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Bottom fishing in Maui, Hawaii

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

Bill Matthews Outdoors with a nice Amberjack in Maui

20 Pound Amberjack (Kahala) caught on a Trokar TK3 Circle Hook!

My wife and I were recently in Honolulu for a distributor show. When the show was over we flew to Maui to visit some great friends and enjoy a break from the Pacific NW winter. I wanted to do some fishing while I was there so I asked Brian from Maui Sporting Goods if there was any fishing opportunities this time of year in Maui. Knowing that I spend time in Alaska, he recommended Captain Jimmy Akana of UFO Fishing Charters for bottom fishing trip off the coast of Maui.

Sunrise in Maui Hawaii

Sunrise over Maui - what an amazing setting for a fishing adventure!

I contacted Capt. Jimmy and we agreed to meet the following morning at the Mala Boat ramp in Maui. Captain Jimmy is a great guy and we quickly found out that we had much in common. He guides out of Seward, Alaska in the summer and the comes to Maui in the winter to guide. We had many friends in common, and I knew that we would be in good hands.

It was a beautiful Maui morning when I met up with Jimmy and his crew at 6:30 am at the Mala Boat ramp. I brought my friends son, Mason, with me, and there was one other angler on board. We motored out of the marina and went out about 5 miles towards the isle of Lanai. As the sun was rising behind Maui, Jimmy and his deck hands got the sabiki rods out , dropped down and caught our bait for the day.

Eagle Claw Trokar TK3 Lancet Circle Hook

Capt. Jimmy had no problem getting bait. Here is one rigged on a Trokar TK3 Hook

Once we had our bait, we motored another 5 miles or so towards the isle of Molokai We were fishing 10 oz of lead with a 7/0 Trokar TK3 Lancet Circle Hook. We dropped our bait down to around 400 feet and starting drifting up a ledge.

Eagle Claw Trokar TK3 Lancet Offset Circle Hooks did the job today!

It did not take long for the bite to turn on. On our first drift I caught a nice Pink Snapper, known as a Opakapaka in Hawaii. This is an absolutely beautiful fish, and is perfect for fish tacos! On the second drift I landed a Grey Snapper, which I believe is called a Uku in Hawaii, (it is another fish that is awesome on the dinner table) and Mason landed a nice Opakapaka. We continued drifting the same area and landed more Opakapaka and Uku, along with a few Amberjack, know as Kahala in Hawaii.

Mason with a nice Pink Snapper!

Mason with a nice Pink Snapper, known as a Opakapaka in Hawaii

As an additional bonus to fishing, this is whale season in Hawaii, and whales were breaching all around us. Quite an amazing site to be fishing in this beautiful setting and seeing whales in every direction

Bill Matthews Outdoors, Catching Sharks in Hawaii

We even caught a small shark!

After several drifts, we changed our location and set up near the island of Molokai. On our first drift we got a couple more Opakapaka, and I caught a nice 20 pound Amberjack. We made a couple more drifts but the afternoon wind had come up so strong that it was time to head for Maui.

Great day of fishing with UFO & Bill Matthews Outdoors in Hawaii

Everybody had a great day today!

Jimmy and the deck hands did an amazing job for us today, they were all professional, helpful and fun to be around. The day was absolutely incredible and one I will never forget. Where else can you be in such a beautiful setting, catching amazing fish while whales frolic in every direction - only in Maui!

If you go to Maui in January, I would highly recommend contacting UFO for an amazing day of fishing and whale watching in one of the most beautiful settings on earth.

Thanks for reading



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