The 10 Best Fishing Spots in Hawaii This Summer

Written by Crystal
Updated: May 2, 2023
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Can you say humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa?

The long name belongs to Hawaii’s state fish. Even though it’s the state fish, it’s unregulated, so you catch them if you can. As a member of the Balistidae family, this small fish has a reputation for putting up a big fight. Anglers lucky enough to catch one will be in for a thrilling experience. However, while catching these triggerfish is fun, they’re not very tasty. If you’re looking for delicious fish in Hawaii, you’ll want to target mahi-mahi, striped marlin, and ahi. Where can you find these fine fish species

Read on to discover the 10 best fishing spots in Hawaii this summer.

1. Kōke’e Public Fishing Area

What Do Trout Eat - Rainbow Trout Bursting from Surface

You can fish for rainbow trout in the Kōke’e Public Fishing Area.


The Kōke’e Public Fishing Area features streams, ditches, and reservoirs throughout the Hawaiian state park on Kaua’i. Anglers must visit the designated check-in stations to report their fishing activities. After checking in, they can fish during the open season between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Throughout the rivers, you’ll be able to find native and introduced species. Some introduced freshwater game species include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, rainbow trout, and bluegill.

2. Haleiwa 

Fastest Sea Animal: Black Marlin

Haleiwa is a popular fishing destination to find giant marlin.


On the northwest corner of Oahu, you’ll find Haleiwa, a popular fishing destination. Take advantage of the deep waters off the coast of Haleiwa to catch tuna, Mahi, and marlin. Deep-sea species peak from June through September. It’s one of the best times to catch yellow fish tuna, and they average over 100 lb! Or skip the boat and take advantage of the inshore fishing opportunities. The local reefs are home to grouper, amberjack, triggerfish, and snapper. 

3. Kailua-Kona

Kailua Kona  Hawaii

The hot spot of Kailua-Kona is called Kona, and it’s a great area for

big game fishing



Kailua-Kona offers one-of-a-kind fishing opportunities. The locals call the hot spot Kona, and it’s a great area for big game fishing. Look no further if you’re on the hunt for wahoo and marlin. You might even catch a trophy-sized fish. The giant marlin loves feeding on the giant squid in the Hawaiian waters.

There’s a healthy supply of marlin and wahoo from July through September. However, the spot is great for year-round fishing too. The water is always calm thanks to the mountains blocking the wind. 

4. Penguin Banks

Mahi Mahi on a white background

Penguin Banks in Oahu is a great place to fish for Mahi Mahi.


Next on our list of the best fishing spots in Hawaii this summer is Penguin Banks. This fishing spot sits in Oahu, and it’s an offshore structure. It is the perfect place for a mixture of bait fish and predators. You’ll be able to find all sorts of species, especially during the summer season.

Make sure you bring a cooler with plenty of snacks and refreshments as you’ll be spending a long day out on the water. Penguin Banks sit 20 miles offshore. The journey is worth it, though. Anglers have access to some of the best pelagic fish. Wahoo, mahi-mahi, yellowfin, and skipjack tuna are regular catches.

5. Waianae

Waianae Hawaii

Summertime is the peak season for fishing in Waianae.

© Davis

You’ll find the Waianae Coast on the west side of Oahu island. It’s a hot spot for anglers throughout Hawaii. There are five fish aggregating devices that attract some of the largest fish to the shore. That means there are tons of opportunities for catching dolphins, blue marlin, yellowfin tuna, and wahoo species. If you want to catch smaller species, then stick to shoreline fishing. However, summertime is the peak season for fishing in Waianae, so expect a crowd.

6. Papaa Bay

Papaa Bay

Papaa Bay offers exciting fishing opportunities.

©The Seven Layers/

If you don’t mind taking a short 20-minute hike, then Papaa Bay offers exciting fishing opportunities. It’s more than earned its name on our list of the best fishing spots in Hawaii this summer.

