a week, from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm.
Looking For Something Else?
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