Hawaii Fishing Information & Faq

Hawaii Fishing Information & FAQ
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Everything you need to know about Hawaii fishing, licenses, and permits.

• General: DIY / How-To • General: Educational • General: Guide

Fishing in Hawaii is a big deal for visitors and locals alike. Many vacation in Hawaii just for the fishing, and if you're one of those people you'll also want to read Big Game Sport Fish of Hawaii and Guide to Sportfishing in Hawaii. For residents on the islands, fishing is often a way of life and a way to put food on the table.

Along with fishing come a lot of questions so we'll go over some of the most common and answer them. Be sure to also check the Division of Aquatic Resources website for all of the rules and regulations for fishing in Hawaii.

Do I Need A Fishing License In Hawaii?

There is no fishing license needed for visitors or residents to fish in the ocean. Anyone can grab a pole and go fishing in the ocean as long as they're doing it in a place that isn't prohibited and as long as they aren't selling their catch. However, if you plan to fish in freshwater then you will need a Freshwater Game Fishing License.

Where Can I Fish In Hawaii?

The islands offer plenty of great fishing beaches and other shoreline access points. As long as you don't see a sign that restricts or prohibits fishing (and aren't on private property) you can generally fish. If you're going to an out of the way area, just do your homework ahead of time to make sure it's not a military base, wildlife refuge, natural area reserve, or some other potentially restricted area. Of course, a great option is to go on a fishing boat and fish that way.

If you got your Freshwater Game Fishing License you can fish in many streams but have to make sure you're on public land first. Stick to publically accessible areas to be safe.

Is Snag Fishing Allowed In Hawaii?

Surprisingly, snag fishing isn't prohibited overall in Hawaii but is prohibited in certain Marine Life Conservation Districts (MLCDs), Fisheries Management Areas (FMAs), Public Fishing Areas (PFAs), and other managed areas. Also note that anyone who is snag fishing is personally responsible for any injuries cause to others who are fishing.

Can I Keep My Catch For My Aquarium?

Yes, it's actually legal to keep your catch for your aquarium as long as it meets the minimum size requirements (as well as season and any other legal requirements). If you live outside of Hawaii you may have some issues getting that fish home. You'll need to check with your airline to see if they'll let you take it as well as ensure your home state doesn't have any restrictions on bringing the animal in.