It’s easy to find Papaa Bay. Take the North Aliomanu beach access, and hike until you reach the rocks. It should only take you 15 to 20 minutes, and the hike is full of gorgeous views. You’ll be surrounded by beautiful landscapes and abundant wildlife. Because of the hike, the bay tends to offer more privacy. You might have the entire area all to yourself. Since it isn’t a heavily fished spot, be ready for a lot of action. When the fish are biting, the catches come regularly.

7. Black Rock

Black Rock

Mackerel are abundant in Black Rock Hawaii.


You’ll find a peninsula called Black Rock at the northern end of Kaanapali Beach. Snorkelers and anglers love this location because of the different fish species. Perch, triggerfish, mackerel, and turtles are abundant here. It is one of the most abundant fishing beaches in the world, so even a novice angler can make a big catch. Shoreline fishing is fully allowed at Black Rock Beach.

8. Bamboo Ridge

Bamboo Ridge Hawaii

Bamboo ridge is a great location if you want to get something brag-worthy on the line.

©Anh Luu/

Bamboo Ridge sits between Sandy Beach and Hanauma Bay. For easy access, you’ll want to park in the blowhole parking lot and hike down. The hike isn’t very long, but you’ll need to be careful. Watch out for the high waves coming in. There’s a monument on the hike to honor the fishermen who have drowned in the rising waters. You don’t have to worry, though. As long as you pay attention to the water levels, it can be a perfectly safe spot to spend the day.

Bamboo Ridge is a great location if you want to get something brag-worthy on the line. The waters feature some of the most aggressive, strongest, and biggest species out there. Take, for instance, the giant billfish! You can catch them in the deep waters all summer long.

9. Ewa Beach

Ewa Beach Hawaii

Ewa beach is popular for crevalle jack,


peacock bass, and bluefin trevally.

©Asia visions photography/

Do you want to escape the tourist scene? Then head over to Ewa Beach. It’s one of the hotter locations on the island and more remote. There’s lots of Papio, omilu, and oio reeled in regularly. The beach is also popular for crevalle jack, butterfly peacock bass, and bluefin trevally. Be sure to bring a cooler filled with ice and drinks to be comfortable with the high temperatures. You’ll also want plenty of water since it’ll be a long distance before you can find a place to refill. 

10. Hilo Harbor

Hilo Harbor Hawaii

Hilo Harbor is one of Hawaii’s best locations for ahi fishing.


One of Hawaii’s best locations for ahi fishing is Hilo Harbor. It sits on the east side of the big island of Hawaii, adjacent to Pohoiki. Ahi tuna swim close to the shore year-round, and they’re particularly active during the summertime. Some of the other species you’ll be able to catch here include black triggerfish, yellowfin tuna, and crevalle jack. 

Predatory fish enjoy hunting in low-light conditions where they can easily ambush their prey. That’s why twilight is the best time for shallow water fishing at Hilo Harbor. Days following a new moon are also productive. The bright moon makes it difficult for predatory fish to feed at night, forcing them out to your fishing line during the day. 

Summary of the 10 Best Fishing Spots in Hawaii This Summer

Here’s a recap of the 10 best places for summer fishing in Hawaii:

1Kōke’e Public Fishing AreaLargemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish,
rainbow trout, bluegill
2Haleiwa Yellow fish tuna, Mahi, marlin, grouper,
amberjack, triggerfish, snapper
3Kailua-KonaWahoo, marlin
4Penguin BanksMahi-mahi, wahoo, yellowfin, skipjack tuna
5WaianaeBlue marlin, yellowfin tuna, wahoo
6Papaa BayVarious
7Black RockPerch, triggerfish, mackerel
8Bamboo RidgeBillfish
9Ewa BeachPapio, omilu, oio, crevalle jack,
butterfly peacock bass, bluefin trevally
10Hilo HarborAhi tuna, black triggerfish, yellowfin tuna, crevalle jack

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Asia visions photography/

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About the Author

Crystal is a dedicated writer at A-Z Animals, focusing on topics related to mammals, insects, and travel. With over a decade of experience in the world of research and writing, she also fulfills the role of a skilled video and audio engineer. Residing in sunny Florida, alligators are Crystal's favorite animal.

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