Fishing With Aloha

Welcome to Hawaii the land of Aloha with beautiful white sandy beaches as far as the eye can see. One thing synonymous with the lovely beaches of Hawaii are the Shore fisherman, some with a pole or two and others with an entire camp set up on the beach for overnight trips. Whether you’re a local born and raised, new resident, or a tourist, there are unwritten rules to partaking in one of the most common past times of the islands people and their cultures. The purpose of this article is to hit a few points about simple customs and courtesies that I have personally observed while shore fishing in Hawaii.  Some of these pointers should be considered as common sense, but it not so common now days. This article is NOT a how to fishing guide but instead a general outline to help you enjoy your fishing excursion.

Location… Location… Location

Across the various islands are spots that are believed to be prime real estate when it comes to catching fish as they have provided to be fruitful during previous experiences. Some say it’s sacred and won’t share the locations of their honeypots. That being said if you stumble across someone who appears to be having a streak of good luck at a minimum say hello “how’z it” and start a conversation, most fisherman are very friendly. If you decide this could be the spot for you, as a courtesy, ask if the person minds if you fish next to them so you aren’t encroaching on their space and avoid potential turmoil. While it may seem like a minute issue to most people, the reality is fishing in Hawaii is bigger than a hobby for some of the indigenous residents. It is more of a cultural value that has been passed down from generation to generation, values that most fishermen try to implement into their families’ philosophies of living off of the land, (Aina). To offer perspective, some fishermen use these opportunities as bounding moments with their families (Ohana) and by fishing near someone else’s camp is borderline crashing a party that you weren’t invited to. If possible move further down the shoreline to give a buffer between you and the next fishermen, I am for certain they will appreciate it and even befriend you in some cases.


Diving and or swimming shares some of the same rules and principles mentioned about the location of where you want to fish. If you plan to dive and do a bit of spearfishing be mindful that someone has already positioned themselves to hopefully land a nice catch and your presence in the area may hinder their efforts. On occasion divers/swimmers get tangled in fisherman’s lines which on occasion appears to be a strike that turns out to be a diver who got caught up in their line sometimes leading to lines being cut further prolonging the process. The same idea goes for swimmers who often get caught in a fisherman’s lines. No one person has exclusive rights to a geographical area when it comes to fishing however having a common courtesy and respect (Aloha) for one another goes a very long ways and can possibly mitigate tension among people hoping to enjoy their day no matter what it is they decide to do. 

Clean Up After Yourself

As you may have noticed almost everyone loves to hit the beaches in Hawaii be it first day light to catch some killer waves, the occasional family gathering for holiday/ birthdays, or some good old-fashioned fishing. Despite the reason, tons of people frequent the various beaches across the islands and with that comes an abundance of rubbish unfortunately. I have heard and seen the blame game first hand people saying who’s responsible for the mess at the beaches “it was the tourist”! The reality is this, the beach is available to everyone and we all use it therefore it’s a collective responsibility and everyone has a part in ensuring they pick up after themselves. That being said, pick up your tackle when you’re done as no one wants a hook in the foot from a fisherman.

In closing, I hoped to have provided some insight that helps the novice fisherman have a great experience shore fishing in Hawaii for the first time. Good Luck and I hope you have tons of strikes.

Author: admin

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