Frequently Asked Questions

What is included with my fishing charter?

Full or half 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.

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?

Our charter boats are all 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.”

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. 

What are share boat 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. 

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 the water.

Is there a bathroom on the boat?

Yes. We have a comfortable and clean head (bathroom) on the boat.

What if I want to have my fish mounted?

Hawaii Sport Fishing will happy to start the process of having your trophy mounted. 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 happens to the fish?

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), and will also allow you to keep some of the catch for dinner and our crews will be glad to fillet them for you.

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.

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. 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.

What about Seasickness?

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 another passenger.

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! to 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?


  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Hats
  • Light Jacket
  • Food
  • Drinks (Alcohol is OK, but no bottles.
    Cans only. You will need to purchase the night before.)
What should I NOT bring for the charter?


  • Bananas (They are bad luck!)
  • Coolers (We have coolers full of ice)