Big Island Advice

#1
I'm headed to Hawaii for 7 days next week on a work trip and I'm hoping to wet a line while I'm there. I'll be staying on the west side of the island in Puako. Due to work commitments don't think I'll have time to leave this general area or put in more than an hour or two at a time on the water. I'm not too picky about target species as I'll likely just be fishing off the beach by our house. I could take either my SRC 6wt set-up or an 8wt. Was planning on trying a variety of small shrimp and baitfish patterns. Any thought on rod and fly selections or advice on fishing locations in the Puako area would be helpful. Thanks!
 

BN2FSH

Active Member
#2
I think the fishing from shore at Puako would be difficult. Lots of waves and rocks. In fact, most of the Big Island is tough. Some of the sandy beaches have bonefish if you get there early before the people swimming and snorkeling. Last time on the BI, I did talk to a guy at Puako who was launching a kayak. He said he goes out about 1/2 mile and he has caught yellowfin, dorado, and I think hooked a marlin. He is the second guy I have talked to over the years who dones well from a kayak. I did watch a guy using a spinning rod and bait one day and he hooked a big Ulua (trevally) off the rocks. It spooled him. I have caught some bonefish down near Kona. I think a 8 is a better choice than the 6, if for no other reason than the wind. I don't even take a rod anymore.
 

JayB

Active Member
#3
Lots of good insights here:

http://www.ucolick.org/~bolte/HawaiiWWW/Big_Island_Fly_Fishing.html

Also - if you plug "Fly Fishing Big Island" into Google the second hit is a bunch of threads from this message board.

My only "advice" is to get out at the crack of dawn to beat the crowds of folks who will be joining you shortly, get a pair of tabis for the wading, and know that it's generally tough fishing. There are guys like Mingo who have it dialed, but for most people it seems to be a tough learning curve.
 

jasmillo

Active Member
#4
I would bring your rod. As others have said, the fishing is not easy but I have found it worth it for a few hours of fun each trip. There is a bay not far from where you are staying that gets posted about a lot on this forum. Small white based clousers and shrimpy type stuff has worked for me. I would use an 8 as well. Mingo and mems are the two folks you want chiming in though. Search out their posts on the BI if you have not already.
 

Mems

Active Member
#5
Aloha Socus, puako has papio and various reef fish. It depends where you are staying, but the inner reef can be tough on flies and flylines. If you find a channel with some deeper water that would be your best bet. I fish a 6wt all the time, but with the wind an 8wt would be a better choice. You can fish almost ay beach in the area with success. I fish A-bay all the time and catch trevally, bones and a variety of reef fish. Good luck, let me know if you need more advice. Mems.
 
#6
Thanks to all who replied! I've got my 8 wt packed and I'll be busy tying some flies this weekend. I'll post again once I get back with a report.
 
#7
Thanks to all who replied! I've got my 8 wt packed and I'll be busy tying some flies this weekend. I'll post again once I get back with a report.
I go to the Big Island once a year. I take an 8 weight with a floating line, and fish mostly A Bay. There is a reef 30 yards from shore you can wade to in the morning. I cast pink charlies and gotchas. I rarely catch anything, but I am still learning. You have to start early. Once the swimmers show up I fish the lava fingers on the right and left sides of the bay. I take snorkel gear, get in the water, swim around and spot fish, and then get out and cast to them. I also take an inflatable paddle board, paddle way out, and let the wind blow me back while casting shallow, deep, sandy bottoms, whatever. The wind picks up at 12 - 1pm, and dies late in the day.
I have not figured it out. I have fished twice with Mems, who is great and very knowledgeable. It would be nice to catch a good fish and sooner or later that will happen, but it is the experience and challenge that is fun for me.

Bring your rod. Good luck.
 
#8
I just made it back from Hawaii and as I feared I had very little time to get out and fish. I did manage to slip out for about an hour one day and fish a beach in Puako near where I was staying. I saw a couple of goatfish feeding in the shallows but I couldn't get them to take a fly. I tied up a couple of these little shrimp but they weren't having it. It was a beautiful wind free day and I really enjoyed being on my own and just casting. Thanks for all the tips!
 

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Mingo

the Menehune stole my beer
#9
Nice fly. That one would definitely get hit. This place isn’t easy. It rewards perseverance.
 

BN2FSH

Active Member
#10
Sorry you did not get a chance to fish much. I was hoping you would prove me wrong. That is a nice looking shrimp. Try tying it so it rides hook point up and it will be more effective and have less chance of snagging on the bottom.
 

Mingo

the Menehune stole my beer
#12
I go to the Big Island once a year. I take an 8 weight with a floating line, and fish mostly A Bay. There is a reef 30 yards from shore you can wade to in the morning. I cast pink charlies and gotchas. I rarely catch anything, but I am still learning. You have to start early. Once the swimmers show up I fish the lava fingers on the right and left sides of the bay. I take snorkel gear, get in the water, swim around and spot fish, and then get out and cast to them. I also take an inflatable paddle board, paddle way out, and let the wind blow me back while casting shallow, deep, sandy bottoms, whatever. The wind picks up at 12 - 1pm, and dies late in the day.
I have not figured it out. I have fished twice with Mems, who is great and very knowledgeable. It would be nice to catch a good fish and sooner or later that will happen, but it is the experience and challenge that is fun for me.

Bring your rod. Good luck.
Instead of pink Charlies, tie on the biggest and heaviest tan borski slider or mantis shrimp (Coach Duff’s Spam and Eggs is awesome) you can tie on a sink tip with 20 lb fluoro tippet and jig it while you drift. Hang on and thank me later. A Bay isn’t a numbers game but when the stars line up...

Aloha.
 

SilverFly

Active Member
#14
Saw a huge bone on saturday with a client. Easily 15lbs. I told my client if you are going to catch your first bonefish, it would be great if it was a monster. It looked at the fly but no dice. Now I have a purpose to my life, catch that hog. I will be back again this weekend. Mems.
A 15# bone?! Are you trying to give your clients a coronary? ;) Probably best it was his first shot a bonefish. At least he was able to cast, so apparently his hands weren't shaking violently and his heart wasn't in his throat. I imagine that would be like hooking a small tuna, but in shallow water with rocks and coral.
 

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