Fishing Hawaiian Style

Big Island Fishing

So you want to fish in Hawaii? Kona offers world class sport fishing and there are numerous charter boats to choose from, all operating out of Honokohau harbor.

As you head out to sea, it’s worth recognizing the connection and the traditions locals have with fishing. For Hawaiians, fishing is a spiritual act, and the methods used today are very similar to those used centuries ago.

Fish Kona hawaiiOne important ritual of the catch would include a stop for prayer at offshore fishing Ko’a.  Offerings would be made or left at the rock shrines to both entice fish and appease the gods. Prayers are offered throughout the process of fishing, from carving the hooks and preparing olona lines and also during a “Hukilau”. This shore side “fishing party” engages women, children and many members of the community as they gather fish in a large tea leaf net, as a group.

Traditional Fishing in HawaiiMethods still used today include bamboo pole, hook & line, spears, traps or net throwing! You will often see locals cast their nets with ease as they navigate the rocky shore.

The “Makau” is the traditional fishhook of Hawaii and is a symbol of strength, respect for ancestors and a talisman for summoning the bounty of the sea. These handcrafted fishhooks were once made from shells, whale or human bone and from the teeth of dogs and sharks. Today you will find Makau replica necklaces for sale throughout Hawaii. It is important to note that even in the tourist market, craftsmen today take great effort to use only the traditional carving and knot tying techniques of their ancestors.

Traditional Fishing Hook Used in hawaiiImagine catching this “Ulua” (aka Giant Trevally-Avg 40-60 lbs.) one of the most revered of fish in Hawaii, while standing on a reef or balancing in an outrigger canoe!

When you stay at Holualoa Inn ask our Innkeepers about fishing trips to connect you with the sea and Hawaiian fishing culture.

Hawaii Sunset
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