Shore Fishing in Hawaii - Dunking
Hawaii is a fishing paradise. The islands are surrounded by the warm Pacific and fringed with reefs and sandbars teeming with fish, so although
freshwater fishing is growing in popularity, it is no surprise that saltwater fishing dominates the Hawaiian fishing scene. There is something for everyone and every budget. No fishing license is required (except for a limited number of freshwater venues), and your fishing tackle can range from a spool of light test line with a hook to a G. Loomis saltwater rod mated with a huge capacity Shimano conventional reel mounted to a 40' Hatteras.
Shore fishing is extremely popular form of saltwater fishing and encompasses a wide variety of gear and styles. Hand line for palani, bamboo poles for oama, whipping or spinning gear for papio and oio, dunking for oio and papio (or hopefully ulua), slide-baiting for ulua, mahimahi and ahi, net fishing for all kinds of stuff, the list goes on and on…….and we're still on land!
Dunking falls somewhere in the middle of the spectrum for expense and effort. Dunking generally means 'dunking' your bait with weights relatively far offshore, planting your rod on shore and then relaxing while you wait for the excitement of the bite. I'll briefly describe my buddies' fishing tackle and techniques (but will not give away their favorite super secret spot….)
: A relatively long rod (12 feet or so) with a high capacity reel are ideal for reaching the big fish. High capacity spinners like
the Penn 9500SS have limited utility in the mass market fishing world and may be hard to find, but they are great for dunking and give you about 400 yards with 20 lb. test. You can easily run through all the line with an aggressive bite, so bigger is better. If you can't find a big spinner, you can use a conventional reel instead. Fill up your reel with as much 12-20 lb. test as it will comfortably hold, attach two swivels with 2 medium size hooks and dangle a lead weight of 3oz or so off the end.
(Read more Shore Fishing in Hawaii below...)
It's a secret, but look for reefs relatively close to shore with sandbars
no saltwater license required
gear and beer
gear and beer
: If you are lucky enough to have some live bait fish like oama, put em on your hooks. If not, eel, octopus or squid are all popular. If you need to 'catch' your bait at Foodland or Safeway, frozen squid is a couple of bucks a pound and can be quickly defrosted and sliced into 1 or 2 inch strips. Add sand turtles, sand crabs or similar to make any hook with non-live bait a little more attractive to the fish.
: Catch some little sand turtles (they are not really turtles, and outside of Hawaii are also known as mole crabs) by tying some squid to the middle to lower portion of a foot long stick. Shove the stick into the sand just below the high water line, making sure to get the squid below the sand. Wait a while, then scoop up the sand around the stick with your hands or a net and pick out the sand turtles that were happily feasting on the squid just moments before you rocked their world. Put them in your bait bucket.
Placing the bait
: There are a couple of basic methods for placing, or 'dunking', your baited hooks. Depending on the tide, the waves, the reef and your comfort in the water, you can walk your pole out into the water as far as you like (at least a couple hundred feet, otherwise just whip), cast from there, and then walk the pole back to shore while letting out line, finally placing the rod into your sand spike, tightening the drag and topping off with a bell. If you have a kayak, you have the option of inserting the rod into your sand spike, kayaking the bait out and dropping it at the appropriate spot and then kayaking back in, tightening the drag and topping off with a bell. A lot of fish feed in the sand at the edge of the reef, so I suggest dropping your hook just past the reef boundary into the abutting sandbar. Now just sit back and relax and wait for that bell to ring.
: Oio (bonefish) and papio (trevally) are pretty common catches for dunking, but you might be saying 'hey, these are the same fish that you can catch whipping, why go through the hassle of walking the bait out?' Well, farther out means bigger fish, and hopefully you will land bigger oio and papio and even ulua (a papio bigger than 9 lbs). Oio is good for making fishcake and papio is tasty grilled or fried. Remember to throw back the manini (small) fish and any that you won't be eating. Enjoy your catch with a cold one.
Dan's Hawaii Tip
Bring your whipping pole and have some fun while you wait for the bell to ring on your dunking rig.
Hawaii does not require a fishing license for saltwater fishing.
1/4/2013 6:03:29 PMi like to bait fish i have an 14 foot ugly stick wit a penn reel and i landed me a 60 pound ulua at pukas in the north shore got any advice on cooking it?
11/10/2012 11:04:28 AMI LOVE FISHING!!! But....cant find a good spot to fish. Im thinking Makapuu research center off the pier for sardines then in the back of the off the rock wall some Uluas....? Need some fishing spots?? Girls fish too..! Share !!!! LoL
The WEEKEND WARRIORS (LOCAL FISHERMAN)
10/20/2012 12:17:02 PMAku belly is also good bait but is super expensive
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