Whether you’re visiting Oahu, or another of Hawaii’s top sportfishing locations, you’ll want to know what to expect deep sea fishing before you ‘dive’ in. Read through our what to expect resource before you head out. It includes helpful information on what the day will be like, what to bring, and how to make the most of your experience.
The Basics – Deep Sea Fishing
Deep sea fishing is a form of fishing that requires you to be at least 30 meters from shore. On charter boats, fisherman/woman have the opportunity to experience an entirely different kind of fishing with an array of exotic fish including Yellowfin Tuna (Ahi) and Mahi Mahi. In other words, fish you would never see floating by in shallow water. (Unless something has gone very wrong!)
Deep sea fishing, also commonly called sport fishing or saltwater fishing, is best experienced in Oahu, Hawaii, thanks to fish like the Blue Marlin that can weigh up to 1000 pounds! Unless you’re planning on standing by the tracks and reeling in a freight train, there’s nothing quite like the sensation of hooking a marlin or swordfish on the end of your line!
What to Bring On A Fishing Charter
Equipment– You don’t need to bring much! Whipsaw will provide all of the equipment and rods you need. You’ll find most charters provide you with all the equipment you’ll need, but if you are going out from a different location, be sure to check what they provide before you book.
Clothing– Dressing in layers is always a good idea. No matter the temperature on land, it is often 10 to 20 degrees cooler on the water. We recommend bringing a windbreaker and something to keep you dry in case it gets rainy. For footwear, you’ll want your deck shoes if you have them, if not, bring footwear with a good grip.
Food & Drink– Once you leave on your charter, there’s no going back for extra snacks. On all of Whipsaw’s charters, you are more than welcome to bring your own food and drink. You don’t need to bring your own coolers, we have plenty of cooler space and ice on board. You may also bring alcohol (no glass containers, please), but we ask that you also bring just as much water and soda as well. We also have catering options available for private charters if you want to leave those details to us. Other deep sea fishing locations around Honolulu and Hawaii may have different rules around what food and drink you are allowed to bring on board. Always look for these details before you leave so that you’re prepared with the food you need for the day, and so you don’t waste time bringing items you’re not allowed to have on board. One more note about food on board: don’t bring bananas if you want the fish to bite! Bananas are unlucky in the fishing world.
Personal Items – Bringing along sea sickness medication is a good idea. We recommend taking your pills before you go to bed and then once again when you wake up to ensure your comfort out on the water. If you have questions or concerns about sea sickness medication, it’s best to consult a doctor well in advance of your trip. We also recommend you bring sunscreen with an SPF no less than 30. The sun can get pretty intense on the open water! Remember, you can get a sunburn even on a cool or cloudy day, so please come prepared with sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat. Bring your cameras! If you have cell phones and other valuables, consider a waterproof pouch or container. You don’t want to miss out on once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities.
Weather On A Fishing Charter
While the weather in Hawaii is beautiful year round, the best time for fishing is in spring and summer, April – September, when the island sees more sunshine and less rain. Our hottest month is August, so if you’re visiting us then, pack plenty of sunscreen and bring a wide-brimmed hat!
You can expect a variety of fish depending on the season, but most commonly you will see Marlin and Mahi Mahi (dolphin fish). The Marlin you will find come in three different varieties, the Pacific Blue Marlin, the Striped Marlin, and, although its appearance is rare, the Black Marlin all the way from Australia. Other common fish you’ll find are Wahoo as well as several varieties of tuna, including the Skipjack and Yellowfin tuna. If you’ve got your heart set on finding a particular fish, please plan your trip accordingly!
Your wellness on board begins before you arrive. Get a good night’s sleep and come focused. Avoid drinking too heavily the night before as you will need to be up and alert very early in the morning. You know your own body. Treat it right before you go out deep sea fishing so that you can have the best experience possible out on the water.
Bring boat shoes if you can and if not, bring shoes with a very good grip. The floor of the boat can get slick while walking the deck.
If you often get seasick or suffer from motion sickness, plan accordingly. Even if you’re not used to getting seasick, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Here are a few quick tips for avoiding sea sickness:
Get plenty of sleep
Don’t arrive hungover
Avoid a completely empty stomach
Consume plain foods (Ex. Bread, crackers)
Avoid reading while on board (this includes your phone screen.)
Every deep sea fishing experience is a little different, which is what makes it so exciting. No two trips are alike, so we hope you will come back and fish with us again soon. Next time you join us, consider a different time of year so that you have a better chance of catching other types of fish. If you’re hoping to catch a specific fish, you can learn more about seasonal trends under our Hawaii fish section.
Whipsaw Sportfishing offers premium sportfishing charters in Oahu, Hawaii. For more information on fishing for deep-sea fish and other aquatic game, book a shared or private fishing charter with us today.